Hoboken HS Theatre Receives Recognition

Hoboken HS Theatre Department Receives International Recognition Honored to be New Jersey's chosen “Hoboken High School’s Production of Into The Woods” wins a coveted Main Stage Production slot at The International Thespians Festival 2024
Posted on 02/11/2024

Hoboken HS Theatre Department Receives International Recognition

Honored to be New Jersey's chosen “Hoboken High School’s Production of Into The Woods” wins a coveted Main Stage Production slot at The International Thespians Festival 2024

Hoboken, NJ, Wednesday, February 8, 2024 — The Hoboken High School Theatre Department (Troupe #7268) has been selected as one of twenty schools internationally to be featured on the Main Stage of the International Thespian Festival 2024.

Hoboken High School is the 1st school in the State of New Jersey to be selected with the honor of being featured on the Main Stage for the International Thespian Festival in 2024, which has been held annually since 1941. Their production was viewed by thousands of thespians and school districts from around the world.

This year, Hoboken High School’s Theatre Department (Troupe #7268) will attend The International Thespians Festival from June 23rd-28th at Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana. There will be approximately 300 thespian troupes from 5 different countries at ITF this year (approximately 6000 people). Students selected to attend the festival are:

The Cast in Order of Appearance

Narrator/Cinderella’s Mother: Shai Warshawsky

Cinderella: Alana Rivas

Jack: Tyler Mara

Baker: Miguel Cabelin

Baker’s Wife: Halie Benway

Cinderella’s Stepmother: Mara Reba

Florinda: Sihana Alaj

Lucinda: Hannah Morley

Jack’s Mother: Naomi Cooke

Milky White: Gloria Williams

Little Red Riding Hood: Kendall McDonough

The Witch: Mable Blischke-Villavicenco

Cinderella’s GFather: Jake Stefura

Little Red’s Granny: Michelle Puharre

Mysterious Man: Daniel Weintraub

The Wolf: Kevin Melendaz & Emerson Blischke Villavicencio

Rapunzel: Riddhi Damani

Rapunzel’s Prince: Arcadio Torres

Cinderella’s Prince: Lucas Daly

The Prince’s Bodyguards: Gabriel Rivas, Anthony Barahona, Fern Rosario

Fine & Performing Arts Supervisor: Danielle Miller

Director: Derek Kinnear

Musical Director: Kristen Hoyt

Assistant Director: Gina Rotondi

Movement & Choreography: Britteny Schruefer

Scenic Design: Olivia Whelan

Sound Design: David Stasiak

Sound Assistant: Charles Stropp (HMS student)

Set Builders: Malcolm Cummins & Dante Bates (HHS Alumni)

Stage Manager: Cecilia Platt

Production Assistant: Aishah Tapia

Costume Design: Jacquie Revier & Gloria Meiterman from Playtime Costumes

Seamstress: Mindi Cooke

Puppet & Prop Design: Sihana Alaj

Hoboken High School is honored to be New Jersey's chosen “Chapter Select Play” and therefore will receive a time slot to perform on stage. Hoboken High School’s production of Into the Woods, under the direction of Derek Kinnear, has been chosen as one of the best high school productions from around the world for 2024. Students will get to perform the musical, twice, in its entirety, on the Main Stage this June.


This is considered a top honor for high school theatre, equivalent to the Superbowl. The International Thespians Festival has been hosting productions annually at festivals since 1941.Hoboken High School is the first school from New Jersey that will get the opportunity to perform as a main attraction at the festival. The production went through a rigorous adjudication process to be selected.

Mr. Kinnear, Ms. Miller, and our entire production team are so proud of our students' hard work and talents. The students are thrilled to perform and showcase their talents and artistry. The unique experience involves taking each and every prop, set piece, costume piece and production element used in our elaborate November 2023 production and bringing them to Indiana for the event. Once there, the cast and crew will have only a few hours to load the entire production into the massive theatre in time for the first matinee performance.

If anyone can do it, it’s our Hoboken Thespians!

Hoboken High School students had so much to say about the The International Thespian Festival 2023 in Indiana:


Kendall McDonough said, This is something that we have been working towards throughout my entire high school career. To get to do this show again on the biggest high school stage is the highest honor. When we first found out, we all screamed because of how incredibly exciting this is. We are the first school in New Jersey to receive this honor and it honestly puts our theater department and Hoboken HS on the map. I can’t wait for June!”

Mable Blischke Villavicencio said, “It is such an honor to be selected as a Main Stage performance for the International Thespians Festival 2024. I am so grateful that me and the rest of the cast get the opportunity to perform our hard work and show our love for theater in front of other talented students at the festival. This means so much to me because as I am a Senior, this is going to be an amazing opportunity to finish off my high school career with some of my favorite people in the world. Seeing Main Stage performance at prior festivals gave me motivation to keep working hard and escaping my comfort zone in hopes of performing on one of those stages, and from the dedication and passions of me and my cast, we achieved this goal which means the world to me. This impacts the school program because it shows the many possibilities that students can participate in which can bring students closer together as friends and help them open up as young adults in our community.


The International Thespian Excellence Awards

The International Thespian Excellence Awards (Thespys) is a multi-round competition that provides standards-based feedback on individual, duet, and group musical and non-musical events, technical events, and short film events.

The International Thespian Festival

The International Thespian Festival brings together the best performances, top teaching artists, and premier colleges and universities for a community-centered experience like no other. Plus, with daily surprises and special Broadway and Hollywood celebrity appearances.

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