Freaky Friday Is Coming to Pawling

After weeks and weeks of rehearsals, two road trips to share performances with neighboring schools, and a lot of late night pizza, the Pawling High School Thespian Society is proud to announce the local premiere of the popular stage musical Freaky Friday.

As with last year’s gala presentation of Anything Goes, the 2019 theatrical production is a prodigious effort marshaling the talents of scores of students (on stage and back stage), teachers, advisors, and professional musicians to round out the orchestra.

Student lead actors include seniors Gianna Torres, Cara Leahy, and Jared Hollander; junior Jacob Voudren; and Michael Leahy, a student at Pawling Middle School. Alison Clisby, a junior, is student costume coordinator. Sophomore Lauren Tocci is assistant stage manager.

Teachers supporting the production include Stacy Dumont, Director; Hannah Geiling, Musical Director; and Gillian Rinaldo, Choreographer. Brian Ostyn’s Art Club participated in set painting. Three PHS teachers will be alternating in playing a role for each performance, and student musicians will play alongside professionals in the pit band. Greg Chadwick and recently retired art teacher Phyllis Chadwick are providing technical direction.

The zany tale at the center of Freaky Friday revolves around overworked, single mother, Katherine Blake, and her willful sixteen-year-old daughter, Ellie Blake (roles famously played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in the 2003 hit movie adaptation); Fletcher, Ellie’s younger brother; and Katherine’s fiancé, Mike. As the story gains momentum, mother-daughter tensions mix with a little mischievous magic leading to high drama and very high comedy.

Last fall, as Dumont and Geiling considered options for the year’s stage show, Freaky Friday, based on the 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers, beat out three other plays, in part because of the 2016 Disney musical remake and the accompanying 2018 Disney Channel television movie. Says Dumont: “We thought Disney’s Freaky Friday would be a good choice for this year because it was brand new and very current, and the script also featured two lead actors and lots of fun ensemble roles. The music was a good match for our instrumentalists and singers. Freaky Friday also has name recognition for parents, grandparents, and students alike.”

Freaky Friday is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). Performances will take place at Pawling High School Auditorium, 30 Wagner Road, Pawling, on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, starting at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, starting at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission; $10 for students and seniors.

Director Dumont encourages wide support for this ambitious theatrical event. “This is a dedicated and enthusiastic group of performers and crew members,” she says. “The best gift that a community can give budding artists is a large audience!

Julia Clemmons, a sophomore at Pawling High School, is Stage Manager for the PHS production of Freaky Friday.