CRANFORD, NJ - Cranford High School’s Acting Academy of Performing Arts performed its annual "Theatre in the Raw" showcase on Friday, Jan. 12. The showcase was a compilation of short monologues and pair acts with two long scenes.

The show, directed by acting coach David Marconi, opened with a series of improvisation performances by the Elements of Acting class.

“I am proud to say with certainty that you are about to see some award-winning pieces,” Marconi said in his introduction.

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The students selected their own performances to learn. While most of the monologues and pair acts had a more somber tone, the improv drew loud laughter from the audience, especially for pieces like “Competitive Farming”.

“When I was performing my monologue, it was a really important moment for me because I started working on it around two months ago and it means so much to me,” Katrina Wischusen, a junior at Cranford High School said.

All of the acts performed at the high school were used in the Speech Theater Association of New Jersey Competition. For the first time in CHS history there were finalists in every category.

“I’m very proud of how the show went, the students work so hard even beyond class time,” Anthony Rafaniello, the supervisor of Performing Arts at CHS, said. “They practiced at lunch and in the evenings.”

Upcoming events involving the academy include a murder mystery dinner on Feb. 23 and the school’s annual spring musical, Legally Blonde on March 16 and 17.

Grace Wilson is a high school student participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Cranford.