The Islip Arts Council and The Argyle Theatre Give Brentwood Students a Dramatic Experience

By Kimberly Dijkstra

 

December 9, 2021 — The Islip Arts Council (IAC) and The Argyle Theatre at Babylon Village treated Brentwood High School drama students to a performance of ‘Elf the Musical’, the sparklejollytwinklejingley-est musical of the holiday season! As part of IAC’s effort to expand access to the arts for kids in underserved communities, the students were invited to enjoy the musical and participate in a Q&A session with the cast and crew. 

 

Students arrive at the Argyle Theatre

 

Dylan Perlman welcomes Brentwood High School Students outside the Argyle Theatre


 

Dylan Perlman, co-owner of The Argyle, was eager to share the experience of live theatre with the students and stoke their interest in the performing arts with all of its associated benefits.

Unlike Broadway, which heavily relies on tourists to fill its audiences, the Argyle is part of the local community. 

“In every aspect we are a regional, community-based institution,” Perlman said. “For us to be a viable theatre, we have to be within the fabric of the community.”

He describes it as a symbiotic relationship. To accomplish their mission to be a major regional destination for live entertainment on Long Island, they must also give back to the community, and they do so by being as involved as possible with charitable organizations, assorted fundraisers, and local schools.

“‘Elf’ is the perfect show to come out of this pandemic closure because it’s the show we all need ー it’s funny, it’s happy, it’s feel-good, it’s uplifting,” Perlman said. “Being able to have a school bus pull up for a show on a Thursday night…it’s heartwarming and it’s invigorating and it’s why we do what we do.”

After the show students got a behind-the-scenes look at the Argyle Theatre 


 

Fresh off a performance of ‘Almost, Maine’ and currently preparing for a production of ‘The Addams Family’, the drama students could not contain their excitement over the opportunity to see ‘Elf the Musical’ live. 

Tenth-grader Arlyssa and eleventh-grader Michell were thrilled to be invited to this event. 

“I’ve never seen this theatre before and I hope to come here again now that I know it’s here,” 

Another student, Marialba, said, “I’ve seen the movie, but the play is a whole different experience honestly.”

She added, “I’m ready to see everything and see how real actors act on stage. This is my first time actually seeing any type of musical live. So it’s just really cool to see how things could be and maybe I could be there one day, you know?”

Director and Choreographer Rachel Ferzola and her drama students


 

Rachel Ferzola, director and choreographer of Brentwood High School’s performing arts department, escorted the students on this special trip. She can’t say enough about her brilliant students.

“They are super talents, and I just want them to see where they can go with this,” she said. “These kids, they want to perform, they’re creative, they need a creative outlet.”

Ferzola wants the kids to see the caliber of theatre arts that exists here in their own backyard. 

She added, “I hope that this does inspire them to see that they can do this. There is success in this. There is a way to live art…And this is a great show for them to come and see, too.”

The students loved the show. Several cast members were kind enough to answer a few questions and give some words of encouragement after the performance including Timothy Fraser, who played Buddy, Michelle Mallardi, who played Emily, the mom and Robert Anthony Jones, who played Santa and Mr. Greenway.  

Students facetime with local actor Robert Anthony Jones


 

Waldo Cabrera, president of Islip Arts Council, hosted the Q&A. 

“He’s phenomenal,” Cabrera said of Jones, an Islip High School graduate, former IAC Teenys Award recipient, and Hofstra University alum. “We wanted you to see that somebody from your neck of the woods is up on the big stage, has been on Broadway, and he’s living the dream that many of you want.”

This is not the first time that the Islip Arts Council recognizes performing arts students. IAC has been supporting young artists for the past 13 years through the Teenys, a program that celebrates the accomplishments in high school theatre.

“Many times in high school, you have the athletes getting all the glory, but the drama students are just as athletic and they deserve a moment in the spotlight,” Cabrera said. 

“We have 335,000 people in the Town of Islip and we want to be the all-inclusive purveyor of the arts,” Cabrera said. “We want to make sure that everyone, especially our students and our kids, appreciate the arts and know that if they want to pursue a career as an artist, they can.”

He continued, “We want the students to understand that they don’t have to be on Broadway to be successful. They can do it right here on Long Island where we have top-level, top-quality entertainment.”

“A tremendous amount of credit goes to Waldo Cabrera for putting it together on behalf of the Islip Arts Council,” Perlman said. “It’s a very meaningful and impactful partnership. This is the first and will hopefully continue.” 

Elf the Musical’ runs through Jan. 2, 2022.

 

 


Enjoyed this story? Share it with your friends! Tag @BroadwayandMain, @ArgyleTheatre, and @IslipArtsCouncil on Facebook, and @theargyletheatre and @IslipArts on Instagram. Click here for video from the fun-filled evening, including interviews with students, faculty, and theatre staff.

 

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