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RED BANK: LOCAL STARS ON THE ‘WEST SIDE’

Christa Dalmazio of Middletown and Mason Kugelman of Rumson star as Maria and Tony in the Phoenix Productions staging of ‘West Side Story’ at the Count Basie Theatre.

It’s been a staple of the Phoenix Productions playbook for nearly 25 years, one of those crowd-pleasing Broadway perennials to which the Red Bank-based semipro stage company has made regular revisits.

Still, it’s been some 10 seasons since West Side Story has received a fully-fleshed Phoenix staging. And when the curtain goes up this Friday night at the Count Basie Theatre, it will reveal an old favorite that’s infused with new energy, courtesy of a youthful cast of newcomers highlighted by two residents of the Greater Red Bank green.

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RED BANK: BASIES GO TO RFH, RBC, RBR

Phoenix Productions exec director Tom Martini — pictured fifth from left, during the 2015 ribbon-cutting of the troupe’s new Chestnut Street headquarters — was honored with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award during the 12th annual Basie Awards on Wednesday night. (photo by Rich Kowalski) 

Students and faculty from five high schools in the greater Red Bank area were honored for excellence in high school theater productions — and the co-founder of a favorite borough-based performing arts company received a Lifetime Achievement recognition — when the 12th annual Basie Awards ceremony took place at the Count Basie Theatre on the evening of May 24.

The big winner among local schools was Red Bank Catholic High School, whose nine nominations for the spring production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella resulted in three Basie wins: for Shawn Mack (Outstanding Musical Direction), Samantha Siriani (Outstanding Supporting Actress), and Kelly Gemellaro (Outstanding Choreography, shared with Jacqui Fisher for the Middletown High School South staging of The Producers).

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RED BANK: ‘BASIES’ BUZZ IN THE AIR TONIGHT

The Red Bank Regional production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ has garnered seven nominations in the Basie Awards for excellence in local high school theater, as the 12th annual ceremony rolls out the red carpet tonight.

In a pop-culture landscape that’s littered with the sharp metal edges of way too many awards and honors, you could make the case that this is the only trophyfest that matters — the kind that recognizes, nurtures and inspires the next generation of acting, singing, dancing and technical talent.

When the 12th annual Basie Awards ceremony takes the famous stage of the Count Basie Theatre tonight, May 24, students and faculty from nearly 20 public, private and parochial high schools in Monmouth County — seven of them located here within the Greater Red Bank Green — will be vying for a chance to deliver their acceptance speech, in a field that, in the words of Basie education director Yvonne Lamb Scudiery, continues “to set the bar higher and higher, resulting in outstanding professional quality work…and certainly making the job or our evaluation team a very difficult yet gratifying one.”

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RUMSON: BIG HONOR FOR RFH’S DELLETT

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Special Education teacher Jen Dellett has been selected as Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Educator of the Year. The announcement was made on May 12 by RFH Principal Dr. Tracy Handerhan, joined by French Teacher Christine Berg, last year’s recipient of the annual honor.

Dellett has been teaching at RFH for ten years, where she started as an Inclusion teacher and then taught Resource English prior to her current assignment in the Multiply Disabled Program.

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FAIR HAVEN TEEN AIMS FOR OLYMPIC GLORY

Nikolas Swidryk, a 17-year-old junior at RFH, is one of the top cadet and Junior Olympic recurve archers in the country.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Nikolas Swidryk, a junior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, has “hit the mark” as a recurve archer, and is now closer to his dream of Olympic glory.

The 17-year-old son of Michelle and Dr. John Swidryk of Fair Haven is one of just 18 male athletes selected for the 2017 Junior Dream Team, consisting of the top cadet and junior Olympic recurve archers in the country.

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RUMSON: RFH ANNOUNCES SUMMER CLASSES

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School has announced its schedule of summer academic enrichment classes for students in and out of district, as well as evening courses for adults.

Summer Session 1 for students will run Monday through Thursday from July 10 to July 20, and Summer Session 2 for students will run Monday through Thursday from August 7 to August 17.

