Category: Arts

Spring Arts Events

So much going on in the Arts Department this spring!

The Spring Music Concert kicked things off in style on April 22 and 23. We had 50+ students and faculty members perform songs by Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Coldplay, music from around the world, and more. Performances featured the MacDuffie Singers, the MacDuffie Ensemble, and many other acts.

The Acting Ensemble Showcase, a series of student-written and -produced plays, took place on April 29. Plays and performers were as follows: “A Lady of Difference” (based on life of Bessie Coleman, 1st female African American pilot) – Aniis Anderson ’18; “The Dirt Caked on My Stilettos” ( based on the life of supermodel) Naomi Campbell)- Sabria Brown ’17; “Behind Every Man”- Suzy Appiah ’16; “The Streets of Wall Street” – Ian Soares ’16; “Wilted Flowers, Painted Faces” (based on the life of artist, Frida Kahlo)- Varona Maysonet-Ayala ’18; “Think Different” (based on the life of Steve Jobs) – Sardor Akhmedov ’16 (more rehearsal pics shown); and “Life Before Death” (based on the death of actor, Heath Ledger) – Mishka Jalagania ’16.

The Spring Art Show & Dance Concert was held May 6 and May 7 in the Gymnasium. This showcase of visual art and dance, coordinated by Ms. McNerney (Art Show), Ms. Hastings (Art Show), and Ms. Muzzy (Dance Concert) was inspired and inspiring!

The Spring Sampler: 5 One-Act Plays by MacDuffie playwrights were held on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 at 7:30pm in Little Theatre. The lineup is: “The Promise”  by Mishka Jalagania ’16; “Another Day, Another Conversation” by Maryanne Magnier, “Just Let Go” by Alexis Chapin ’17; “G.P.S. (Gus Penelope Syberson)” by math teacher Peter Shelburne; “Robot Zombie Death Sharks from Mars: The Musical” by  math teacher Caleb Parsons. The Spring Sampler is directed by Becky Beth Benedict, Alexis Chapin, Ted Lyman, & Gina Napolitano.

On June 1, we’ll cap off the school year with Arts Awards Night in Little Theatre at 7pm.

Thank you to all who made this another successful Arts season!


The Arts Department Presents: CHICAGO

Musical lovers, mark your calendars: The Arts Department will present CHICAGO on March 4, 5, and 6 in the Little Theater.

Based on Maurine Dallas Watkins’ play of the same name, CHICAGO is a musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Strong female characters, jazz music, and lush dance numbers tell an entertaining story as familiar in 1920s Chicago as it is today: the phenomenon of media glamorizing criminals and shaping public opinion.

Presented by a special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., performances will be held Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 6 at 2pm. “Chicago” will be directed by Arts Department Chair Becky Beth Benedict, with Angie Muzzy as Choreographer, Asia Meirovich as Music Director, and Ted Lyman as Technical Director.

Ms. Benedict is enthusiastic about the production–something new and flashy, she says, for MacDuffie: “I chose CHICAGO because it’s a female-forward production with great role for boys, too. Overall it’s a good fit for our talent.”

The show was a tremendous success–thank you to our directors, to all who took part in the production, and to all who attended!

Vacancy in Paradise

Vacancy in Paradise, by John Kirkpatrick, is this year’s fall play. The play will run November 20th through 22nd in the Little Theater. Evening performances at 7:30pm on Friday, November 20th and Saturday, November 21st with a matinee performance November 22nd at 2pm. The play is set at a cabin hotel in New Hampshire in the 1950s. The light comedy is a delightful play for the twenty-three student-actors and over twelve technical crew members to work on.
Mr. Lyman (director of the play) and Ms. Benedict (producer of the show) are fond of this project as it offers so many actors the chance to play colorful characters.  There are no real lead characters because the show follows the lives all of the characters and the story lines that develop and intersect. The play opens with Wally stopping at Paradise Glen cabins to use the phone. He meets Ellen, the owner’s daughter, in the rundown lobby and decides to fix up the place.
Wally discovers some people have recently gotten married at Paradise Glen so he decides to market the hotel as a romantic destination. Women begin checking in to stay in the cabins, but there are few men and Wally’s plan set up weddings for publicity isn’t working out as he hoped, especially when he creates a match between a banker’s daughter and a hobo. In addition there are two librarians from Boston learning how to Hula dance, a sailor with one too many girlfriends whose jealous French fiancee creates havoc, a spunky nurse, a hired man who isn’t a hired man, and Ellen’s mother who is a bit confused and has an old flame who is trying to foreclose on the property.


