Edgartown: Young actors take the stage


It’s a day that happens to most of us, one that we dread and can’t believe will ever happen. But it happened. To me. This week. Yup, you know what I’m talking about. That dreaded AARP invitation showed up in my mailbox. I try to say that it wasn’t really for me, because the name was wrong on the outside of the envelope. But I know that it was mine. And I knew that it would be coming, no matter how much I denied it. Can the ads for “over 50 vitamins” and cleansers and lotions to bring back my youth be far behind? The big 50. Daunting. Scary. Intimidating. I’ve still got a little time in my 40s, but very little. Wish me luck as I bravely face my next half a century!

Big happy birthday balloons go out to my dear friend, Meaghan Morris, who celebrates on Nov. 14. She is a great friend, even though she is MUCH younger than I am, and I hope she has a wonderful day on Saturday. If you see her, be sure to wish her many happy returns of the day!

I do so hope that you got the chance to attend the Edgartown School Junior High’s presentation of “Beauty and the Beast” this past weekend. Directed by Donna Swift, with musical direction by Kelly Sullivan, the show was an absolute delight. The school gym stage was magically transformed into a castle, a village, and a frightening forest, where Caitlin McHugh dazzled the audience as Belle, alongside Kenny Cook and Zachary Vukota, who invoked our sympathy for his plight as they shared the role of the Beast. Rounding out the cast were Wyatt Belisle, Carina Cataloni, Avery Simmons, Meg Sykes, Sara Creato, Ellie Dolby, Katie Freeman, Bethany Cardoza, Julia Gomes, Isabelle Murphy, Jovanna Lowell-Bettencourt, and my very biased favorite, Amelia Craig! And of course, no great performance can be a success without the efforts of a magnificent stage crew, which in this case was comprised of Parker BenDavid, Kyle Rollins, Taylor Blair, Matthew Gonsalves, Ruby Mercier, Colleen Carroll, and Emily Anderson. It is wonderful to watch these students transform through this creative process. As a teacher, when you watch one of your shy students step onto a stage and sing and dance in front of a crowd, it is truly amazing. These performances always reveal what I already knew to be true. Education doesn’t always happen in the classroom. These kids all worked so hard to come together and create a magical show. Congratulations, one and all.

On that note, I’d like to add my congratulations to the families that supported the kids through this theatrical endeavor. Parents generally support their children in their extracurricular activities, driving them to practices and rehearsals, attending games and performances, sometimes feeling like they are running in circles trying to be there for all of their kids all the time. But with our busy lives, one group of supporters sometimes gets forgotten. As I understand it, at least three older siblings traveled from off-Island over the weekend to show their support for their younger siblings in “Beauty and the Beast.” Nick and Alex Vukota came home to support Zachary as the Beast, while Jill McHugh traveled back to watch sister Caitlin as Belle, in a role that Jill herself had played at the Edgartown School several years back. Parents and grandparents supporting the kids — that’s a given. Older brothers and sisters? That isn’t always guaranteed, but is just as important. Well played, Nick, Alex, and Jill. In case your siblings forgot to say it — thanks for being there for them!

Last Friday night was a big night under the lights at the high school football field. The Vineyard celebrated their final home football game with the tradition of Senior Night. During this touching celebration, mothers and fathers walk their senior players and cheerleaders onto the field prior to the game, and mothers are presented with a rose. Adding to the sentimentality of the game and celebration this week was the fact that it was Coach Don Herman’s last home game, as he heads into retirement next year, as well as the retirement of Rick and Denise Lambos from the Martha’s Vineyard Touchdown Club. The team claimed a 20-0 victory, lifting Coach Herman onto their shoulders at the end of the game. Edgartown seniors recognized this year included Crockett Cataloni, Justin Donahue, Jimmy DiMattia, Andy DiMattia, Austin Chandler, Jacob Cardoza, and Curtis Farrell, many of whom have been friends since their days together at Rainbow Place Preschool. Senior cheerleaders honored were Kaylee Anna Tebo, Oshantay Waite, and Olivia Rogers.

Have a great week, everyone. Be sure to get me your news as soon as you can! We have Sunday deadlines for the next couple of months! Remember — no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted!