Theatre is back at St. Francis de Sales!


This past weekend, 23 students of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy put on three shows of the production, "Seussical the Musical, Jr." The production was the first show of the newly-formed St. Francis de Sales Performing Arts Club (PAC). 

PAC is an afterschool program for the middle school students who have an interest in the performing arts. The program affords students the opportunity to enhance their education in reading comprehension, social engagement, speech and communication, while developing their curiosity in acting, singing and dancing. The production was the culmination of four months of rehearsals. 

The focus of PAC is to engage the students to work together as a team towards a shared goal, as well as target each individual student’s journey of development. This is the first time the school has undertaken an active theatre program in a very long time. Art teacher, Ms. Gabrielle Mangano, initiated the performing arts revival at the Academy, which combined her excellent rapport with the students, and her background and experience in choreography, directing, and acting at the Rockaway Theatre Company.

“We are always in favor of initiating any program that will enhance students’ experience, build their confidence and serve as a healthy outlet for them,” said Board Chairman Keith Sullivan.  Assistant Principal Rori Martello echoed, “It is amazing to see our students shine in a way that was not available to them within our school building before. Ms. Mangano has inspired dedication, confidence, and a passion for the visual and performing arts in our students. We are so proud of the work PAC has accomplished and look forward to many more successful productions.”

The production, which is a story about the power of friendship, loyalty, family and community, was made possible with the help of the Rockaway Theatre Company’s Richard Louis-Pierre and Jodee Timpone, as well as the dedicated commitment of St. Francis teachers and staff, Ms. Mangano, Mrs. Helen Endall, Mr. Greg Gentile, and of course the students and families of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy. Ms. Mangano summed up PAC’s successes: “These kids have put their heart into this production. They were a part of every step in creating Seussical and truly made it possible. And in the words of Dr. Seuss, ‘It’s possible, anything’s possible!’ I’m very proud of each and every one of them.”