Playcrafters Fly with ‘Birds,’ Seniors take Final Bow


The spring play was a success as Playcrafters continues to offer students the inspiration to follow their dreams after high school.

Squawk Squawk! It’s the Playcrafters! On Saturday, March 18th, Farmingdale High School’s cast of Aristophanes’ The Birds: A Modern Adaptation, took their final bow. This was emotional for the entire cast and crew, especially the seniors, who closed out their last show in Playcrafters. The spring straight show here at the high school, unlike the musical, is straight acting with no dancing or singing. It provides a vital contrast to the usual concerts and productions put on at the high school. Under the direction of Mr. Beck and Assistant Director Kairi Knudsen, the cast and crew were able to rehearse, tech, and perform the play in under three months! The show contained determined humans, pushy sales people, greek gods, as well as a variety of contrasting birds to round out the cast. The crew consisted of hard working roles like stage manager, many backstage positions, as well as the hard-working hair and makeup crew helping bring these characters to life. There was comedy, crazy costumes, and incredible lessons and acting methods taught by Mr. Beck to help truly grasp the satirical comedy of the show. This show was performed on the stage in a thrust- which is where there are audience members on all three sides of the theater. This was a new experience for almost all of the cast and crew. The cast worked hard to interact with all sides of the audience and expand our theatre knowledge while having this new experience. Birds sold out the shows for all three performances and all involved could not be more grateful for the community support of the production. 

Playcrafters is truly the most special group. Many students who have participated in Playcrafters have stated how much this club has helped them grow and change for the better. My name is Rebecca Kenjesky and this was my final production of Playcrafters. As a senior who has performed in seven out of the eight Playcrafter shows, Playcrafters was definitely the most unique production I have had the pleasure of being a part of. Throughout my life, I have always dreamed of being in such a close, tight-knit group of people that will always have your back- I am so lucky to have found this group. The friendships, experiences, and emotions I have felt in this club have been like no other. Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to go to college for musical theatre and eventually, make a career out of this art form for myself. I am so grateful to be attending Baldwin Wallace University, a top musical theatre school, to get my BM in Musical Theatre. I can confidently say that this would have never been possible without my involvement in Playcrafters. Memories made with such special teachers like Ms. Mischke and Mr. Beck and the wonderful members of this club are simply irreplaceable and are some of the best moments I will remember forever. I will always think of the Thursday before opening night as “The Howitt Show” and hold the Playcrafter traditions so close to my heart. Getting to play so many different roles from Mrs. Potts in Beauty & The Beast, Leading Player in Pippin, Narrator in Puffs and Hawk in Birds, has truly been so rewarding and vital to the development of the performer and person I am today. Telling extremely important stories like 12 Angry Jurors, woke me up to real world issues and addressed them in such an important art form. Stories of togetherness like Pippin and Hairspray all brought joy, laughter and tears into the community, filling the theater during each performance. These are memories I can never let go. I wish all the luck to my future Playcrafters and will never forget how this club has shaped me. 

Along with the musical theatre path, many people in this club have developed interest in aspects of film and TV acting as well as a career in technical theatre from their involvement in Playcrafters. Senior Dominic Dibartolo, Playcrafters Stage Manager says, “In my freshman year I was given the opportunity of becoming stage manager of Playcrafters. One of the many important jobs of this role was being a lighting designer and technician. Throughout the years of programming and running shows, I took a great liking to becoming a lighting designer; it made me appreciate theatre even more than I already did. I made a lot of bonds with amazing people because of this role, and it has been something I have enjoyed since I was chosen.” He will be attending Rider University in the fall to major in Technical Theatre. All the playcrafters thank him for all of his hardwork and dedication to this club and wish him all the best. 

Like Dom, Eamonn McLoughlin, FHS Senior, will also be attending Rider University to major in Technical Theatre. Recently, you have seen him lead Birds, giving a stunning performance as Pithaterus. He says, “In my four years of Playcrafters, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned was I learned to open myself up. I opened myself up to new people and new ideas that changed my perspective on many things, including theatre itself. Technical theatre was one of the things that made my love for theatre grow deeper, and without Playcrafters I would be extremely lost.” The Playcrafters will miss Eamonn and his supportive energy and endless love to all. They wish him all the best! 

Joseph Magazzo, another FHS senior, will be attending Long Island University to major in Musical Theatre. Joe has participated in every single Playcrafters musical since he was a freshman. He played Flamingo in Birds, which was his first straight show. He says, “Hearing about this group and seeing their shows made me want to be a part of the group when I went into 9th grade…  I knew once it was over I would want to keep doing the musicals for the rest of my three years at the high school. What I didn’t realize was how much fun I had performing on a stage in front of others and that this could be a career that I could and would want to pursue.” Congratulations, Joe! The Playcrafters wish you the very best! 

The final Playcrafter senior majoring in theatre is Trinity Babino, who will also be attending Rider University, majoring in Acting for Film & TV. You previously have seen her as Erzulie in Once On This Island, Fastrada in Pippin, and Epops in Birds. She says “My first ever musical I did was here, and now I have to say goodbye… I want to perform with these people for the rest of my life.. Taking my final bow with all of my friends was just a moment of realization in me, in knowing we are actually growing up. Selfishly I wish we can all stay here and perform together forever.” Playcrafters wishes all of these talented seniors the best pursuing theatre and will always remember the impact they have made on this club. 

Playcrafters is a home away from home and will always stay that way. A home for the underdogs, a place to be yourself and grow with friends, and a forever family. Each and every senior in the Class of 2023 would like to thank the club advisors and everyone who has made their experiences so great. They urge you to step out of your comfort zone and join this club; you will never know where it’s going to take you.