By Raphaela Gold ‘21
Every year, Heschel organizes the Celebration of the Arts Night, an evening which provides a platform for students to perform, share their love for singing and theatre, and showcase their work in front of the entire school. This year’s Arts Night was one of the most successful yet, filled with singing, dancing, theatrical productions, and poetry readings. The performers included the 10th grade band, the 11th grade band, senior Rivke Goodman, senior Mariel Priven, and sophomore Ayelet Kaminer reading poetry, as well as the 9th grade ensemble. Additionally, the rock club band, the 12th grade band, the actors in the upcoming high school play, the 9th grade dancers, the Latin classes, the 12th grade music theory class, and the Heschel Harmonizers all provided equally riveting performances. It was a full house and the Roanna Shorofsky theatre was packed with parents, teachers, students, and visitors.
High school Jewish and Student Life Programming Coordinator Aliza Sebert played a tremendous role in planning the event. Sebert created the program, collaborated with art teachers to assess the length of their performances, determined the technical needs of the stage crew, and ensured that everyone was given a chance to practice before the show. She worked with high school art teachers Dena Schutzer and John Gatti, as well as Richard Wisniewski, director of facilities, to set up the dining hall with the visual artwork students created in the first semester. Sebert commented, “I love seeing our students perform. It showcases a part of them that we don’t usually see and that is really special.” She added, “That’s true not only for the performers, but for the people who work behind the scenes with me, so it is exciting to see their work as well.” According to Sebert, it is important for Heschel to continue to hold this event because all students have something to contribute to our community through the arts. She explained, “The arts are crucial access points for students to show who they are. They help us grow as people and learn, so I think it’s really important to have this arts night.”
As Sebert mentioned, the tech crew was a crucial aspect in ensuring a smoothly-run program. Senior Carlin Greenfield was responsible for coordinating schedules and supervising lighting, sound, and other technical aspects of the production. “I’m a combination of things,” Greenfield commented, “I love theatre and I love telling stories. When I was in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade, I had amazing mentors, and I love now being available as a mentor for others and teaching people theatre.” Greenfield also takes charge of heading the stage and technical crew in the school musical each year. He views Arts Night as a warm up for the musical, explaining,“You end up with this very concentrated art that you don’t necessarily get when you have a week to create, such as when we prepare for the play.”
Students who attended the Arts Night were impressed by the program that had been put together. Freshman Sofia Cohen said, “It was fun! I did lighting for the first part and I liked the whole thing. I particularly enjoyed seeing the 12th grade band perform because they were really good.” On a similar note, Sophomore Tillie Germain reflected, “I really enjoyed the whole program and it was so interesting to see everyone perform and [share] their visual artwork.”