WHS students spin ‘Charlotte’s Web’

(From left to right) Westwood High School students Tania Martin, Alex Mellott, Caroline Cole, Daniel Xu, Fiona Garrity, Shelly Hed, Sami Parazin, Cassidy Hall, Rachel Bernardo, Maeve Garrity, Hermela Haile, Tessa Scolaro, Olivia D’Angio, CJ Martin, and David Maggiacomo take their final bow. Photos by Emily Greffenius

By Emily Greffenius
Hometown Weekly Intern

On the evening of Friday, June 5, Westwood High School students took part in the school’s first-ever spring play, a performance of “Charlotte’s Web,” directed by Gina Cosmini and Jennifer Walsh. Drama teachers at Thurston Middle School, Cosmini and Walsh put together a show perfect for parents and their children to enjoy at the end of a long week.

The early-evening performance took place in one of the outdoor quadrangles at the high school, a great setting for a spring picnic. Many attendees brought their own beach chairs and blankets for comfort, as well as pizzas, sandwiches, and chips to munch on as theater snacks. The large crowd, including Westwood teachers with their families, came from all over the community; even Sean Bevan, principal of Westwood High School, was spotted in attendance with his two girls.

Utilizing narration to summarize action between scenes and explain main plot points, Friday’s dramatic adaptation of E.B. White’s classic story grabbed and held both young children’s and their parents’ attention. The artful, dynamic, and colorful face paint worn by each actor playing an animal could not have hurt, either.

Despite a few technical difficulties with microphones, the actors continued undaunted and the audience remained engaged.

While the show was undoubtedly geared toward the younger members of the audience, the adults in attendance were visibly amused by the action. Adults and kids alike laughed as Homer Zuckerman and his farmhand, Lurvy, chased down Wilbur in slow motion as the well-known theme song of “Chariots of Fire” played over the speakers. Caroline Cole, portraying both Lurvy and Uncle, the blue-ribbon-winning pig at the county fair, did not waste a second of her time on stage. Her commitment to her roles was obvious, and she captured the spotlight each time she stepped out to deliver her lines.

In Westwood’s long history of impressive theatrical productions, this is the first time that a high school performance has explicitly targeted an audience substantially younger than the actors in the show. Not only did the show provide a fun activity for young families in town, but it also allowed older students interested in theater to perform for and interact with younger children who might follow in their footsteps a few years down the line. In Friday’s performance, a classic children’s story made for an evening of multigenerational entertainment.

Performances of “Charlotte’s Web” also took place on Saturday, June 6, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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