Senior Scenes is Back!


Chloe Naudet

Michael Faherty, Kate Morton, and Lola Duhov perform their scene in the SHS auditorium.

Melia Peragine, Reporter

“Senior Scenes” is an annual production organized at Stamford High School by the Strawberry Hill Players. Seniors choose a scene from a play and direct a 10-minute scene performed by underclassmen and new members of the club. This is an event that students look forward to since their years as freshmen. The 2023 rendition of senior scenes occurred on January 6 and 7 in the Stamford High large auditorium. Seniors Rebecca Beebe, Pierce Colfer, Max Guttman, Grace Huber, Chloé Naudet, and Taylor Newman had the opportunity to direct their own scene under the leadership of Strawberry Hill Players’ new club advisor Annie Dunn and longtime advisor Tommy DeSalvo.

Maggie Reischer, Jack Samela, Kaylee Deenihan, and Kate Morton perform in Senior Scenes 2023. (Max Guttman)

Director Pierce Colfer chose a scene from the play “Fools” written by Neil Simon. The play follows Anya Tolchinsky, a schoolteacher taking a new job in educating a young girl named Sophia. The comedic scene chosen by Colfer describes the schoolteacher discovering that Sophia’s family has been afflicted by a very unique curse. “Behind every good director is a great cast, and I cannot thank them enough for putting their own fun spins on the piece, and being incredibly receptive to all the notes I’ve given them,” says Colfer. Actors Maggie Reischer, Jack Samela, Kaylee Deenihan, Kate Morton, and Pablo Lopez took on the challenge of the play by speaking in long monologues, but their hard work paid off by giving the audience a great performance. Jack Samela’s physical comedy and Kaylee Deenihan’s comedic timing brought the scene to life.

Zoe Guaman and Owen Wyman perform in Senior Scenes 2023. (Max Guttman)

“Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon examines the inevitable ups and downs of marriage as characters, Paul and Corie Bratter argue about whether they are suitable for each other in a brilliant scene chosen by director Rebecca Beebe. “I’ve looked forward to doing senior scenes since my freshman year and it was such a fun experience. I’m so proud of my cast and how the scene turned out. I think it was a really good show all around.” The audience couldn’t agree more. This was Owen Wyman’s first performance in the club but with his brilliant skills, the audience would never know. Alongside Zoe Guaman, the pair shone onstage as a dynamic duo.

Mateo Daniels and Sebastian Colfer perform in Senior Scenes 2023. (Max Guttman)

Director Taylor Newman chose the play “The 39 Steps” by Patrick Barlow. Her scene stars Mateo Daniels, Sebastian Colfer, Ava Carney, and James Carlton in the climax of the play. It follows Richard Hannay as he’s about to learn the truth about a secret he’s been chasing up until this point. “This production has been an incredible experience, I enjoyed directing “The 39 Steps!” My cast was amazing to work with, and they made my vision a reality,” Newman says. Though it was difficult to hear the actors without microphones, the play itself was entertaining, especially when a nerf gun was brought out, casting the audience into fits of giggles.

Amelia Battikha, Adele Samsonas, and Cooper Toland perform in Senior Scenes 2023. (Max Guttman)

Chloe Naudet had the honor of directing a scene from “Bright Eyes,” a play written by Stamford High alumni, Katie Priscott. “My scene was so much fun to work on, and it was a really educational experience in articulating what I wanted. I love my cast, they all understood my vision and got along super well, it made each of their characters feel real,” says Naudet. “Bright Eyes” follows three sisters during a time of change and teenage angst as they try to pack for college. The overlapping voices in an argument presented by Adele Samsonas, Cooper Toland, and Amelia Battikha were impressive and executed very well.

The cast of The Wolves perform in Senior Scenes 2023. (Max Guttman)

With the largest cast of nine actors, director Grace Huber presented a scene from “The Wolves” written by Sarah DeLappe. With overlapping dialogue from Emily Wainwright, Ruby Joseph, Ava Carney, Hayden Katz, Anna Morton, Serena Sweeney, Chloe Simner, Thamar Mericus, and Aaliyah Jimenez, the scene follows a girl’s soccer team warming up for their game. They squabble about periods, pregnancy, and genocides. In a plot twist to bring the scene to a spectacular close, it is revealed that one of their team members had an abortion. Huber says, “It was chaotic and most practices I didn’t even have the whole cast. But when I did it was incredible. Seeing the nuances they had and the minor interactions was incredible. It was extremely gratifying getting to see them all become more comfortable on stage and with each other.”

Michael Faherty and Lola Duhov perform in Senior Scenes 2023. (Chloe Naudet)

In a clear audience favorite and the last scene of the night, Max Guttman directed a scene from “The Bald Soprano,” an absurd play written by Eugene Ionesco conveying how nonsensical mundane life can be. The scene follows Mr. and Mrs. Martin, a married couple, who suddenly forget how they know each other. Guttman explains that he and fellow director Pierce Colfer were meant to perform in “The Bald Soprano” their freshman year of high school, but the production was shut down due to COVID-19. To commemorate their lost show, Guttman decided to make the play his senior scene. “I couldn’t be more proud of my cast and everyone involved in senior scenes this year. I have been waiting 4 years for this moment.” An unforeseen makeout scene by Michael Faherty and Lola Duhov followed by Kate Morton’s iconic Sherlock Holmes line at the end of the scene had the audience rolling in laughter. The Strawberry Hill Players truly did save the best for last.