High school performs ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’

Photo courtesy Kim Elzinga

By Kim Elzinga
Special to The PREVIEW
Don’t miss the Pagosa Springs High School’s (PSHS) spring production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel, which runs tonight, March 22, through Saturday at 7 p.m. in the PSHS auditorium.
The 43-member cast of high school students will perform the story of Quasimodo, a deformed bell ringer who must assert his independence from a vicious government minister in order to help his friend, a gypsy dancer.
“Even though the original story is fraught with dark and disturbing ideas, the overall theme is full of redemption. It teaches us that we need to treat every person like a human being, no matter how different they are,” said Boni McIntyre, director of this year’s production.
“The story is set in 1482, but in many ways reflects life in our own world today. It speaks to the world we live in now,” she said.
Although the storyline may be dark, the production has plenty of spunk — filled with lots of drama, music, dance and even a bit of stage fighting. The production’s costumes, designed by Nanette Cheffers, capture the colorful spirit of 15th century Paris.
PSHS Music Director Dan Burch, accompanied by pianist Venita Burch, brings out the best in the lively musical score, written by Alan Menken with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
Others involved in directing the show include PSHS students Ahia Kaeser as assistant director, Jeremy Medina as stage manager and Sally Neel as a rehearsal accompanist.
PSHS students who make up the cast include Kaya Knox (Esmeralda), Hunter Swinehart (Father Dupin), Tate Hinger (Frederick), Marissa Medina (Frolika), Alex Foster (Frollo), Hunter Smith (Jehan), Keanan Anderson (King Louis), Antonia Bussoli (Madame), Brayden Shulda (Phoebus), Adrian Roque (Quasimodo), Sydney Mitchell (St. Aphrodisius) and Miles Roque (Clopin).
The congregants at Notre Dame, who narrate the story throughout the play, include Sophia Raymond, Kayla Nasralla, Hayden Kiker, Emma Happ, Ethan Mazur, Ella Blechman, Anika Thomas, Grace Thompson, Ella Hemenger and Elsa Lindner.
Members of the choir include Crystal Jaramillo, Jasmine Dixon, Dallas Stephenson, Maya Nasralla, Elizabeth Thomas, Grace Thomas, Izzy Mijares, Maddie Peart, Stella Schuchart, Laura Delgado, Sarah Ross, Alex Rountree, Liberty Bonin, Nina Smith, Emma Heidelmeier, Daily Valdez, Diana Scott, Colton Castro, Dalton Lucero and Trevor Bryant.
Local musicians from the community band comprise the full pit orchestra.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame runs tonight, March 22, through Saturday, March 24. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with curtain at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

This story was posted on March 22, 2018.