Theatre Students Perform at Borough Tree Lighting

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on December 17, 2019, No Comments

Students from East Stroudsburg University’s theatre department shared their talents with the community during the East Stroudsburg borough tree lighting December 6 at the Dansbury Depot.

In addition to the tree lighting by borough mayor Armand Martinelli, the two-hour event, sponsored by the East Stroudsburg Community Alliance, featured refreshments, live music, and a chance to visit Santa.

ESU’s Musical Theatre Organization (MTO) was one of several musical groups to perform at the event. “We were happy to join all the other performers,” said Deijah Faulkner, vice president of MTO.

Faulkner, a sophomore majoring in theatre from Bay Shore, N.Y., explained that the group picked songs to create their own spin on Christmas, which included a Christmas version of ‘Let it Go” from the movie Frozen called ‘Let it Snow.’

Members of the Stage Make Up class, taught by Margaret Ball, D.M.A., professor of theatre and department chair, painted faces for children at the event. “Some of the popular requests were snowflakes, candy canes, and cats,” said Ming Li Goldston, a senior from East Stroudsburg majoring in English and theatre. “We also painted reindeer and lizards. One girl asked for a string of Christmas lights.” Eight members of the class participated and each painted the faces of more than 20 children.

Emily McDermott, a junior majoring in theatre from Philadelphia, Pa., coordinated the costumed characters, a reindeer and a nutcracker, for the event. “My twin sister Allison came along for moral support, and we convinced her to wear one of the costumes,” she said. Allison is a junior majoring in mid-level education.

“Kids might have been tired or cold when they came into the Depot, but their eyes lit up when they saw the characters,” McDermott said. “Some kids asked me if it was okay to touch the characters, and when I said ‘yes’, they ran into their arms for a hug. It was so sweet to watch them.”

“We are very grateful to Dr. Ball and her students,” said Debbie Kuchinski, a member of the East Stroudsburg Community Alliance Board of Directors. “They did an outstanding job.”

“The students had a great time performing and applying the skills and techniques that they learn in the classroom in a real-life situation,” Ball noted. “It was rewarding as a faculty member to see the students having so much fun engaging with all the children. Our students genuinely enjoy giving back to the community through these type of service-learning projects.”