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Performing Arts – QNS.com

Performing Arts

Christ the King Regional High School is introducing its students to the many aspects of the performing arts through an increased amount of programs and resources as it increases its presence as a performing arts school.
Among the ways that students can take part in the performing arts at Christ the King are through a musical theatre group, band, chorus, theatre arts class, broadcasting class and club, film media studies, and dance classes. A few hundred students are active in these programs.
The musical theatre group is co-directed by teachers John Bellington, Heather Arzberger, Edwin Finan and Frank Debiase. Bellington explained that the current version of the group has been around for three years, when the principal at the time saw the work that was being done and encouraged it.
“They’re talking about expanding the program every year,” Bellington said. “The school has been very, very supportive of it since we started.”
The musical theatre group now puts on a musical and musical review each year. In past years, they musicals they have done were “Godspell” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” This year, they will put on “Into the Woods” in April.
Arzberger said that Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” is a challenging show and that most high schools won’t try to do a show as difficult as this one is. However, they were confident that the students could handle the production.
The bands and choruses are also involved in several performances each year. The concert band also acts as a pep band, performing at some of the school’s sporting events.
The newly formed dance program, with classes led by instructor Cara Nicole that have about 80 students, will perform in an international dance show and talent show. Christ the King will also be offering dance classes for adults through their continuing education program.
Christ the King has its own studio where students produce weekly television broadcasts.
Senior Kanberly Hernandez joined the dance class in September because she likes dancing, although she had never taken any classes previously. She said that she has learned Tango and swing.
“I love it,” she said of the class. “It’s more exciting than taking gym.”
Fellow senior David Gallardo also signed up for the classes because of an interest in dance. Gallardo, who takes Salsa classes, said the class provides more culture and that it has helped him learn to dance in a group.
The co-directors of the musical theatre group said that there are many ways the students benefit from participating in performing arts. They include developing a strong work ethic, sense of community, responsibility and learning about team work. Arzberger said they also get a “real world education about the ins and outs of theatre.”
“You tend to draw a different type of kid to performing arts,” Debiase said. “It’s amazing to watch them blossom from the day they come in and do their little monologue or their little audition for you to seeing them up on stage. It’s a wonderful transformation.”
Finan said, “The people in the play really do become family. It’s amazing. Watching the kids just form a bond with each other is absolutely incredible.”
Performances of “Into the Woods” will take place at the school’s Hugh P. Kirwan Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4, Saturday, April 5, Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 6 and Sunday, April 13.
Christ the King Regional High School is located at 68-02 Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village. For more information, visit www.ctkrhs.org or call 718-366-7400.

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