Student Life

Leonia High School Limelighters: The Lottery and Broadway Man

The Limelighters, backstage crew, the stage technicians, and the director, Marc Leland, worked really hard to give an entertaining performance for the students, teachers, and guests at Leonia High School. This season the Limelighters have presented a musical and a play called “The Lottery” and “Broadway Man.” The plot of “The Lottery” is that everyone in a small town comes together and selects an individual by chance to be stoned to death. “Broadway Man” was written by Marc Leland, the director of the Limelighters. The performances began at 7:00 pm on Friday, December 1, 2023 and was held at the Leonia High School Little Theater. 

The shows were a great success that left the audience with a  great impression. “I loved how you can truly see that everyone put in so much work to make it happen and you can see how well they worked together to bring life to the stories,” said junior Lia Pascual.

Teachers came to see the show as well, such as Mr. Vanderteems the math teacher, who said, “I have a lot of current and former students who are in limelighters and I came to support them.”

Junior Daniel Hussein explained that he “liked ‘Broadway Man’ so much more because it was kind of random and funny.”

The actors described their thoughts and feelings before, during, and after the shows.

Ian Soh ’25, one of the Limelighter actors, explained, “Before the performance I was nervous for some time, but I’ve done a few other shows before so I felt pretty much fine.”

Lemon Akhtar ’24, the villain of “Broadway Man,” wasn’t a first-timer as well and said, “During the performance, I felt pretty calm since I’ve done this a couple times before. I was also excited and was in the moment on stage.”

Junior Valerie Palacio Ossa, this year’s new Limelighters member and lead role of “Broadway Man,” answered after the shows, “I feel hyped and empowered. I feel like I can go on for another hour, but I’m also really happy that it’s over.”

“I feel like we have a good team and we are like family. The hardest part would be saying goodbye to it all,” said Leia Josette DeMarco LaBarbiera ’24.

“I just like performing because I’ve been a dancer since I was a kid, so it’s something that I’ve always loved doing,” said Liv Meester ’25, “That’s part of the reason why I even auditioned.”

As the core entertainment, actors get most of the significance from the audience, but not a lot of people realize how important stage technicians are. “Lights is a very rewarding experience because you have control of the feel of everything. It’s up to the actors how the show goes, but the lights play a crucial part in that. Control of the lights is irritating at times, but it’s important,” said Max Shami ’25. As one of the sound regulators, Tristan Perri ’26 added, “I think sound is pretty crucial and it lets the actors shine, but because of that it’s stressful. At the same time, it does seem laid because the responsibility of having a good show is all about the actors.”

The backstage crew was so crucial in making sure that the show was running smoothly, and were responsible for completing everything on time, such as supplying actors with what they needed like props or making sure that their costumes were in place. “It’s a lot of construction and painting. It depends on what you are good at, but during the show we manage props and make sure that everyone is in their places and give them things that they need on time. Cleaning is also what we do,” said Atlas Sailer ’24. Without the backstage crew, the show could have easily been a disaster, but the members have worked hard and managed to keep everything perfect.

Finally, we got to meet and interview first time LHS director, Marc Leland, about the performances. “I thought that these two one act plays would be more appropriate given our limited time,” Mr. Leland explained, “It took about six weeks because we had Thanksgiving and we started late.” He went on to explain that casting decisions were made based on which performers could “accomplish the bigger than life characters.” Though the Limelighter actors have done a significant job at performing, Marc Leland wanted to give an honorable mention to “Enoki Kim and everyone that worked together to make the plays happen,” and he said, “I’ve become a big fan of Ryu and Max in the lighting booth. I appreciate their skills.”

“The Lottery” and “Broadway Man” were spectacular shows and left the audience with a good impression. Everyone was very grateful for director Marc Leland, the backstage crew, the stage technicians, and the Limelighter actors for giving Leonia High School such spectacular performances. Thank you so much for supporting the school spirit and keeping up the amazing work!