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RUMSON: COMMUNITIES TEAM FOR ‘TREE TALK’

Left to right: An April 19 “Tree Talk” conference drew the participation of William Gerth (Shrewsbury), Christian Burns (Fair Haven), Professor Jason Grabosky (Rutgers University), plus Wayne Greenleaf, Steve Barrett, and Kristen Hall (Rumson). (photo by Christopher Rodriguez) 

Press release from Christopher Rodriguez, Fair Haven Borough Council

The local communities of Fair Haven, Rumson, Little Silver and Shrewsbury came together on April 19 as a broader group for a discussion about our trees — the ones that benefit our environment, as well as some we can avoid — in a public-welcome meeting of the Two Rivers Shade Tree Alliance.

During the Tree Talk at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Shade Tree Commissioners from the four towns hosted and engaging presentation by Rutgers University professor Jason Grabosky. The professor, a local expert in urban forestry, ecology and natural resources, conducted an interactive slideshow presentation, and entertained questions from the dozens of local residents in attendance.

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RUMSON: SUPPORT YOUR THERAPY DOG

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven High School

Nearly a year ago, a therapy dog named Violet was welcomed as the newest staff member at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. Since then, Violet has become a vital member of the RFH family and has embraced her role with dignity and a wagging tail. She is making a tremendous impact in the RFH Multiple Disabled program, as well as throughout the school and the local school community.

On March 7, Violet will mark her first birthday — and in celebration, RFH has invited community members to participate in a number of activities honoring Violet and supporting her work.

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RUMSON: TARZAN SWINGS INTO RFH IN MARCH

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On the weekend of March 24-26, the award-winning Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will present the rollicking, family-friendly musical Tarzan at the RFH auditorium.

Adapted for the stage from Disney’s epic animated adventure — and based on the popular characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs — the musical show features high-flying excitement as well as heart-pumping music by rock legend Phil Collins, with a score that includes the Academy Award-winning “You’ll Be in My Heart” as well as “Son of Man,” “Two Worlds,” and “Strangers Like Me.”

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RUMSON: BOWL BENEFIT, BOOK DRIVE AT RFH

In this 2016 file photo, then-senior Olivia Rosenberg and Rumson-Fair Haven art teacher Zack Wilson display ceramic bowls that were created and sold to benefit The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean in the school’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser event.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On Thursday, March 2, the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser hosted by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will be held in the school’s Cafeteria from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

A benefit for the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Empty Bowls is named for the situation faced by local families struggling to put food on the table. Each year the event is open to the public and features beautiful original artwork in the form of colorful bowls created by RFH ceramics students.

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RUMSON: STUDENT ATHLETES SIGN FOR NCAA

Pictured on National Signing Day are RFH High School student athletes (front row, left to right) Thomas Chapin, Grace Forsyth, Hannah LoSavio, Samantha Beaudreault, and Michael Shaw; (back row, left to right) Matthew Vecchiarelli, Nicholas Calabrese, Michael Murdock, Samuel Sapnar, Tyler Pierson, Timothy Leonard, and Michael O’Connor. (Not shown: Michael Ruane).

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Surrounded by proud coaches and family members during a National Signing Day ceremony on February 1, thirteen student-athletes from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School signed either National Letters of Intent or Commitments to participate in National Collegiate Athletic Association programs next year.

Following is a list of the RFH students and their programs:

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RUMSON, FAIR HAVEN PARENTS GO TO SCHOOL

Press release from Rumson School District

The Tri-District Initiative is a partnership that begins in the elementary and middle schools of Rumson and Fair Haven boroughs, and continues at the separate district dedicated to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. In the spirit of aligning programs and creating dialog between the students, families and educators, the special services department at each district created a public-invited program under the name Special Education Parent Academy.

This forum features topics that can help parents at each level of the educational process. For December’s meeting, the tri-district team shared information regarding supports and programming for students receiving special education services, as they transition from middle to high school and beyond.

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BIG TURNAROUND FOR RFH SNOWFLAKE DRIVE

global_womens_empowerment_1Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven High School 

The Global Women’s Empowerment Club at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School recently held a successful Snowflake Drive to benefit 180 Turning Lives Around. Over $400 worth of gift cards and over 400 items were donated to the Holiday Boutique run by the  Monmouth County-based 180, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in our community.

