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Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade'

Cast and crew at Hillsborough Middle School craft their own take on famous tale.

Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade' Middle School Performers Ready to Present Tales of 'Scheherazade'

Hillsborough Middle School teacher Michelle Hill, co-director of the school's production "Scheherazade," notes the story is "basically a story about the strength of storytelling."

And part of that strength may be the ability of a narrator to change the telling of the story—something that happened as the 35-member cast and crew of the play began working on their staging.

Hill and co-director Christine Simon said the school's Drama Club students embraced the story quickly and began "tweaking" it, adding little bits to impart more comedy or a more dramatic edge to it.

"I think these kids introduce a lot in the play," Hill said. As an example, she said the students decided to take a twist in a scene while rehearsing it last week—exaggerating a bow to gain more laughter. "We never thought of doing that until one of the run-throughs."

The cast includes experienced students, some with considerable training inside and outside of school, as well as some new-comers. Much of the play is carried by Gabi Hartman in her first lead role, after appearing in the school's production of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" last year.

Cast members include Anna Gotfried, Audrey Sickles, Casey Kenny, Diana LoRicco, Emily Conlon, Emily Josbeno, Emily Simroth, Freddy Shaw, Grant Gibbs, Kira Diminico, Kyle Mundt, Lia Sitrin, Melissa Grodzki, Molly O'Sullivan, Owen Szabo, Rachel Swedberg,  Sean O'Callaghan, Shefali Kumar and Tyler Vrabel. Helping support the cast members with behind-the-scenes work and lighting are members of the crew: Abbey Nemec, Angelica Antonio, Anna Lui, Christina Messner, Izzy Gonzalez, Joselyn McDaniel, Julie Allen, Lindsey Wright, Nicole Wilkowski, Nyasia Ayuso, Sarah Huffman, Tyler Chui, Luisa Perico, Camila Ramirez-Krupa and Diana Cacace.

The Drama Club will stage "Scheherazade" three times this weekend, a 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the middle school.

This article was edited to correct the time of Sunday's show.

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