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Family dinner at the Painted Post Denny’s is a tradition that the Drama Club upholds after every Friday night performance of musicals and plays, including this year’s performance of ‘The Addams Family’

Family Dinner

As the night proceeds, seniors Deserai Shepard, Cassidy Owens-Kashorek and Sophie Szutkowski order food after the Friday night performance of ‘The Addams Family.’ “It was complete chaos. I don’t even think it was about getting the food itself but about taking a breath after the show. We stuck around until 12 to one in the morning,” senior Austin Parrish said. The show was directed by Dean of Students, Michael Hurd. photos by Elizabeth Hogrefe

     From crew to cast members, all Drama Club students are welcome at Denny’s for an annual tradition after Friday night performances.

     Before arriving en masse at Denny’s, senior stage manager Nicholas Rayeski had the job of organizing the late-night dinner. “I call Denny’s and talk to their manager and tell them approximately how many people are going to show up and how long we’re going to be there. I don’t think I’ve ever called and they’ve been upset or said ‘no,’” Rayeski said. “‘Addams Family,’ in particular, left me a little frazzled because our theater director, Bryan Kelley, paid out upwards to $800 for everyone. That was very interesting to have somebody dish out that much money for Drama Club. He said that he wanted to give back to all of us amazing kids.”

     “For ‘Addams Family,’ it was a really small cast, and it was the first time I have been in a show with such a small cast, so it was really nice to be able to connect with each other. It was nice to have a cast of like 30 people that you could become close friends with,” senior Jennifer Roush said.    

“I don’t mind going in my makeup because I want people to know I’m in the show. I think this was one of my favorite Denny’s experiences because I love the cast so much.”

Deserai Shepard, 12

After going to Denny’s, Drama Club members thought it helped connect the cast and crew. “I am not exactly sure whether, in a positive or negative way, Denny’s helped bridge the gap between actors and tech crew because, as we went on with the musical you get different bonds with different actors and techies along the way, so it really depends on the person,” freshman Alexandra Galligan said. “I think it was definitely a great way to get everyone together in a very stress free environment to just chill for once.” 

     As a third year Drama Club member, junior Silas Weiland felt that Denny’s closed the gap between cast and crew members. “Denny’s is a place where we all can talk freely amongst each other, and that is really interesting,” Weiland said. “I would say Denny’s definitely closes that gap, or it really displays how small that gap is. When you are surrounded by all of your friends, it does not matter if they are techies or actors. We are all friends and just part of Drama Club.”

     After the Friday show, freshman Piper Holleran, a Drama Club tech crew member, made a musical connection to the club’s past. “There was a guy that works there that was actually part of Drama Club back when he was in high school. He came over to the group and he had a little ukulele and he started singing songs to all the cast and crew members and that was really cool,” Holleran said.

  At the end of a two-and-a-half hour show, the theater cast was able to relax in the seats of Denny’s. “There is an equal amount of chaos in both Denny’s and the theater, but it’s definitely louder in Denny’s. It’s way more relaxed because it’s after the show so everyone is way less stressed out,” senior Felicia Lash said. “This year has been a lot more chaotic than other years, so getting to relax after the show is nice. It’s something we do that makes us a family.”

     Some members of the cast and crew continued the night after Denny’s. “I think that Denny’s is really a lot of fun. It’s like a pre-cast party because you just did two shows, and it’s a way to hype everybody up for the next two nights. It’s another way to bond and have fun,” sophomore David Maxim said. “Myself and six other guys actually went to someone’s house after, so we stayed at Denny’s until two o’clock in the morning, but then right after that we went straight to his house and played video games until 6 a.m. Then we all crashed and woke up and spent the whole day Saturday healing ourselves before the Saturday night show.”

Bon Appétit
At the Painted Post Denny’s, the actors and tech crew look over menus while talking amongst themselves. “Everyone traditionally gets a milkshake every single time. We actually call ahead and they make a bunch of them for us so everyone can have one,” senior Brandon Spaugh said. 

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