Ian Soares – WALLY – a publicity agent

Gina Napolitano – ELLEN DANBY

Morgahn Rys – CLAIRE DANBY – her mother, owner of Paradise Glen

Zach Huber – MITCH – a sailor

Clara Hartley – MYRTLE – a tourist

Ethan Shelburne – JONAS – a hired man

Thomas Messbauer – BOXIE – a hobo

Suzette Appiah – LAURA – a trained nurse

Maria Buxton – BON BON – Laura’s patient, Bennett’s daughter

Alexis Chapin – LYDIA – a librarian

Cassidy Polga – CAROLINE – a librarian

Craig Judicki – J. BYRON BENNETT – a banker, Bon Bon’s father

Varona Maysonet Ayala – CELESTE

Maya Pope – RUTH LASSITER – a physician

Yuanjin (Jane) Lu – SUSIE – Wally’s girlfriend

Sophie Stetson – Party Guest

Phoebe Shelburne – Party Guest

Jeffrey Chen – Party Guest

Piper Polga – Party Guest

Parla Ozdelice – Party Guest

Rustam Samini – Party Guest

Yi Qing (Whitney) Peng – Party Guest

Tae Seol (Kevin) Hong – Party Guest


Ryan Gray – Booth Manager

Yuexiaoxi (Cecilia) Yu- Light Board Operator

Dale Messer – Board Operator

Sean Bordena – Board Operator


Vickie Perez – Stage Manager

Alana Ford – Assistant Stage Manager

Isabel Perez – Stage Crew Member

Victoria Vecchioni – Stage Crew Member


Porntida (Muffin) Thitapuran – Costume Crew Member

Zeynep Erol – Costume Crew Member


Sam Hackett –  Hair/Makeup Crew Member

MacDuffie Celebrates 125 Years


On Saturday, April 25, 2015 The MacDuffie School will host a 125th Anniversary Gala at 6pm on its Granby, MA campus. The gala event will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, dancing, and student performances. Funds raised during the evening will go towards the school’s new performing arts center.

Friends of MacDuffie are more than welcome to join alumni, faculty, and current parents in the celebration. Tickets for the event can be purchased online at

The 125th Anniversary Gala is part of Alumni Weekend 2015. During the weekend festivities, MacDuffie will honor this year’s Distinguished Alumna, Tracie Gardner, Class of 1983. “Ms. Gardner has truly distinguished herself in her field, and we’re thrilled to be able to honor her with this well-deserved award on the occasion of our 125th Anniversary,” Head of School Steven Griffin. A special all-school assembly will be held on the afternoon of Friday, April 24, 2015 to present Ms. Garner with the Distinguished Alumna award after which she will address the student body.

tracie gardner

Ms. Gardner was recently appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to be Assistant Secretary of Health for New York State. She previously served as Co-Director of Policy for the Legal Action Center where she conducted and coordinated the Center’s New York State public policy advocacy in the areas of substance use disorders, criminal justice, and HIV/AIDS. Ms. Gardner has worked on a wide array of city, state, and federal health and social service policy issues since 1989. She has also served on the New York State AIDS Advisory Council for the past nine years. Her advocacy work and leadership have been honored by the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, New York City Council, and the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition. After graduating from MacDuffie, Ms. Gardner went on to earn a B.A. in English from Mount Holyoke College.

Auditions for Spring Play

little theater

The Spring Sampler will feature six one act plays. The one acts will be split between the Middle School and Upper School with 2 plays starring Middle School students and 4 plays starring Upper School students. Play performances will be held on Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th.

Auditions for the Spring Play will be held:

Wednesday, March 4th at 1pm in The Little Theater

Be prepared to do a cold reading from the script.

Email Ms. B3 with any questions or to get a copy of the script at

Rehearsal schedule and character descriptions can be found on the theater bulletin board.