Nearly six months after the storm surge and damage wrought by Sandy, students at Scholars' Academy in Rockaway Park are rehearsing their spring play. There have been several hurdles before getting to this point, among them: seven years of collected costumes and props from the drama program were ruined.
The October storm also flooded the theater with nearly five feet of water, destroying expensive audio equipment and turning the stage into a warped muddy mess, according to Leslie Kohn, the school's theater and arts director.
“Basically we lost our costumes, our props which were housed backstage right,” she said. “The water damage was so bad we didn't even want to clean the costumes, we didn't want to possibly endanger our students so we just threw them out, they were pretty damaged.”
Since Sandy, the stage has been replaced. The Roundabout Theatre Company has donated some costumes for the spring production, "Into the Woods" by Stephen Sondheim, and donated other costumes as well.
Most of the schools in the contest posted photos of colorful productions, or smiling students. The Scholars’ Academy application has a blurry photo of their post-Sandy stage with a simple plea: “We lost our theater, gym and were displaced for over two months. We need your help!" No surprise, they’re front runners with thousands of clicks of support.