Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Union Catholic's Makay Johnson Excels on Stage and on the Track

82a0a471d7cdcbdfcada_c2157ff6264fa2094366_IMG_3598.JPG
Makay Johnson of Union Catholic has a leading role in the school play and school musical, and owns the school record in the 100-meter dash. Credits: Jim Lambert
82a0a471d7cdcbdfcada_c2157ff6264fa2094366_IMG_3598.JPG

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Whether he’s on the stage or at a track and field meet, Makay Johnson is seemingly always doing something remarkable with his feet.

Johnson, a senior at Union Catholic, has a unique combination of speed and performing arts skills.

Last spring, Johnson ran 10.76 in the 100-meter dash at the Union County Championships to shatter the school record, won the 100 at the South Jersey, Non-Public A Championships, and was second in the 100 at the state Non-Public A Championships.     

Sign Up for E-News

Recently, Johnson landed the lead roles for UC’s Performing Arts Company in both the Fall Play and Spring Musical. In the Fall Play, “Peter And The Starcatcher,’’ Johnson plays Peter, and he will play John Jasper in the Spring Musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.’’   

“Peter And The Starcatcher,’’ with Mr. John Rotondo ’07 directing and Mrs. Maryann Carolan ’86 serving as the assistant director, will be presented on Oct. 20 and 21 at 7:00 p.m., and on Oct. 22 at 3:00 p.m. in the Union Catholic auditorium. ‘“The Mystery of Edwin Drood’’ will be presented this spring.

Johnson, who lives in Roselle, said landing the lead roles in the school play and musical is very rewarding.

“It means a lot to me,’’ said Johnson. “I’ve working really hard and I prepared for the auditions hoping to get these parts, and to end my senior year at UC with these roles really means a lot to me. It’s very exciting.’’

Johnson, who has certainly come a long way in four years, wasn’t sure he would join UC’s Performing Arts Company until he attended one of their shows four year ago. 

 “I saw UC’s show Shrek at the Grammar School Show when I was in eighth grade and I just loved it,’’ said Johnson. “After that I knew I wanted to join PAC. I went to the Newark Boys Chorus School in fifth and sixth grade, but after I left there I didn’t do any signing or dancing or anything until I got to UC. I just love being on stage. I always get excited just being on the stage, even at rehearsal. It brings me so much energy and I’m just so happy up there.’’ 

Johnson, who serves as the Vice President on PAC’s Executive Board, is on the Tech Crew, and is a Student Ambassador, said Union Catholic gave him the chance to flourish.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunities that this school has provided,’’ said Johnson. “Union Catholic has really shaped me into a different person. I never thought that I would be so interested in the performing arts, and I never thought I’d be this good on the track. This school brought out the talents in me and I discovered myself and figured out what I want to do in the future. I’m so thankful for that.''    

Johnson said he will take his talents as far as he can.

“I’m not going to stop performing and running track,’’ said Johnson. “I plan to pursue my passions and see where it takes me.’’’

Mr. Rotondo said Johnson is naturally gifted and has a very promising future on the stage.

“Makay is definitely one of those people that has real natural raw talent,’’ said Mr. Rotondo. “He blew us away as freshman when he was cast with one of the lead roles in Hairspray. He has a bright future ahead of him and we’ve been very fortunate to help train him and help begin him on his journey.’’ 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

State-Imposed Affordable Housing Requirements Will Lead to Overdevelopment in Scotch Plains

July 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

There will be a public hearing in Trenton concerning the affordable housing process on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the State House Annex (131-137 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608) in Committee Room 16 on the 4th floor.

This hearing is hosted by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, and the Committee will receive ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

July 16, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is asking families to cast their lines and reel in some quality time this summer as part of the fourth annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament.

The competition will be held from July 27 to August 5 as a way to encourage families to enjoy a day of fishing, while giving ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8bc24d85ca74db6c7c50_chess_piece

Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Youth Chess Club at Scotch Plains Public Library

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_b3322a9af399ab00349f_nightsky

Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_99864111416f9af936dd_dsc_2436

Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...

Sports