Recycling Our Way Into Stardom
The North Bergen School District takes great pride in our efforts to preserve our planet for future generations. One of our most active clubs is our high school Environmental Club who recently participated in our first ever “Great Break Shutdown.” As one path on their goal to receive Sustainable Jersey for School certification, the club “uplugged” the entire school over break, including classroom computers, projectors, and office appliances to name a few.
While these actions may seem typical of an Environmental Club, the district has recently received worldwide recognition for recycling from – wait for it…….THE DRAMA CLUB!!! Under the guidance of Director Perfecto Cuervo, Art Director Steven Defendini, and Music Director Brian Bonacci, the club presented Alien: The Play on two dates in March and then added a sold-out, encore show on Friday night, April 26 in the North Bergen High School auditorium. Local residents and national media outlets all enjoyed a fabulous, albeit frightening, performance.
Friday night’s show coincided with “National Alien Day” and was attended by none other than the star of the Ridley Scott’s 1979 original movie, Sigourney Weaver, who introduced the show and spent time getting to know the cast and crew. After seeing some viral posts from the March performances, Ms. Weaver sent the members of the club a personal, videotaped message congratulating them on their success and acknowledging their hard work and ingenuity.
The play initially gained international recognition for its creative sets, costumes, and special effects which, while appearing to have cost tens of thousands of dollars, were actually all created from recycled or repurposed materials costing less than $3,500. Each week, Mr. Defendini searched trash and recycling for anything he could use, including old vacuums, baby toys, desks, carpet tubes, egg crate inserts, etc. A local company also donated foam and a few items were purchased from local thrift stores.
The play, which was supported by the Nicholas J. Sacco Foundation, gained the attention of many arts and theater organizations. We look forward to working with them as we move toward our goal of creating a theater arts academy in the district in September 2021.
Media Coverage: Click here to read April 26, 2019 press coverage on NorthJersey.com, "Sigourney Weaver makes appearance at North Bergen H.S. production of ‘Alien’ on Friday"