Smithfield Class of 2018 prepares for annual senior fashion show this Friday

Smithfield Class of 2018 prepares for annual senior fashion show this Friday

Smithfield High School’s seniors have been hard at work practicing for Friday’s annual senior fashion show. The students, above, practice the full-cast opening dance number. (Breeze photo by Ashley Wolf

SMITHFIELD – Smithfield High School’s Class of 2018 is hard at work preparing for their annual fashion show.

Though the show is now viewed as more of a two-hour variety show with an intermission, it has been called a fashion show for more than 30 years at the school. The show is entirely generated by the senior class and is the class’s largest fundraiser.

The Class of 2018 and its faculty advisers, Steven Russillo, David Thibodeau and Derek Snow, have known for the past four years that they would be producing the show this year, but they started to really plan it out in September, Snow said. The production is a huge hit each year and some of the advisers, such as Snow, remember being in the production when they were seniors at Smithfield High.

“It’s a pretty long-standing tradition with the senior class every year,” he said. “I graduated from high school here in 1990, and we were doing it back then. It wasn’t to the scale that it was today, but it probably started in the late 1980s. Every year, it’s continued to get bigger.”

For the last three months, the senior class has been producing skits, videos, dance numbers, and other performances for the show, Thibodeau said. There is a lot of pressure to put on a good production, not just because it is their senior year, but also because there is a competitive aspect for the students to put on a better show than last year’s senior class.

“We have a lot of good talent in our class,” Thibodeau said. “A lot of good dancers, singers, musicians, actors, students who have a real stage presence. In the past few weeks that we’ve been putting the show together, we’ve really tried to use as much of the talent within our class as we can.”

The show always has a theme. Usually, the theme focuses around a movie or television show, but this year, the theme is called “back to the drawing board.” In the show, the audience will see the students trying to put the show together and trying to pick a theme, said Megan Mignanelli, a senior at Smithfield High School.

“At first, I didn’t understand the theme,” she said. “I think it’s so different and no other grade had the idea to think of our theme. … The audience and members of our community haven’t really seen a theme like this before, so I think it will be really good and something new.”

The Parent Council at Smithfield High School helps to get props, clothes, and donations from different businesses for the production, said Deborah Frezza, president of the council. Many parent members donate their time and volunteer with tasks such as to selling tickets and recordings of the show, and helping with hair and makeup in the dress rooms. Frezza said that it takes a lot of preparation and many volunteers to help run the show.

Funds raised from the event will go toward the Class of 2018’s senior events, such as their senior prom and senior brunch, Snow said. The goal is to make prom as cost-effective as possible and this performance is a huge help in that, he said.

Regardless of the money aspect, the class is getting to know each other better and making memories that they will be able to look back on in the future of their final year at Smithfield High.

“Whether they’re ready to go or not, we’re going on,” Snow said. “I’d say (this) week is the start of crunch time. It just naturally will bring them closer together. They want to see each other succeed and they want to put on a good show for the public.”

The performance will take place Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Smithfield High School auditorium. Tickets are available for $15 before the performance and if there are still tickets left, $20 at the door.