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Horace Greeley Thespians Ready for Opening Night

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - Students in Horace Greeley High School's Theater Company are not sure what to expect when they take the stage to perform "Six Degrees of Separation" for the first time on Thursday night, but they're just glad it will finally be in front of an audience.

"In rehearsal we’re talking to empty seats," said Alex Gold, who plays Flan. "To get to have that connection with an audience for the first time is just a really special experience."

While the students have performed the play in full more than 20 times during months of rehearsals, actor Emerson Obus said he is excited to see how it will be received on opening night.

"There are certain things that you didn’t think were funny or you didn’t get a response from," said Obus, who plays Woody. "It’s good to finally get to see that."

According to director Christopher Schraufnagel, the show is about a hustler who schemes his way into the inner circle of a wealthy art dealer by claiming he is the son of Sidney Poitier.

"I’ve known the play forever," said Schraufnagel. "It’s a really interesting piece. It’s funny in places and really heartbreaking."

The play was originally written in 1990 by John Guare and was adapted into a film in 1993, which starred Will Smith in the lead role of Paul. The play also explores a deeper premise that everyone in the world is interconnected by a chain of no more than six acquaintances.

"It’s sort of about the ability of a person or unexpected event to take you out of what you’re used to and make you look at your life from a new perspective," said Cyndi Bonacum, who plays Elizabeth. "And there’s kind of a lot of imagery and metaphors of art kind of connecting to that."

Schraufnagel said rehearsals have been going smoothly, which is in contrast to the fall play when the theater company lost an extended period of time due to the October snowstorm.

After the opening night performance at 7:30 p.m., the play will also run at the high school on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. All tickets are $10 and can either be purchased beforehand or at the door .

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