‘The Hunchback’ to roam Parkland’s stage
Parkland thespians will perform “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” April 12-15 at the high school.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” tells the story of deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo, the son of Jehan Frollo, who was raised by his uncle, Dom Claude Frollo, the arch deacon of Notre Dame in 15th century Paris.
This two-act musical is based on Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel.
Reese Diaz, who portrays Quasimodo, and Alex Atiyeh, who plays Dom Claude Frollo, commented on their characters.
Diaz said Quasimodo was raised in the bell tower of Notre Dame, where he became deaf from the loud bells.
“Quasimodo’s only friends are the gargoyles he imagines in his mind, until he meets Esmeralda, with whom he quickly falls in love,” Diaz said. “Although his appearance isn’t exactly ‘normal,’ Quasimodo is the most caring, loving and compassionate person. He is by no means a monster.”
Diaz said this role has been the most challenging for him so far.
“Throughout the whole process I have been pushed physically, vocally and emotionally. It has been the greatest experience ever,” he said.
Diaz said the show is absolutely beautiful and he feels so lucky to be working with such an incredible and talented cast to tell this heartbreaking, truthful and gorgeous story.
Atiyeh said his character promised to look after his brother’s son.
“He is very religious and strict with his ways and struggles with lust vs faith,” Atiyeh stated.
“It has beautiful themes and life lessons throughout the show.
“The music is such a bump too, and it keeps me in my character.”
Kayleigh Scott, who plays Esmeralda, commented on her character.
“Esmeralda is a strong and independent character who sees beauty in the world around her,” Scott said.
Scott said she likes how even though Esmeralda is looked down upon, she does what she believes is right and stands up for what she believes in.
“I like the message the musical brings to the audience,” Scott said.
“Even though the world can be cruel there are people who can bring kindness into it.
“And of course sharing the stage with my friends and being under the guidance of such amazing directors.”
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is being directed by high school music teacher Frank Anonia and choreographed by Kelly Jean Graham.
Anonia said he chose “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” because the vocal demands and difficulty of the score would allow the students to grow as musicians and singers.
“Hunchback is unique in that it features two different choral ensembles,” he said.
“The first ensemble, the choir, will be a 40-voice ensemble that will be situated within the set for the entire production.”
Anonia said the other main ensemble, the Congregation, is a group of storytellers who help to narrate the musical.
“The show is presented in an operatic fashion with very little dialogue throughout the show,” Anonia said.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will be performed 7:30 p.m. from April 12-14 and 3 p.m. April 15 in the auditorium at the high school, 2700 N. Cedar Crest Blvd., South Whitehall.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.
They will be available for purchase at the door.
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to parkland.org.