The donated items helped local families experience holiday cheer despite financial circumstances resulting from domestic violence.

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RUMSON SISTERS SHARE TEAM EXPERIENCE

malen-and-maraSisters Malen and Mara Grubagh each played an instrumental role in the success of the RFH Dance Team (pictured below) this season.

rfh-dance-teamPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

There was a lot to cheer about recently as the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School football team enjoyed a record-breaking championship season. Sharing in the excitement, and thrilled to be experiencing it together, were sisters Malen and Mara Grubaugh of Rumson.

Mara, a fifteen-year-old sophomore at RFH, is a member of the RFH Dance Team — while eighteen-year old Malen, who has Down syndrome and attends the Somerset County-based Midland School, is the team’s first-ever manager.

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RUMSON: LANGUAGE PANEL THINKS GLOBALLY

world_language_panel_presentersLeft to right: presenters Mark Jeffers, Gianna Maita, and Sue Finley are pictured at the second annual “World Language in Our Community” panel discussion, hosted at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On November 28, five distinguished guests participated in the second annual “World Language in Our Community” panel discussion, hosted at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. This year’s panelists were Sue Finley, Taylor Forry, Mark Jeffers, Gianna Maita, and Greg Thomas.

Student attendance was optional, and – in a repeat of last year — there was a “standing room only” crowd. The panelists shared their career and life experiences as they related to world languages and cultures, and participated in a follow-up question and answer session.

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RUMSON: A TETE-A-TETE WITH TEBO, AT RFH

tebo-rfhHaitian Artist David “Tebo” Thebaud (center) is pictured with Rumson-Fair Haven Regional seniors Madeline and Theo de Quillacq, who served as Student Ambassadors during his recent visit to RFH.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

He radiates positive energy and endless creativity, and his biggest dream is to help young people with talent realize their own potential. His name is David Thebaud – or Tebo, as he is best-known in his native Haiti – and he arrived at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School on November 14, to meet once again with his biggest supporters.

As he did during his previous visit in 2014, Tebo spoke with students in French and Art classes at RFH. The students learned about Tebo’s creative process, life in present-day Haiti, and the challenges facing his art school, ELT. The students were especially eager to know more about ELT, whose full name in Creole – Espwa lavi pou Timoun – translates into “Hope for Children’s Lives.”

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RFH STUDENT ATHLETES SIGN ON THE LINE

rfh-signing-day-2016Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Sixteen student-athletes from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School took part in the recent National Signing Day. Surrounded by proud coaches and family members, they put pen to paper and made it “official” at an event held in the RFH Lower Library.

A list of the participating RFH students and their programs appears after the break.

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ON THE GREEN: SEVEN GIRLS, OFF TO HELP

2015-ilac-mission-1Seen here on their 2015 trip, seven Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional girls plan to return to the Dominican Republic Wednesday. They are, from left, Hannah Horan, Caroline Healey, Paige Borden, Mara Campolattaro, Olivia Turi, Annabel Morris and Maddie Orr. (Photo by Tim Orr Photography. Click to enlarge.)

donegoodlogoA year after helping to build a water line to a remote village in the Dominican Republic, seven seven sophomore girls from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional and Red Bank Regional high schools plan to travel to the Caribbean nation again Wednesday.

The girls, who travel with their fathers and pay their own way, raise all of the funds for their humanitarian missions themselves, according to Mara Campolattaro, one of the participants. All the money raised goes directly to funding projects for things like supplies, local expertise and transportation on the island, she said.

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RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN STUDENT ART SHINES

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

rfh-art-klayton-dal-praRecently, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School announced an initiative designed to shine an even brighter spotlight on student artwork: a project under which the school’s National Art Honor Society (NAHS) and Multiple Disabilities (MD) Program have teamed up to provide beautiful frames for the display of creations by RFH students.

Featured will be paintings and photography by NAHS and MD students. The collection will be rotated regularly, and will be featured prominently throughout the school building on an ongoing basis.

In addition, photographs of works by RFH art students at all levels will be enlarged and placed above the student locker areas.

