A co-educational private school for Preschool–Grade Eight

Theater is Back at FHCDS!

Written by Maedean Kramer and Kathryn Brower

“Consider yourself at home,
Consider yourself part of the furniture
We’ve taken to you so strong
It’s clear, we’re going to get along!”

These words from Lionel Bart’s Oliver! couldn’t be more perfect to describe the magic that happens in our beautiful Performing Arts Center. The excitement is palpable as we return to live theater and our first production since March of 2020. Never before have we, as theatergoers and creators, been in the same position as professional performers worldwide. We are sharing the collective excitement in coming back to the theater that every troupe and company is sharing right now, at this moment. Lin Manuel Miranda said it best: “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”

Kathryn Brower with actor

Pictured is Mrs. Kathryn Brower helping a student get into character.

Sixteen students from the Kestrel House (Grades 5 and 6) have been rehearsing after school on Mondays and Tuesdays for the past seven weeks under the direction of Mrs. Brower and Mrs. Kramer. The ensemble includes veteran performers and a few students who have never been in a play before. Imagine, after having no theater experience, the bravery it takes to get up on a stage for the first time and perform for your peers! Musical theater at Far Hills provides our students with an opportunity to gain self-confidence, safely step outside their comfort zone and perhaps discover a new talent while working together with their peers to create a memorable production. The stage is another classroom where our students learn life-long skills: problem-solving, the ability to adapt and react, personal responsibility, teamwork, resilience, and leadership. 

We hope that when you see our 16 players and two incredible seventh-grade stage crew members on stage, you will get to join in their excitement and enjoyment for being a part of a production. You will see all of the little details in our scenery, props, and costumes. You will hear their voices, singing the words of Lionel Bart and reciting the lines from an old English piece of literature called Oliver Twist. You will understand our process of casting and performing, which is referred to as ‘blind casting.’ Blind casting means that just because in every other performance of Oliver!, the role of Fagin has been played by an older man, doesn’t mean that we do the same thing. In fact, we did something really interesting and different: we decided to have a young lady play Fagin in our production. We also use something called ‘dual casting,’ which means that most of our actors play multiple characters throughout the show. Want a hint at how to figure out who is who? Pay attention to the hats the actors are wearing. If someone has a top hat in one scene and a page boy hat in the next, they portray more than one character. Also, keep your eyes out for some exciting faculty cameos on stage!

Maedean Kramer

Pictured is Mrs. Maedean Kramer directing a student musical number during a performance at Far Hills Country Day School.

What we really hope you—our community—gain from coming to our shows is that theater is for everyone. Far Hills Country Day School students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 are afforded the opportunity to be involved in the production of our shows from page to stage. There is a place for every student who wishes to participate. We will present three productions in a school year: Kestrel House in the fall, Peregrine House (Grades 7-8) in the winter, and the Lower School (Grades K-4) in the spring. Our state-of-the-art facility, combined with an incredibly talented and dedicated student body, allows us to present high-quality productions that instill a lifelong passion for the arts in our students. We can’t wait to perform for you, and we hope it makes you want to join us in the next production!

Performances of Oliver! Jr.:
Thursday, November 11, 2:30 p.m.: Musical selections for Kindergarten through Grade 3 students
Friday, November 12, 1:30 p.m.: Entire performance for Grades 4 through 8 students
Friday, November 12, 7 p.m.: Entire performance for our friends and families