West Orange alumnus stars in George St. Playhouse production

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange High School Class of 2012 graduate Joe Piserchio is currently starring in the George St. Playhouse production of “Austin the Unstoppable,” an original musical written by Barry Wyner with music by Daniel Israel.

The show, featuring four characters including Piserchio, focuses on addressing healthy eating and is currently on tour in schools across New Jersey. Other featured actors include Christina Comizio, Evan Hart and Rachelle Legrand; the tour manager is Erica Leigh.

Gregory Elementary School teacher Teri Bonagura won a raffle at the NJEA Convention in November, and the prize was a presentation of “Austin the Unstoppable,” presented on Dec. 15 much to the delight of fourth-grade students.

The catchy tunes and humorous script brought laughter and cheers from the students, who learned about the effects of bad diet and sedentary lifestyles. A question-and-answer period ended the program.

Piserchio is no stranger to acting. He made his “debut” in the Edison Central Sixth Production of “Guys and Dolls” in 2007. He continued in musicals at Roosevelt and West Orange High School.

“My years at West Orange High School helped me decide that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life,” Piserchio said. “At WOHS I was able to be a part of so many shows, really immerse myself in the art and figure out that I don’t really know how/want to do anything else.”

Piserchio graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016 with a bachelor of arts and a concentration in musical theater. Since then he has been involved in the New Jersey-based theater company Breaking Through the Box, where he also serves on the staff and executive board. He has enjoyed working with the George St. Playhouse and hopes to continue projects with them after his contract ends in April.

Piserchio’s older sister, Gina, graduated from West Orange High School in 2009 and works as a medical technician. His twin, Anthony, is an officer with the West Orange Police Department.

“I have the most incredible support system in the world with my family, friends, West Orange, and all those who have taught me this great art and continue to support me,” Piserchio said.

Photos Courtesy of WOSD