BASIS Ahwatukee thespians present annual variety show

Posted: October 25, 2018 / Source: Ahwatukee Foothills News

BASIS Ahwatukee’s theater will be filled with selections from 18 Broadway hits Friday as 37 musical theater students put on their annual variety show.

The show, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the school, 10210 S. 50th Place, Ahwatukee, includes 30 members of the International Thespian Society. Admission is $7.

The students chose their own songs to perform and will perform solos, duets and group numbers that include tracks from “Wicked,” “Shrek the Musical,” “Into the Woods” and “Mama Mia.”

The students have been rehearsing since Sept. 4, and for drama teacher Helen O’Connell, the annual variety show is a treat for herself as well as the audience.

“I love to see the students take ownership of their chosen performance pieces,” said O’Connell, in her sixth year at BASIS Ahwatukee and her 10th as a director of student performances.

“It is exciting to see the variety of songs, and also to see their creativity in how they portray their character,” she said. “It is a more student-driven performance than a typical play or musical.”

But it isn’t easy fine-tuning the show.

“Coordinating and organizing the students is the biggest challenge in a showcase like this,” O’Connell explained. “We have 22 different pieces being performed, and my goal is to create a flow that will keep the audience engaged and keep the performance moving.”

Helping her with that task will be music director David Hopkins and production manager Kelsey Hillman.

Cast members are Suzan Aldekr, Raizel Andaya, Rheana Andaya, Kathryn Christian, Ottavia Formicone, Spencer Hachtel, Sagal Hussein, Aneeka Islam, Ana Jovanovic, Tiffany McKalko, Nitya Miyyapuram, Jeffery Morning Star, Shashwat Newa, Sophia Northup, Nicholas Pugliese, Katie Ritchie, Kaylyn Rogers, Sarah Sheldon, Zubin Sidhwa, Yana Surtchev, Ilona Szelinger, Arnob Kabir, Kevin Kansas, Susannah Nania, Sophia Pywowarczuk, Alayna Ziglin, Abigail Swalander, Eric Zhao, Elizabeth Nou, Terese Kulangara, Joyce Lee, Izaac Mansfield and Darrell Mason.

Making up the stage crew are Raima Aiyer, Sarah Ballachanda, Brook Dejen, Irene Fahndrich, Tyler Gaston, Maya Haddad, Elizabeth He, Julianna Joya, Kalena Leahy, Fatma Omar, Cody Trett, Carter Nothaft and Kit Donnelly.

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