BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield High School will present its eighth annual spring production tomorrow night and Saturday afternoon in its auditorium. The title of the show is “IN THIS MOMENT” and like previous spring offerings by the BHS Thespian Society, it is a coming-of-age amalgam of song, dance, scene and poetry.
The producer and supervising director is theater instructor Brandon Doemling. But as in the past, Doemling allows the students to create the show themselves.
“This one focuses on moving on from high school,” he said earlier this week in a telephone interview. “There are a couple of relationships, but they’re more incidental.”
One of the characters, he said, wants to be an artist to the disapproval of her parents. She sings the song “Santa Fe,” from “Newsies.”
Another story line is about someone who wants to prepare for college and part of that includes abandoning her friends. A boy/girl relationship is another interaction with the boy not wanting to be his girlfriend’s sounding board anymore.
“In the past, there’s been no story line, but there’s more this year,” Doemling said. “This is also the first time we have characters running through the show — characters interacting with other characters.”
Another song, “Wonders of the Younger,” by the group Plain White T, is also heard.
“It’s a song about things that aren’t part of your life anymore,” Doemling said. “The show pretty much focuses on the senior-year experience.”
Another first for the spring production is that the actors are all using body microphones. In the seven previous spring shows, a standing microphone was used.
“It used to be more like a concert,” Doemling said. “A theatrical concert. They would walk up to it. But now there’s more freedom of movement. It seems more like an environment.”
The microphones were a small result from $15,000 in funding provided by the Bloomfield School District budget. Doemling has rejected the pressure of doing popular shows at the expense of a learning experience for his students. But with the funding, he was able to hire people and buy costumes.
“The BOE has noticed we’re doing good work,” he said. “My biggest relief is not worrying about the box office. No institutional theater should have to worry about that.”
The high school puts on three shows a year, a play in the fall, a musical in the winter and the springtime production. The BHS fall production of “Julius Caesar” has been nominated for five Montclair State University 2019 Theatre Night Awards, to be announced Monday, May 20, at MSU. Among his graduating seniors, Doemling said Nick Perez was either cast or crewed in 10 productions. Katherine Heyman was cast in nine shows.
“IN THIS MOMENT” will be presented Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 18, at 2 and 7 p.m. in the BHS auditorium.
It is directed by Jordan Julien and compiled by Jordan Julien and Darolyn Norman, all Class of 2019.
Vocal direction is by Michelle Digaetano, choreography by Julia Aiello. An admission fee will be charged.