Before a fire tore through the auditorium Sunday morning, causing terrible damage, the musical theater department of Elizabeth Forward High School had just finished constructing its set for the play of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” that will take place next month.
Communities in the immediate area have been offering assistance in the hours following the fire.
The show must go on, as they say in the entertainment industry. For the musical theater department’s students, that adage has never been more accurate. Nevertheless, the show will continue.
James Benedek, the musical director, stated that “for many of these kids, that theater is their home away from home and they just lost that.”
The Hunchback of Notre Dame musical production’s opening night was just one month away for the Elizabeth Forward High School musical theater group.
The performers and crew were in the midst of completing their set on Saturday after a 12-hour day. Offstage, the clothes were hung, and the props were prepared. Then, the unimaginable occurred: a fire engulfed the school’s auditorium. The pupils suffered a total loss.
“They picked up Latin. The Cathedral of Notre Dame is a fantastic set that they created. constructed costumes. developed dancing songs. It takes hours upon hours upon hours to complete. They did a fantastic job, but to watch it happen is absolutely heartbreaking “explained Benedek.
After the fire, locals and school systems from all around started to offer assistance, including by setting up GoFundMe accounts that had raised thousands of dollars.
“They are providing set construction help, clothes, and props. I’ve received requests from people to use their theaters for our performances, “added Benedek.
Joshua Walls, a township commissioner and proprietor of a nearby restaurant, says he wanted to help the children in any way he could after witnessing the destruction firsthand. He welcomed the group to breakfast on Monday.
Owner of Central Dog House Diner Joshua Walls said, “Anything we can do as a community, we want to join together, and if you look at these kids, you feel the energy today. “They have not given up and they have not lost. We adore that and desire to participate in it.”
“Our show’s message is about being friendly to other people. And you’ll never meet kinder children than some of these ones. And it’s lovely to observe that on a broader scale in the larger community.”
The location of the production will be discussed at a meeting on Monday night. According to Benedek, the youngsters worked too hard to stop the performance.