Tensions run high during show week in a high school drama club. Sleep deprivation is the norm, everybody is behind on school work, and tears are a given. In the end, however, students come together to cherish the hard work they have put in for a successful show. The Fair Lawn High School Masques’ Fall production of Radio Sweetheart ended on December 1st and many students are feeling bittersweet.
“I’m going to miss seeing all of my friends after school in such a collaborative environment everyday,” said a first-season freshman at Fair Lawn High School.
Some students eagerly wait for the last bell to ring so they can go to a place where they feel accepted. Being somewhere with such artistic freedom as a teenager can drastically benefit their well-being, according to various Masques members.
“Masques is my happy place. I feel like I can clear my head while I’m painting the set with my friends,” said a senior at Fair Lawn High School.
While it may be tricky getting school work done, going to rehearsal, and finding time to get eight hours of sleep during show week, the satisfaction of watching elements of the show come together makes it worthwhile.
“It’s really satisfying to know that all the work you put into this club is acknowledged. Whether it’s advertising space or a set piece, you really feel valued,” said a junior at Fair Lawn High School.
The Masques are a student-run drama organization and fund raise all of their money by themselves through advertisements in playbills, bake sales, annual car washes, and open mic nights. They pride themselves on their self-sufficiency and their ability to work together.
However, what they are most proud of is their sense of family surrounding the club.
“We’ll always be there for each other, no matter what. It’s rare to be in such a place, especially in high school,” said a second season senior.
Michelle Stern is both a physics teacher at Fair Lawn High School and an alum. She was the secretary of Masques as a senior in high school, and is now one of the advisers for the club.
“I worked not only onstage as an actress, but I was also helping backstage,” she said.
Ms. Stern believes that the greatest similarity between her time as a Masque and today is the numerous traditions that have been upheld for over fifty years with pride.
“Duck soup. That’s it,” she said acknowledging one of the most cherished Masques catchphrases.
Masques meets everyday right after school until five. New members are always welcome!