ShareThis Page

Parent volunteers share unique skills to add to success of Pine-Richland Middle School musical

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:33 p.m.
Rachel Farkas | Pine Creek Journal
Parent volunteers Laura Bogacz and Sabrina George attach an over-size piece of flatware to seventh-grader Devyn McLaughlin’s back in preparation for the Pine-Richland Middle School Drama Club’s final performance of “Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR.”
Rachel Farkas | Pine Creek Journal
Musical co-director Noreen Daniello gives eighth-grader Michael McNamara, playing Gaston, some last-minute direction before the Pine-Richland Middle School Drama Club’s final performance of “Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR.” on May 1.

Behind the talented young performers of the Pine-Richland Middle School Drama Club stands an army of parent volunteers who help ensure their production goes off without a hitch.

The club's spring musical production of “Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR.,” the largest production the middle school group has ever put together, called for dozens of parents to lend their professional and personal expertise in the areas of set design, costuming, props and choreography.

“When the kids were interested in doing this, I was all for it,” said Chris Martin, father of two and catch-all prop guy for the show. “This has been very time-consuming, but it's fun. The kids are so fun to watch.”

Martin's son, Jack, and daughter, Paige, are on the stage crew and take after their father who spent 10 years in film doing makeup effects, puppetry and mechanical props. He said when work in the film industry would get slow, he would take prop jobs with local theater companies, so it was a natural transition to help with the middle school production.

Parent volunteer and co-director Noreen Daniello used her background in musical theater to block and choreograph the production. Prior to becoming a mother of four, she performed in professional and semiprofessional musical-theater shows, and also directed shows at the high school and middle school levels.

This was her first time directing a show after a 10-year hiatus, but, she said, it all came back quickly.

“It's second nature, and when you have a passion, it's really freeing,” said Daniello, whose son, Seamus, played Cogsworth. “It's just enjoyable to be able to share that passion with the kids.”

Sewing also is second nature to volunteer Sabrina George, who learned the skill from her mother as a little girl. George, whose daughter, Abigail, performed in the ensemble, created many of the costumes for the musical, including four teacup costumes that each took between six and eight hours to create.

It was a challenge to create a costume that would hold the round bulbous shape of a teacup but still be easy for the girls to dance and move around in, she said. The final product came together with a white bed sheet, drapery panel, a hoop and a foam pool noodle.

“When you're sewing at home, you're usually following a pattern, but when you're doing costumes, there is no pattern,” George said. “It's just trial and error.”

The parent volunteers say they love the opportunity to express their creativity just as much as the kids do, but even more, they love watching their children take over the show and make it their own.

“When the show runs, it's running on kid power,” Martin said.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.