The Hunchback of Notre Dame

A Pennridge production you don’t want to miss!

Andrew Veres
The cast, crew, and pit of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Pennridge High School Performing Arts will take the stage this spring with their production of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. With a long history of impressive stage performances, the Pennridge performing arts has taken a few big steps out of its comfort zone to make this show one people will talk about for years to come. Every member of the cast, crew, pit, and staff is essential to the success of this show, each one pouring their time and energy into making the performance run smoothly. To satisfy the great anticipation of those who have caught a glimpse of the intricate set or the stunning costumes, PHS Performing Arts is proud to finally present the show they have been preparing for five long months.

Starting with adding a live pit orchestra in the 2021 production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, PHS Performing Arts has worked to increase the quality and professionalism of their performances. The pit orchestra, directed by Andrew Rudderow with the assistance of Jennifer DiVasto, is made up of a mixture of student musicians and professional musicians from the community. Most other schools in the area will use the canned music recordings provided with the purchase of a show, but the PHS Pit Orchestra has never failed to impress the audience with the preparation and performance of the live theatrical scores. The show’s director, Christa Schimitsch, believes this year’s production’s big “wow” factor will be the incredible and massive set. The set was driven in from Ohio and took two days to finish. Parents, students, staff, and crew all worked tirelessly to transfer the set into the PHS auditorium and assemble each piece. The two-story set is impossible to miss and will leave quite an impression on the audience.

Aside from the technical aspects of this production, there is also a lot to look forward to regarding the story and presentation of this musical. Schimitsch states, “I would recommend this musical to someone new because of the power of the story and the large-scale nature of the musical”. She explains that contrary to many musical productions chosen and performed by other high schools, The Hunchback of Notre Dame tells a more intense and dramatic story that contains an important message of acceptance of those around us, no matter how different they may be. The show is full of complex characters, such as Frollo, the villain of the musical played by PHS senior Joshua Gunning. His favorite part about playing his character is his metamorphosis throughout the story. He wants audience members to look out for the complex relationship between Frollo and the lead Quasimodo played by Jared Smith. To make these characters come to life, each cast member has dedicated themselves to their growth as performers. Schimitsch proudly states, “Our students have mastered the craft of dramatic acting and performance through this show – which rivals any professional production. Their ability, combined with the scale of the production overall is something that no one should miss!”.

Everyone involved in the creation and production of this musical is beyond excited to show off everything they have prepared. They have shown endless dedication and commitment to their performance, which will be evident to all audience members. PHS’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will be performed at 7 p.m. on April 27 and 28, as well as 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on April 29.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online using the following link, Come support the PHS Performing Arts and all the work that has been put in to make this amazing production possible!