PHOTOS: Trumbull High Thespians prepare for opening night of 'Hello, Dolly!'

Before the curtain goes up Thursday on Trumbull High School’s production of Hello, Dolly!, cast and crew were busy undergoing what they call “tech week.”

Sprawling hand-painted sets, lighting, and detailed costumes, paired with the music, dance and comedic timing that make Hello, Dolly! a Broadway classic, were being perfected on and around the high school stage this week.

The spring production runs all this weekend.

About 120 Trumbull High School Thespians have been hard at work since December to bring the large-scale production to life.
“The music is fun, the characters are likable and there are some lovely moments,” said junior Zac Gottschall, who plays lead character Horace Vandergelder. “It’s just a very entertaining show.”

Co-star and fellow junior Alex Luft, who plays Dolly Levi, agrees.

“There is a lot of comedic scenes and some nonsensical moments, and it all comes together and makes it really fun,” Luft said.
Last spring, the Thespians put on Rent: School Edition, despite initial controversy and cancellation by school administration. The Thespians, parents and community made an organized push that succeeded in reversing the administration’s decision. Director and Trumbull High English department Chair Jessica Spillane said the theater program aims to offer a vibrant mix of productions, from contemporary to classic.

“There is so much that anyone can do, whether they are on stage dancing, singing, acting or backstage helping with costumes or props,” senior Nathan Clift, who plays Stanley, said.

Senior Jess Rende is one of many working off the stage. She is in charge of lighting for the production, something she started doing her sophomore year.

“You really want the lighting to follow the script and help set the mood,” Rende said.

Lighting and theater design has become a passion for Jess, who will be attending Penn State next year, to be part of the theater program, studying design and technology.

Many seniors who are part of this production said it will be a bittersweet feeling once the final curtain comes down this week. The camaraderie among cast and crew is obvious. On Sunday, many will be feeling what they call “post show depression.”

“You know it’s going to be your last show and it’s hard to imagine not doing it next year,” said senior Tina Deucia. “You are looking forward to the show but you are not looking forward to Sunday.”

Tickets are now on sale for Trumbull High School’s Spring Musical: Hello, Dolly! Performances are Thursday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 27, and Saturday, March 28, at 8 p.m, and Sunday, March 29, at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at for $15-$17.