A co-educational private school for Preschool–Grade Eight

Far Hills Youngest Hits Broadway Stage

This week's #FeatureFriday highlights Preschool student Charlotte Surak. Charlotte made her Broadway debut as Lulu in Waitress on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. Charlotte was in a total of 21 shows, with her run coinciding with Jennifer Nettles in the lead role of Jenna, whose daughter she played. 

Charlotte Surak and Jennifer Nettles

Charlotte and Jennifer Nettles

During Charlotte’s Broadway run, she maintained her regular school/activities schedule for the most part. So on an average weekday that she had a show, she would go to school, come home and take a nap, do whatever after-school activities their family had, eat dinner, and then she and her mom Pam would drive into the city. Because she is so young and her part was at the end of the show, her call time was an hour into the show time, so they’d arrive there either at 8 p.m. or at 9 p.m. for the weekend shows. Upon arrival, they’d sign in and go up to her dressing room, where they’d get her dressed and mic-ed up. Then during intermission, she would go down to the hair room to get her signature pigtails done. Then they would hang out until her cue. When they heard her cue on the speakers, they’d head down to the basement and wait for one of the Stage Managers to come to take her up to the wings to go on stage! After the show, they’d head home, usually getting home between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m., depending on the night. On the weekends, she’d usually have a double show day one of the two weekend days. So she’d be on for the matinee and the evening show. On those days, they would go to a hotel in between shows for a nap and a good Shake Shack dinner before heading back to the theater for round 2. YUM!

Charlotte Surak Getting Ready to Hit the Stage

Charlotte With Two Thumbs Up Backstage 

 

Charlotte Surak Getting Ready to Hit the Stage

Charlotte Surak Getting Ready to Hit the Stage 

Fun fact—Charlotte recorded her final self-tape submission for the role on her 4th birthday and started just a week later! She had a little less than a week of rehearsals before her run started. 

Throughout the duration of her time on stage, many members of the Far Hills community went to cheer on Charlotte. 

Interim Director of Lower School Pat Barry, Events Coordinator Eileen Gross Pose With Charlotte

Interim Director of Lower School Pat Barry and Events Coordinator Eileen Gross Pose With Charlotte Surak After a Show

 

 

Lower School Music Teacher Amy Burns, her Daughter Mikayla, and Charlotte Surak

Lower School Music Teacher Amy Burns, her Daughter Mikayla, and Charlotte Surak

 

Director of Engagement and Philanthropy Linda Corcoran, Zach Surak, Nate Surak, and Charlotte Surak

Director of Engagement and Philanthropy Linda Corcoran, Zachary Surak, Nate Surak, and Charlotte Surak 

 

Josephine and Tim Isgro with Charlotte Surak

Josephine and Tim Isgro with Charlotte Surak 

 

Former Parent Julie Jaster de Garcia, Current Parent Suzanne Kane, Pam Surak, and Charlotte Surak

Former Parent Julie Jaster de Garcia, Current Parent Suzanne Kane, Pam Surak, and Charlotte Surak 

 

The Surak Family

The Surak Family 

When asked what the support of Far Hills meant to them, Pam Surak said, “The support from our FH family meant everything during this special time, as it does during all of those big moments in life. Her teachers and administrators worked with us to adjust her schedule when need be to make sure she was at her best both on stage and in the classroom. Her teachers celebrated her accomplishments in the classroom by allowing her to share stories and photos with her friends (as did Nate’s!). And, of course, so many folks came out to see her shine on stage and celebrate her afterward at the stage door. We certainly felt the love from our FH family, and we are incredibly grateful!”

Charlotte’s favorite part of being in Waitress was “singing and dancing on stage and getting to perform with Jenna Mom!” One of her favorite pastimes backstage was getting to sing along with all of the songs through the speaker in her dressing room. She posted various videos to her Instagram, and the cast got a big kick out of it. The most recent is in her reels and currently has nearly 3,500 views! Her favorite songs are “I Love you Like a Table” and “She Used to be Mine.” Her mom said, “I think she’d say her favorite memories were the curtain calls on her opening and closing nights when Sara Bareilles came out to congratulate her. Special highlights were the sunflowers she received and Erich Bergen lifting her up to the top of the cast huddle on that final night!”

Sara Bareilles Congratulating Charlotte Surak on Her Final Night

Sara Bareilles Congratulating Charlotte Surak on Her Final Night

 

Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Nettles, Charlotte Surak, and Nik Dodani

Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Nettles, Charlotte Surak, and Nik Dodani

 

Charlotte Surak Being Lifted Up On Her Last Night

Charlotte Surak Being Lifted Up To The Top Of The Cast Huddle On Her Final Night 

 

Charlotte took her final Waitress bow on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. We are so proud of Charlotte and this tremendous accomplishment, and we can’t wait to see her shine on future stages.