Setting the Stage for Excellence

Drama And Theatrical Arts

Drama And Theatrical Arts Headlines

 Rehearsals are complete for Seussical at Huntington. (Darin Reed photo)
March 24, 2023

HHS Drama Club Presents Seussical this Weekend

The curtain will go up three times this weekend for the Huntington High School drama club’s production of the delightful musical, “Seussical.”

 Seussical
December 10, 2022

HHS Drama Club to Stage Seussical the Musical

The Huntington High School drama club is gearing up for its spring show. The curtain will go up for three performances of the “Seussical the Musical” on Friday and Saturday, March 24-25 in the high school auditorium. The production promises fun for the whole family.

 Almost Maine cast
November 10, 2022

Drama Club’s Fall Show is a Smash Hit

Last weekend’s Huntington High School drama club production of “Almost, Maine” was a success by just about any measure. The show brought audiences to its feet and it left the actors and stagehands feeling exhilarated.

 Almost Maine scene
November 4, 2022

HHS Drama Club Presents Almost Maine on Friday & Saturday

Auditions for the Huntington High School drama club’s fall production of “Almost, Maine” will be held on Tuesday-Thursday, September 13-15 at 2:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The audition is open to all students in the school.


Drama And Theatrical Arts Information

About the Drama And Theatrical Arts Program

Almost Maine

A Part of Huntington Since 1928

“The Masque,” as Huntington’s drama club was known for many years, was first organized in the fall of 1928. “The original purpose of this organization was to develop individual talent in expression and artistic ability,” according to the 1931 edition of The Huntingtonian, the high school yearbook.

The early club was led by teacher Julia E. Vail, a graduate of Ithaca Conservatory. In addition to the study and practice of acting, Miss Vail held discussions on music, the art of make-up, book reviews and the merits of European and American theatres.

Early Critical Acclaim

In 1929, months after being formed, the club invited the community to a three act comedy called “The Youngest.” At the time, the club had a policy of presenting a single play a year. In 1930 the production was the fantasy “Prunella.” “Both of these plays were received by the students and the townspeople with acclaim,” states the 1931 yearbook.

The Masque’s symbol was “an Oriental face cut into the semblance of a charm with the letters HHS across the top,” according to The Huntingtonian. Students qualified for the charm by participating in a play production or selling at least a dozen tickets to one.

Almost Maine
 Almost Maine

Masque to Thespians to Drama Club

After the old high school building on Main Street closed and the new one opened at the intersection of Oakwood and McKay roads, the club name Masque disappeared and was replaced by simply Thespian. Eventually, the leading performers were nominated for membership in the National Thespian Society, the honor group for drama participants. The top Thespians teamed up with other students to stage their own production each spring and they supervised the annual Play Festival, which continues to this day.

The Masque of yesteryear is now simply known as the drama club. It stages a pair of productions each year, including a musical. There are still plenty of students eager to challenge and express themselves as each role requires.

Drama And Theatrical Arts Leadership

Michael Schwendemann

Michael Schwendemann

Drama Club Faculty Advisor

A graduate of John Adams High School in Ozone Park, Queens, Michael Schwendemann, or “Schwendy” as most students know him, earned a BA at CUNY-Queens College in communication arts and sciences and drama, theatre and dance. He obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama.

Mr. Schwendemann worked as an adjunct faculty member at Long Island University-C.W. Post College in the department of theatre, dance and film from 1996 to 2001. He was in Huntington during parts of 2001-2003 performing outreach for the National Shakespeare Company, but he never envisioned himself as a Huntington teacher.

“It was luck that landed me at Huntington High School,” Mr. Schwendemann said. “I was actually offered a job at Bay Shore High School, where I was student teaching, but the teacher I was to replace changed his mind about leaving. Nina Wolfe, the chair of the English department felt terrible and secured me an interview at Huntington. The rest, as they say, is history!”

Mr. Schwendemann began working full-time at Huntington High School in January 2003 and quickly became a student favorite. He has taught freshmen English along with the elective classes Holocaust in Literature, Bible as Literature, Multicultural Literature, Public Speaking and Theatre Arts.

“I can’t imagine teaching any place else,” Mr. Schwendemann said. “From day one I was accepted into the high school community. I love my colleagues and most of all the kids. Some days they make it hard to love them, but that passes quickly. The support I have received from all parts of the administration is unparalleled.”

Mr. Schwendemann has graced the stages of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, where he worked with Michael Emerson and Norbert Leo Butz, the Roundabout Theatre Company, The Folger Shakespeare Library Theatre with Allison Fraser, The Fringe Festival, Genesis Repertory Theatre and The New York City Opera. He is currently a member of the Airmid Theatre Company with whom he recently performed two shows of Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” starring Margaret Colin at the newly renovated Suffolk Theatre in Riverhead.

As the faculty advisor to Huntington’s Class of 2006 and Class of 2010, Mr. Schwendemann maintains fond memories of those particular groups of graduates.

The drama club continues to energize the veteran educator. “The club has given me more happy memories than I can count,” Mr. Schwendemann said.

Course Offerings and Listings

Huntington HS

Drama And Theatrical Arts Scope and Sequence

Year by Year course offerings

Sophomore year

Courses

  • Choose 1 Course from Below
  • THEATRE ARTS B: Play in Performance
Junior year

Courses

  • Choose 1 Course from Below
  • THEATRE ARTS B: Play in Performance
Senior year

Courses

  • Choose 1 Course from Below
  • THEATRE ARTS B: Play in Performance
  • THEATRE ARTS A: Modern Drama

THEATRE ARTS B: PLAY IN PERFORMANCE – Seminar or Elective - Course #176-B (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Offered to grades: 10, 11, 12 NOTE: This course may be taken only once. Students in grades 10, 11, 12 may take this course as an elective. This course develops students’ skills in theatrical performance. Through improvisation and scene work as well as study of theory and utilization of games and exercises, students explore their potentials as actors, gain poise and selfawareness. Students must keep an Actor’s Journal. Students will take children’s theatre scripts off the page and onto the stage. A final project will require students to perform within the school district a play complete with costume, lighting, set and sound design. The creation of a study guide for intermediate and middle school teachers is also required.

THEATRE ARTS A: MODERN DRAMA - Seminar - Course #176 (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 Modern Drama explores drama written in the 20th and 21st centuries by major European and American playwrights. Through close reading of the plays, students are brought to an awareness of major schools of dramatic writing such as naturalism, expressionism, and the theatre of the absurd. The course aims to use the plays as a vehicle for the examination of the manor issues of philosophical thought as expressed in the drama. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. A research paper is required.

Middle School Program Information Coming Soon

Intermediate School Program Information Coming Soon!

Drama And Theatrical Arts Videos and Galleries

HHS National Honor Society Induction Ceremony 2021

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HHS National Honor Society Induction Ceremony 2021

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam.

Drama Club Galleries and Slideshows

Fall and Spring Productions

Location image

'Almost Maine' Fall Production

November 2 2022

View Slideshow

Drama Department Honors

Information Coming Soon

200+

Challenging Academic Courses

14

Academic Departments

30+

Interscholastic Athletic Teams

90+

Colleges and Universities accepting 2020 HHS Graduates