Shelton High drama club to raise curtain on Adaptations

SHELTON — The Shelton High Drama Club is raising the curtain on its annual musical revue “Adaptations.” 

The three-night event, the key fundraiser for the club’s spring musical, will run Dec. 8-10, with each show beginning at 7 p.m. at Shelton High School. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Shelton High or at the door on the night of the shows. 

"'Adaptations' is so unique to Shelton High and really allows students to let loose and have fun,” said senior performer Megan Loiacano. 

“It is a great introduction for those who have never performed before,” she added. “It has formed the amazing family that we have in the SHS Drama Club, and I think it’s a wonderful show because of the chemistry we have between cast members. This chemistry really shines through in these shows because we all just get to be ourselves and have fun.” 

The show features two acts, each 50 minutes in length. Normally each grade has a performance, but club advisor Joe Sedlock said this year the freshmen and sophomores were combined, as were seniors and juniors, because of the limited number of performers in each grade. 

The freshmen and sophomores will perform an adaptation of “The Princess Diaries;” while juniors and seniors will present a performance based on the Disney channel classic “Camp Rock.” 

"This is an opportunity to have pure fun,” senior performer Kylee Taylor. “Adapts is special because lots of different kids with unique talents are showcased, whether it be soloists or dancers.” 

Funds raised through ticket sales, concessions and raffles at the show help defray costs from the spring musical, which can run as much as $35,000 — and that is with parents and community members volunteering time building sets and setting up for the multi-night event. 

Loiacano said "Adaptations" is a fundraiser for the spring musical, but also builds the performers’ confidence and gives everyone an equal opportunity to shine on stage. 

"In my two years with this specific junior senior cast of 'Adaptations,' we have formed a family,” Taylor said. “I have made such close friendships with people I likely would not have met without this club. We all are so supportive of each other and care about each other deeply, which is what makes the experience so much more enjoyable.” 

Loiacano, who has been with the club for three years but performing since fourth grade, said performing is “truly an escape" that has helped her come out of her shell. 

“It has helped me become a more outgoing person both on and off the stage. I love performing in the drama club because we all are so close, and we all love to cheer each other on,” Loiacano added. 

Sedlock said the club stands at 50 members, a far cry from the large numbers before the pandemic. But Sedlock said “what we don’t have in numbers, we have in quality.” 

The Shelton High Drama Club earned three Stephen Sondheim awards last year — including best musical — for its production of “Seussical: The Musical.” Overall, the club earned eight Stephen Sondheim nominations, which matches a school best earned two years ago with the club’s production of “Chicago.” 

“The main reason I love performing is the emotion that we can pass on to the audience and that is why I would tell residents to come see this show,” Taylor said. “Not only are both casts putting on an incredible performance, but they are also both extremely high energy and fun to watch. 

“I know that just from being in the audience that you can sense the joy that we all feel to be onstage,” she added. “Our love of performing and of each other is palpable and it is a feeling you can’t experience anywhere else.”   

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com