Pickerington High School North’s Theatre Department is a nearly-one-hundred year old tradition, having come a long way since its debut. Today it sets the standard for quality student production and is an ever-growing asset to the community. From its humble beginnings, it has grown and has garnered attention from the public and widespread acclaim as a superior performing arts program. There has been a theatre department in the area since 1927 when the school went by the name of Violet Township High and was held in a six-room building on East Street, now part of Heritage Elementary. Over time, as Pickerington’s population changed, so did the name of its schools, and in 1939 VTHS became Pickerington High School. Then in 1968, a larger building on Hill Road, which now houses Ridgeview Junior High, was completed to accommodate increasing enrollment. It was 1979 when Margaret Lawson, who would later leave a 32-year legacy of directing in Pickerington, came to a virtually nonexistent theatre department and staged the building’s first fall play: Taming of the Shrew, put on in the gymnasium during students’ lunch periods with a $0.50 entrance fee. The next fall, a production of Curtain Going Up was the first play on the main stage, followed by the first musical, Oklahoma, in the spring of 1981. Pickerington High School’s Theatre Department called 130 Hill Road South home for 23 years, then in 1991 PHS moved to 300 Opportunity Way, a building which remains home to one of Pickerington’s two fine high school theatre programs. The continually growing population in Pickerington called for more schools in 2003, splitting the district into Central and North. Lawson went to North and director Shannon Cook took over Central. That year, North presented Noises Off and Little Shop of Horrors while Central staged Cover of Life and The Sound of Music. The performing arts program at North was built with the combined efforts of Scott Skiles and Margaret Lawson. Skiles started stage production as a senior at Pickerington High School in 1985 and worked across the country until he returned to his roots in Pickerington. His professionalism and his detail-oriented work raise the bar high, a big part of the reason PHSN theatre is consistently excellent. Lawson lent her talents to the school for 9 years until her retirement in the summer of 2011. She introduced a new director, Allen DeCarlo, who directed Barefoot in the Park that fall followed by Legally Blonde in the spring of 2012. DeCarlo has since established a new era in Pickerington theatre, providing a fresh take on a traditional program. Pickerington High School North’s Theatre Department is educated in its field and continually moving forward, becoming more locally and widely respected with each new production.
This is a play about ...
Mark Murtha, graduated in 2016, currently specializes in sketch comedy, rock and roll music, and video production at America’s Largest resident theater company, Shadowbox Live.
Aaron Poland is a graduate of Pickerington North’s Class of 2016. After five years under the direction of Allen DeCarlo and Scott Skiles, he found his love and passion for creating live theatre. Aaron is now attending Wright State University’s Theatre Design/Technology program with a emphasis on Sound Design. He has had the privilege to work as an audio technician and carpenter on their main stage and black box performances. Aaron has also gotten to work with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and WWE Wrestle Mania as a crew member, and is enjoying exploring his passion and continuing to create art thanks to his mentors at PHSN.
Hunter Minor, and 2017 PHSN graduate is currently a Sophomore Musical Theatre Major at Wright State University. Hunter is about to begin working on The Addams Family in the fall where he will understudy Lucas and be in the ensemble. Hunter is spending his upcoming summer in Peterborough, New Hampshire where he will join Peterborough Players to tackle 9 different shows in 3 months. In his free time at Wright State, Hunter enjoys developing new works and shows in Wright State's Directing Lab and is currently working on writing his own music.
Rachel Fish is a graduate from the class of 2018 at Pickerington North. She is currently a sophomore at Otterbein University where she is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Dance. Since leaving North, her passions for dance, theatre, and choreography have only grown as her experiences with these have expanded. Rachel has choreographed OMTI's production of A Chorus Line, Buckeye Valley High School's production of Newsies, and will be the assistant choreographer of OMTI's upcoming production of Chicago. At Otterbein, Rachel has been seen in Dance Concert 2018: Gloriously Grimm and Singin' in the Rain. She was also a part of Festival 2019, a student run and led show. Recently, she was cast as the Female Ensemble Swing and the Assistant to the Choreographer in Otterbein's upcoming production of Chicago. Rachel will also be the 2019-20 Dance Minor Representative for the Otterbein Theatre & Dance Department. She thanks Allen for all of the support and guidance he has given her over the years and cannot wait to see where her future continues to take her!
The son of Freedom and Dawn Chrisman. He has stage managed for Catch Me If You Can, Cheaper By The Dozen, Broadway Lights On a Winter Night, Pippin, Can’t Beat The House, A Chorus Line, and The Diviners. He was in Bugsy Malone playing as Bugsy at his previous school, Jackson Center Drama. He loves to meet new people, socialize with friends, and play soccer. He is also currently enlisted into the Army National Guard and will be doing Logistics Administration. He wishes to go into the field of stagecraft or business administration and pursue his dreams of being a manager for Broadway shows or corporations. He would like to the thank the cast and his family for the constant support and will miss his amazing theatre family and second home. Shoutout to my bruv Marcus Bailey!
She has been in 4 dinner theaters since she joined her sophomore year and this is her first musical. She has performed many places including the Lincoln Theatre right downtown. She also released her own single “Ice Cold” in July on all major music outlets. Her dream has always been to become a successful recording artist and to perform wherever she can. She’s dedicated to anything involving music or the arts and loves to perform.
The daughter of Brock and Kristie Ondayko. She was seen as an Ensemble member in A Chorus Line and as dancer in Pickerington Central’s 9 to 5. Throughout high school, Emily has been a part of National Honors Society, Drug Free Club, and Sunny Side up. She plans on attending Ohio University after this year to study Early Childhood Education and is very excited about it! She would like to thank all of her besties and family for all of the endless love and support. She couldn’t of done it without you all! Also she would like to give a shout-out to the theatre department for being so welcoming & becoming her family. You all made her high school experience the best it could have possibly been. She loves you all and will miss each of you!
She has been seen in A Chorus Line, Catch Me If You Can, Pippin, and CATS. she has lettered all 4 years of high school in golf. Zhanner has yet to make her decision for college but she can't wait to move on with that chapter of her life. She would like to thank her parents for giving her the life she has today, her sister for being her role model, her grandparents for the endless love, her many cousins for the amazing memories, her aunts and uncles for the support that they gave her and her friends for making school a lot more tolerable and mr. DeCarlo for being a teacher she can truly respect.
The son of Doug and Holly Rider, who are very supportive and helpful with his pursuit of theatre. He often works with his younger sister, Ellie, with whom he is great friends. He was seen in A Christmas Spectacular, the very successful Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Catch Me If You Can, as Frank Gilbreth in Cheaper by the Dozen, a player in Pippin, Al Deluca in A Chorus Line, and Basil Bennet in The Diviners. He is a member of Sunny Side Up, ski club, and a president of spikeball club. He enjoys spending time with his family and the Goat Screws. He is part of the multimedia program and enjoys working his friends. His time in theatre has been wonderful, and he’s grown a lot from it. He is so thankful for Mr. DeCarlo and his team for how they’ve helped his development. One of the reasons he loves it so much is because he gets to work with his sister. It will be a great final show together. He is planning to major in psychology and attend medical school to become a psychiatrist.