Senior Scenes Returns to the Stage for 2022

Strawberry Hill Players Return To The Stage With “Senior Scenes”.


Chloe Naudet

Cooper Toland, Jasmine Whitfield and Leo Field perform their scene in the SHS auditorium.

On Saturday, January 8, the Strawberry Hill Players put on their annual production of “Senior Scenes.” “Senior Scenes” is a traditional production by the Strawberry Hill Players which allows seniors to direct 10-minute scenes in which underclassmen and new club members perform.

After Stamford Public Schools’ decision to have a snow day on Friday, January 7, the drama club had no choice but to cancel what would have been their opening night of this production. Nonetheless, their new opening/closing night was a joyful night of humorous theater. 

“I was definitely disappointed. I thought it would definitely have been cool for us to have two performances, but I’m glad that everyone was safe and I think we did really well having just one performance and I think we made the most of it,” said Leo Field, a sophomore who was a cast member in this year’s show.

Reid Knorr and Sabatino Cruz perform in Senior Scenes 2022. (Chloe Naudet)

Due to COVID-19, last year’s “Senior Scenes” production was filmed and live-streamed online. It was refreshing to the club to be allowed to have this year’s production back on the Stamford High stage in front of a live audience, at least for one night.

Director Alex Rubin used a scene from Neil Simon’s, “The Odd Couple,” to bring to life two men in a dysfunctional relationship. Actors Reid Knorr and Sabatino Cruz took on the challenge of creating two characters that an audience could fall in love with, relate to, and learn from. This scene was definitely a great way to start off the night. “The boys came through!,” Rubin said.

Ashlyn Rufus, Ruby Joseph, Sabina Farley, and James Carlton perform their scene. (Chloe Naudet)

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,” by Tom Stoppard, shows an unknown perspective of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” This scene, directed by Ava Schmoelzer, brought comedy to a well-known Shakespearean play. No matter how many times actors Sabina Farley, Ruby Joseph, James Carlton, and Ashlyn Rufus failed to catch a tossed coin, the comedic timing of it consistently landing on heads amused the audience. “It’s such a dialogue heavy scene and it really relies on the actors knowing what they are doing. I’m so proud of my cast” Schmoelzer said.

Kaylee Deenihan and Keyli Maldonado perform in Senior Scenes 2022. (Chloe Naudet)

The original scene, “New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day,” written and directed by Katie Priscott was a pure demonstration of two individuals taking a liking to one another. This scene, acted by Kaylee Deenihan and Keyli Maldonado left the audience wanting more by the end. The use of simply a black block and a roll of paper towels was all Priscott and the actors needed to depict a relationship built off of vulnerability, trust, and affection. “I had so much adrenaline that I thought I was gonna fall as I was walking up the stairs,” said Priscott. “The fact that all of it came from my brain and somehow ended up on a stage is just the most unreal thing to me and I’m just so happy about it.”

Cooper Toland and Leo Field perform a scene directed by Hannah Schager. (Chloe Naudet)

Director Hannah Schager took on the task of directing a hilarious and yet upsetting scene from John Cariani’s “Almost Maine.” From the moment the scene started, the audience connected with the characters and was driven in by the awkwardness of the scene. Very quickly, the audience became attached to the characters played by Leo Field, Cooper Toland, and Jasmine Whitfield. The audience was at the edge of their seats waiting for Sandrine, played by Toland, to let out the truth to Jimmy, played by Field. “Learning to direct and seeing how challenging it is from a point of view that I never see it from as an actor was really rewarding and also getting to build relationships with the underclassmen was just a super rewarding experience,” Schager said.