Winthrop High School Drama Society Concludes the Year with a Bang: ‘Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse’ Takes the Stage!

Winthrop High School Drama Society Concludes the Year with a Bang: Lillys Purple Plastic Purse Takes the Stage!

Chelsea Long, Writer

The Winthrop High School Drama Society is gearing up for their final production of the 2022-2023 school year– “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” and excitement is in the air! After a year of fantastic shows, including the beloved classic “The Wizard of Oz,” the haunting METG Festival piece “Frankenstein,” and the incredible “Dinner Theatre: Count On Me,” the talented actors and crew are ready to bring their latest production to life on stage. With rehearsals well underway, the team is putting the finishing touches on this charming and heartwarming story based on the popular children’s book by Kevin Henkes. This tale follows the adventures of Lilly, a spunky young mouse who learns valuable lessons about friendship, family, patience, and forgiveness. This week, I’ve decided to look deeper into the show’s progress, as well as the cast and crew’s thoughts as they say goodbye to a school year of many outstanding performances.


First, I spoke with Sarah Delehanty, Chris Raney, and Matty Polino- our lead actors in the show- about the enjoyment they experience from the characters they play.

What’s been the most fun part about taking on your role?

Sarah: “The best part about taking on the role of Lilly has been tapping into a very youthful energy and being able to play a fun, lively, energetic character that reminds me of when I was a kid!

Chris: “I’d say the most fun part about taking on the role of Chester is the fact that I get to be both very immature, AND mature enough to be funny. It’s a nice balance! Overall, it’s a strike, and I think it’s a fun deviation from my last few characters from other shows this past year.

Matty: “The most fun part about playing the role of Wilson is how silly he is! Many of the shows we do are serious, and I have to play serious roles like– for example– an uncle (in The Wizard of Oz) or a boat captain (in Frankenstein). But in this show, I get to just be silly, ride a scooter, and play tennis, you know?


I then talked to just a few of the seniors within the cast- including Zoe Long, Michael Callanan, Matty Polino, Chris Raney, and MJ Franks- about their thoughts on this performance being their very last.

How do you feel with this production being your last?

Zoe: “I am excited that my last play is very lighthearted. Having fun with the cast and crewmates before I leave has been an excellent opportunity. I have loved spending quality time with the underclassmen and being a mentor for them in my last year here as a senior. I’m sad to leave everyone but excited to go after such a heartwarming and happy production.

Michael: “I feel very bittersweet about my time with the Winthrop High School Drama Society ending. The past four years have been filled with extraordinary productions and memories, and this final show has been no different! I’ve loved getting closer to the freshmen and ending my four years on a high note.

Matty: “I feel very emotional knowing it’s my last show here, but I think it’s a perfect note to leave off of because it’s such a fun, comfortable play. I’m simply very glad I got to perform one last time here.

Chris: “I still haven’t really processed it. Genuinely, it hasn’t hit me yet that it’s the last one, and frankly, I don’t think it’s gonna hit me for quite a while.

MJ: “It is emotional, and it’s different being in a new school, so it’s odd– especially as I missed theater my junior year however am now back in it. It’s a big part of how my creativity comes out, and I love the people I’ve done it with.


I then spoke with the costume designer- Zoe Long- and assistant costume designer- Scout Thompson- about their experiences having to design the clothing for such a bright and lively play.

What has the whimsical costume designing been like to handle?

Zoe: “It has been simultaneously tricky and fun! The incorporation of colors and shapes has been very fun to create but definitely very hard to find and brainstorm.

Scout: “It was tough finding articles of clothing that were bright, cartoony, storybook-like, AND looked like adequate costumes. It was a big challenge, but it was still a fun process getting to be creative with it.


I additionally talked with some of the freshmen within the cast- Jillian Buonopane and Sheridan Daley- and how their experiences were during their first year of being in the Winthrop High School Drama Society.

How was your first year of being in the WHSDS? Do you believe you’ll keep participating in drama over your next 3 years of high school?

Jillian: “I’m thrilled I joined drama in my first year of high school. I had a lot of fun bonding with the other actors, and the process of putting together our shows is always such a blast. I definitely see myself continuing drama throughout my high school career, as it is super fun!

Sheridan: “I am delighted that I joined drama in my first year of high school. Over the course of this year, I have formed new friendships amongst the cast. I’ve had so much fun participating in this year’s productions and plan to continue to do drama for the rest of my high school career.


Lastly, I decided to talk to the director of the show, Mrs. Calinda, about her involvement within the performance and how it has been going for her.

What’s been your favorite part about directing this show?

Mrs: Calinda: “My favorite part about directing this show is just how enjoyable, silly, and over-the-top it is. It’s so colorful, and I’ve always loved children’s theater. I really like the idea that families will come out and see it. Additionally, we have an overall amazing cast and crew!”


Clearly, our upcoming Spring production of “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” is set to be a spectacular performance! With an incredibly talented cast and crew, the show promises to transport the audience into the imaginative world of Kevin Henkes’ beloved children’s book. This production is not to be missed, and we encourage everyone in the community to come out and support these talented young performers. We have no doubt that they will deliver a memorable and entertaining show that will leave a lasting impression on all who attend, so be sure not to miss out! The show dates are this Friday, May 12th, at 7 P.M. and this Saturday, May 13th, at 2 P.M. See you there!