PBHS presents this year’s spring musical production, ‘Matilda’

By Madison Shann
Posted 3/12/24

In preparation for their annual spring musical production, Pine Bush High School is excited to bring, “Matilda,” created by British author Roald Dahl, to life in their school’s …

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PBHS presents this year’s spring musical production, ‘Matilda’


In preparation for their annual spring musical production, Pine Bush High School is excited to bring, “Matilda,” created by British author Roald Dahl, to life in their school’s auditorium. The cast includes students ranging from 9th grade up through senior year and promises a show filled with laughter, an array of emotions, vibrant dancing and singing.

Directed and choreographed by Robin Evans, Pine Bush High School music teacher, the production tells the story of Matilda Wormwood, who is a 6-year-old genius, with hidden powers, who is neglected and mistreated by her father, mother and older brother. When Matilda’s parents refuse to embrace her intellect, she finds solace in the storytelling of books at the public library. Miss Trunchbull, who is the tyrannical principal of the elementary school that Matilda attends, targets her and causes Matilda to receive sympathy from her teacher, Miss Honey.

“From all the other plays that we’ve put on, I’m so excited for this show. There are so many components that make it so unique. There are so many props involved. The people here are so talented. Everybody’s been casted so well and the role that I have, I’m having the time of my life,” said junior, Tiara Bernard, who is playing Matilda’s friend Lavender, in the musical. “It’s a lot of work because we’re doing a lot of choreography but it’s so much fun and I can’t wait for people to see it.”

The High School’s choice to present “Matilda” for this year’s spring musical was decided by Evans, Ralph Wagner, the assistant/technical director, and Nick Jerry, the musical/ vocal director. They wanted to give students, who usually perform all four years of their high school journey, different experiences and also enrich the community around them and the students on the stage.

“Ralph was actually the most passionate about Matilda, he just really likes the show, and I was like you know, no high schools really do it. A lot of the elementary schools do like the younger kids’ version which is not the full version so I was like Matilda is such a great show, let’s do it,” said Evans.

While auditions for the musical were held the first week of January, students started learning the songs, dances and staging for the play, the second week of January. The stage sets were built by Wagner and the costumes were sourced by Evans.

“It’s definitely a lot. I really enjoy it because most of the time being a lead means you just sing a lot on stage but being Matilda I get to participate in all the dance numbers that all the kids do and as a dancer, it’s really fun to be able to tap into all three of the big three of theatre,” said senior Saige Valentino, who is playing Matilda in the musical.

According to sophomore, Keara McCormick, who is playing a little kid in the musical, anyone who’s coming to watch the play should expect lots of amazingly built sets, amazing dancing, talented singers and cast members and ultimately a really strong story line.

The biggest challenge that production faced while preparing for the show was scheduling around each student’s schedule as the majority of the students participating in the musical were also involved in extracurricular activities, so having to work around the students’ availability was a challenge. The production also experienced minor setbacks such as various snow days and winter break.

“This is my 13th show and I’m so excited as this is one of the most lighthearted and fun shows I’ve done and I just really love the energy that comes out from Matilda. It’s so great,” said senior, Blake McCormick, who is playing Bruce Bogtrotter in the musical.

“I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be really good. It balances humor and the emotional aspects very well and I think it’s going to appeal to a wide variety of people,” said Valentino.

As the school district does not provide a budget for its musical productions, the musical/play from the previous year funds the next musical. Therefore, the admission fees collected from last year’s musical is what is funding Matilda this year.

Performances will be held on Friday, Match 15th at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 16th at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Pine Bush High School auditorium at 156 NY-302 in Pine Bush. The show is 2 and a half hours including intermission. Tickets are $10 for general admission and children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at Pine Bush Central School District office.

“I really think Pine Bush has an excellent theatre program. I think our students are committed. Our staff is really great, we love theatre. Even though we’re music teachers, we really put our heart and soul into doing this and I want the community to just see that they can find quality theatre close by,” said Evans, “Theatres are an escape. For 2 and a half hours, you’re somewhere else and don’t have to think about anything so that’s always my hope.”