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LITTLE SILVER: LET’S TALK GENDER AT RBR

sam-killermanAuthor, performer and internationally renowned internet celebrity Sam Killermann gave a well-received presentation on Gender Identity to the Red Bank Regional student body during the Week of Respect. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

In observance of the recent Week of Respect, Red Bank Regional High School partnered with makeitbetter4youth.org to bring a special multi-disciplinary artist to RBR for a an engaging and insightful presentation on the topic of Gender Identity.

Samuel (Sam) Killermann is an author, performer and internationally renowned internet celebrity on matters of social justice. Students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s Gay Straight Alliance, as well as the Collier School, were also invited to the presentation.

Mr. Killermann explained to his audience that his fascination with gender had personal roots which crystallized in college, when he learned that his prospective girlfriend assumed that he (a heterosexual male) was gay. This misperception of his sexual identity seemed to occur often in college; so he sought counsel at the college’s LGBTQ center. He was told that people were confusing his sexuality for the way he expressed his gender.

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COMEDY KNIGHT FOR RUMSON-FH PLAYERS

r-fhPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven High School

It’s another winner for the Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, as the hilarious farce “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” makes its way to the stage.

Performances are set for Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, November 20 at 1 p.m.

Outrageous fun for audiences of all ages, the show tells the story of Sir Gawain (Calvin Bruno), a knight in King Arthur’s court who is compelled to complete a brave deed each year. Because of her long-standing feud with Merlin the Wizard (Arnold Muralt), evil witch Morgan LaFaye (Rachel Makstein) has threatened to destroy Camelot if the court cannot produce the bravest knight in the kingdom. Since Sir Gawain has not yet completed his brave deed, he is called upon by King Arthur (Michael Bogardus) to challenge and defeat the formidable Green Knight (Cameron Spector) — but unfortunately for Sir Gawain, he is as “un-brave” as they come. He accepts the challenge, however, and begins his journey to prove himself and win the hand of his true love, Elaine (Sara Safarian).

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RUMSON SCHOOLS WELCOME THERAPY DOG

violet_-_therapy_dog_with_kids_at_deane-porterStudents at Deane-Porter School greet their new reading buddy, Violet, Rumson-Fair Haven’s therapy dog.

Press release from Rumson School District

Often, children who have difficulty reading, fear the judgment they receive and become self-conscious while practicing the skill aloud. A reading program involving a dog as a listener has the potential to change that.

Recently, students at Rumson’s Deane Porter and Forrestdale schools welcomed a very special regular guest, as Violet, the official therapy dog of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, joined several RFH students in English Language Arts classes at the two borough schools.

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RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN SCHEDULES FALL SHOW

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Fall Showcase Concert at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, a highly anticipated annual event, will take place in the school’s auditorium on Thursday, October 20.

“The RFH student-musicians are excited to perform and show off their talents for the fall season,” said RFH Music Director Bill Grillo. “This is a terrific event for the whole family.”

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A SWEET ASSIST FROM RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN

[Photo temporarily removed.] Members of the French Honor Society at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional staged a bake sale to raise funds for a flood-ravaged Louisiana school district.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

French students at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School are starting the school year off on a healing note, by raising funds for a Louisiana School district.

Heavily impacted by flooding from a hurricane this past August, the Livingston Parish School District accepted an offer of assistance from the French Honor Society. The unnamed hurricane produced three times more rain in Louisiana than Hurricane Katrina, and students have just recently returned to school – with six school buildings “platooned” and many others featuring makeshift classrooms.

Students in French classes at RFH have hit the ground running with bake sales and other fundraising activities organized by the RFH French Honor Society.  Also planned is a video produced by the French students in conjunction with the RFH Film Club. The video will feature RFH students who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy sharing words of encouragement for the affected children.

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RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN MOMS GET A NIGHT OUT

r-fhPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On the evening of Thursday, September 29, Rumson-Fair Haven High School Foundation will hold its first-ever Ladies Night Out event at the Rumson Country Club. Mothers of RFH students and their female friends are all welcome to this casual celebration, to raise funds for the programs supported by the Foundation.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the event will be a relaxed, fun evening celebrating the fantastic women of R-FH, and including hors d’oeuvres as well as the beautiful views from the Riverhouse at the Country Club. Beverages will be available for purchase.

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