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Thursday February 1, 2018 at 3:33pm Age: 352 days
Category: Intermediate


Whether you’re a cat or dog-person, “Everybody loves a swinging cat!” Ove 60 of them, with 9 lives each, are sharpening their scales and arpeggios to open Minisink Valley’s musical theater season on the Intermediate School stage.

• TICKETS: $5.00 at

Based on Walt Disney’s animated film, “The Aristocats Kids” is a thrill ride of feline fun, with fast turns and twists, driven by eccentric and irresistible characters from Paris’s high-society, and rough alleys alike.

With a production team made up of high school students, the MVHS Drama Club produces the show for the Intermediate School, under the direction of Gary Passamonte, a third grade teacher. MVIS chorus teacher Danielle Cornacchio is music director. 

— The cast's meow...

Fifth grader Logan Barry plays Marie. “I’m really happy! This is the character I wanted to play and I got it!” Logan said. “The only thing is, Marie is sassy, and I’m not. So I have to pull that off.” Logan loves to look at her script and study her lines with her fellow cast members.

Fourth grader Simon Podgorsky plays Edgar Balthazar, the greedy butler and top antagonist. Simon found his passion and knack for acting in MVIS 2017 production of Jungle Book. Since then, he participated in 10 performances at the Forestburgh Playhouse. “I like expressing strong emotions, and putting a point across on stage,” Simon said. “And my brother is a big role model.” Simon’s older brother, Jonah, is well-known to the MVIS stage and is currently cast in the Middle School’s production of Seussical.

Fourth grader Dylan Philip plays Berlioz, the youngest of the kittens who is easily annoyed. Dylan has had no trouble learning his lines, but, true to his character, he doesn’t like "dealing with everyone talking."

— MVHS new and returning team members…

Returning choreographers Ryan Fogarty and Kayleigh Evans work closely together, even when they’re sharing about their experience. “No group of kids is the same, and this cast has a lot of energy,” Kaleigh “That’s what’s most unique about this show: the kids are having a lot of fun doing it,” Ryan chimed in. “That’s all we ask for.” Both are mindful of the leadership opportunities the Drama Club has afforded them over the years. “We were here once, on this stage,” Ryan said. “In this role, we have a sense of leading and ensuring the continuity for the program.”

First-time student director, Katie Scialabba, was a choreographer last year. Her sister was the first to suggest she challenged herself with the director’s role. “Working with the kids has been a lot easier than I expected. They are fast learners, and I’m learning a lot about communicating with children.” Katie said. Last seen on the high school stage in “Almost Maine,” Katie can already see how this experience will make her an even better actress. “I’m learning a lot about blocking, for instance. It’s all very helpful.”

Fellow director and actress Diana Nyberg, a senior, found something unexpected in her new role: a college major and career path in elementary education. Make that a double major: education and theater.

Returning student co-director Brandon Bell, also a senior and seasoned actor, will be pursuing an unrelated path, in international relations. Still, he is enthusiastic about inspiring younger students and contributing to the future of Minisink’s drama programs. 

Support our student actors and producers! Support theater and the arts in Minisink! Bring the family out for an entertaining evening, and go home singing, “Everybody wants to be a cat.”