High school actors have met the challenge while rehearsing for the play "The Dining Room"

High school actors have met the challenge while rehearsing for the play "The Dining Room"

The challenge was presented.

And the Bridgewater-Raritan High School students responded.

The students comprise the cast who will perform when the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Theater Arts Department presents “The Dining Room” on January 26 through 28.

Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s auditorium will be the theater site for the play that will start at 7 p.m. on both Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27. The matinee on Sunday, January 28, will begin at 2 p.m.

Tom Gunning, who serves as the director of the high school’s Drama Club with his wife, Teresa Gunning, and Heather Day, explained the challenge that these student actors were up against.

“The play is a challenge because our students are playing characters in multiple acts,’’ Mr. Gunning revealed. “They have to explore different roles.’’

His wife added:

“Yes, an actor may play the part of a grandfather in one scene and then play a kid in another,’’ said Ms. Gunning, who is directing this play with her husband.

The actors are cast in a total of 18 scenes in “The Dining Room,” which is a  play by the American playwright A.R. Gurney.

According to Wikipedia, the play is a comedy of manners, set in a single dining room where 18 scenes from different households overlap and intertwine. Presumably, each story is focused around a different family during different time periods, who has in their possession the same dining room furniture set, manufactured in 1898.

The summary also stated the play tells the story of the dying and relatively short-lived culture of upper-middle class Americans, and the transition into a much more efficient society with emphasis on tradition and more emphasis on progress. 

Sidak Chahal, a Bridgewater-Raritan High School junior, has relished the quest to play various parts.

She shared her feelings during a recent rehearsal session that was held in the high school’s auditorium.

“I like playing different characters. In one act, I am a rich old lady, and then in another, I am a maid,’’ Sidak said.

She is intrigued with the theme behind this play.

“We explore a lot of different people from the upper class and from the rich to the workers,” she said. “ There are a lot of family structures. We see how the old guard wants to keep the family in place but the young family members want to break free as the years move on to the present.’’

This is Sidak’s fourth performance on stage but she has enjoyed playing various roles during the rehearsals.

“It is very interesting,’’ she said. “I never did a show like this before but it is different and super fun.’’

Ms. Gunning has been impressed with how the students have addressed their numerous parts.

“Hey, why not give them a challenge,” she claimed.

To witness these numerous challenges, and to enjoy what is expected to be another sparkling performance by the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Theater Arts, tickets can be purchased in advance  at:


Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $14 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Senior citizens who live in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District are admitted free with proof of residency. 

Here are the Bridgewater-Raritan High School students who will bring you this presentation.

Alvarado, Jayleen
Andrews, Evan
Aponte, LJ
Beck, Grant
Castillo, Ava
Chahal, Sidak
Falcon, Charlotte
Fisher, Libia
Gaffney, Tim
Maloney, Julianne
Marquardt, Amalia
Murray, Franny
Pelc, Matthew
Puszkin, Rebecca
Saini, Jasmine
Shahane, Agastya
Shoaf, Oliver
Weinstein, Aaron
Zagare, Josh

Pedroso, Julia
Student Director
Jimenez-Heymann, Matthew
Stage Manager
Fitzgerald, Brianna
Assistant Stage Manager
Saini, Harjas
Assistant Stage Manager
Hassouna, Emilia
ASM Intern
Lu, Indiana
Technical Director-Sound
Scaglione, Isabella
Technical Director-Lights
Hoff, Caitlyn
Properties Master
Nowakowski, Christina
Assistant Properties Master
Hathaway, Ava
House Manager
Csik, John
Assistant House Manager

Violet Dunsavage
Richa Sorathia
Addison Lewis
Anisha Amin
Natalia Placek
Ava Burns
Tia Sharma
Jordan Velasco
Mattingly Niles
Sinjin Niles
Anya Murdock
Oliver Martinez


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