Article by Alfonso Syquia

Rehearsals for this year’s school production are currently in full swing. The Fine Arts Department will be staging Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, a musical that puts the Hispanic community of Washington Heights, New York City, at the forefront.

This musical follows Usnavi, a bodega owner who has aspirations of winning the lottery and leaving New York for his homeland, the Dominican Republic. Usnavi also takes care of his Abuela Claudia, who lives next door to him. Meanwhile, Nina Rosario arrives back in town after dropping out of her freshman year at Stanford University. The play ultimately follows the lives of those in the close-knit community of Washington Heights and explores the true meaning of home.

When asked why she wanted to audition for this year’s production, senior Raya C., who will be playing Abuela Claudia, states, “I’ve been involved in the HS Play ever since freshman year so it’s sort of been my high school tradition to be involved in it. So of course, I just had to audition this year because it’s my senior year and it’s a musical! This year’s production is going to be a magical blend of acting, singing, and dancing.”

On the other hand, senior Ben R., who will be acting as Benny, Nina’s love interest, is new to HS productions and remarks that the hip hop style of music was what got him to audition. He says, “Although there is a mixture of both inexperienced [actors] and veterans, [the cast] has started to develop chemistry and everyone is comfortable trying new things and pushing their limits.”

Moreover, junior Rocio T. states, “The musical this year isn’t like every other musical in the regard that rap and hip hop is heavily integrated into the soundtrack, which the audience will really enjoy”.

There’s no doubt that this year’s production is one to look forward to. In The Heights contains amazing songs written by Lin Manuel Miranda and will give the audience a closer look at Hispanic culture in America. Be sure to support your friends and get tickets to see the HS Play this coming October!

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