The Performing Arts Club at Altoona Area High School presented “Hindsight,” a compilation of over a dozen past performances by the group, Saturday in the high school auditorium.
The One Night Only production is a team effort between current students and alumni, with over 100 performers participating in a cabaret-style retrospective that will feature songs and stories from the past 50 years of AAHS theater. There were solos and duets, as well as small group numbers and pieces that only included elders. A closing number was of the 2020 musical that was never played – “Joseph and the incredible Technicolor dream coat. “
Originally, the performance was scheduled for 2020 and would have been the last performance in the school’s old auditorium. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has forced the postponement, but the rescheduled performance will be a “to start up” and “celebration of” the new auditorium, according to Paula Foreman, district director of community relations.
Senior Luke Rokosky said he was thrilled to be able to perform with his classmates and alumni in the brand new auditorium.
“It is certainly very pleasant” Rokosky said. “The acoustics are great and it’s really good that we can accommodate more people. “
High school Class of 2019 member Christian Howard said he too was eager to use the new auditorium for Saturday’s performance.
“It’s spectacular, honestly” Howard said. “It’s such a leap forward from our old space. It’s one of the best spaces, just behind the Mishler Theater. It’s so big and spacious and awesome for a cast like us.
Class of 2020 Illana Ceceilia described the auditorium as “dazzling,” and stated that she envies current and future students who will use it for years to come.
High school fine arts teacher Ben Cossitor said he and members of the performing arts club looked forward to taking the stage on Saturday.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Cossitor. “We are very excited and delighted that two years later we have been able to find a date and still be able to put it on.”
Cossitor said that while it was logistically difficult to set up production, the club were able to bring back dozens of decades-old alumni.
“It took a lot of work, but we’re really excited to see it pay off.” said Cossitor.
The opportunity to connect and learn from alumni, said Cossitor, will be special for students.
“It’s really cool,” said Cossitor. “We now allow them to meet people from when I was here in high school. It’s really cool that all these talented former students of the performing arts are taking the stage.
Three AAHS alumni have made careers in the performing arts – Greg Brandt (class of 1985), Tom Sweitzer (class of 1990) and Michael Kooman (class of 2002) – and they will be among the returning alumni for the show. . The trio will organize workshops with students on Friday, sponsored by a grant from the AASD Foundation.
Parker Cook, a performing arts club senior, looks forward to the opportunity to learn from these alumni.
“These alumni are successful in the music industry and they are going to talk about their experiences,” Cook said. “It means a lot to bring everyone together. “