Theater Program

Villa Maria offers a variety of opportunities to work both on and off campus, including both a scheduled class and extra-curricular activities.

Courses

Theatrical Production and Design

The Theatrical Production and Design Course allows the young artists of Villa Maria to bring to life a full-scale theatrical production every fall semester. This rigorous semester course is a complete immersion in the world of theatrical production. Students choose a theatrical work to produce over the course of the semester. Students work in all areas of the production, which include the following: actors, stage manager, assistant director, technicians, and designers (costume and set). The finished production is performed at the end of the semester.

All students, regardless of interest, take part in an audition to cast the show at the end of the current school year. Students also have a summer assignment involving their role in the production. Throughout the course, guest speakers and theatrical performances enhance a student’s view of the theatrical world. Contact Robert Cucinella, Head of Theater Program, at rcucinella@vmahs.org for more information.

Current Production

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap

The world’s longest-running play! After a local woman is murdered, the guests and staff at Monkswell Manor find themselves stranded during a snowstorm. It soon becomes clear that the killer is among them, and the seven strangers grow increasingly suspicious of one another. A police detective, arriving on skis, interrogates the suspects: the newlyweds running the house; a spinster with a curious background; an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef; a retired Army major; a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift; and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. When a second murder takes place, tensions and fears escalate. This record-breaking murder mystery features a brilliant surprise finish from Dame Agatha Christie, the foremost mystery writer of her time. (Concord Theatricals)

Past Productions

2020-21: Future, Here by Jeremy F. Richter
VMA Radio on the Air Presents: Lux Radio’s Alice in Wonderland transcribed by Ben Dooley

2019-20: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson adapted by Bryony Lavery (2019-2020)

2018-19: The Curious Savage by John Patrick

2017-2018: Who Will Carry the Word?  by Charlotte Delbo (above)

2016-2017 : A Piece of My Heart by Shirley Lauro

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

On Campus

Marian Masques

Marian Masques is a drama club open to all students. The troupe is committed to bringing different performance opportunities to students throughout their four years at Villa. In the 2021-2022 school year, Marian Masques will be producing its first full-scale musical in the spring semester.

In the 2021-2022 school year, Marian Masques will be producing:
  • Arts on the Avenue: An Evening of Entertainment on the Convent Lawn – Oct. 23rd
  • VMA Radio on the Air Presents: Miracle on 34th Street streaming December 22nd thru January 2nd
  • Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

Light and Sound Crew

Members of the Light and Sound Crew are responsible for helping with light and sound in the auditorium for all liturgies, assemblies, and special events. Students learn how to focus lights and design light plots, as well as how to set up a variety of sound equipment.

In addition, students have the opportunity to operate VMA’s state­-of-the-art lighting and sound boards. Meetings and rehearsals are held on an as-needed basis.

Faculty

Bobby Cucinella

Teacher/Director, Theatrical Production and Design Class

Mr. Bobby Cucinella is a member of the Social Studies and Fine Arts departments at Villa Maria. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater from DeSales University, in Center Valley, PA, and has been performing since he was in kindergarten. Following graduation from DeSales, he spent three years performing professionally in various off-Broadway and community theater productions. During the course of those three years, Mr. Cucinella continued his love of directing theatrical productions at his former high school. This love for directing at the high school level led him to develop theater programs at two prior schools at which he taught. Now in his fifth year at Villa Maria, and fourth year in the Fine Arts department, Mr. Cucinella looks forward to another year of Theatrical Production and Design. Past directing projects at Villa include The Curious Savage, Who Will Carry the Word, and A Piece of My Heart.

Domenic Zampogna

Moderator, Light and Sound Crew

Domenic Zampogna is the moderator of the Light & Sound Crew. A school counselor at Villa Maria Academy since 2015, he has twenty years in Catholic Education including positions of Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at St. Pius X H.S. in Pottstown and Director of Guidance at Roman Catholic HS in Philadelphia. DJing events and celebrations for over twenty years brings helpful experience on the tech and presentation side.

Off Campus

Working with Malvern Prep and Devon Prep, Villa Maria girls have the chance to develop their theatrical skills, and enjoy the chance to meet and collaborate with young men from other Devon Prep and Malvern Prep.

The Malvern Theatre Society

The goal of The Malvern Theatre Society, a collaboration between Villa Maria Academy and Malvern Preparatory School, is to improve the acting and technical abilities of each student. Each year the society produces a full-length drama in the Fall and a complete musical in the Spring. VMA students are involved in all aspects of the productions, which are presented on the first two weekends of November and March.

Devon Prep Theater Program

Devon Preparatory School invites Villa Maria Academy students to participate in the Devon Prep Theater Program, which presents a fall drama and spring musical. Auditions are held at Devon Prep about three months prior to the opening of the show. Students interested in acting, singing, or dancing or stage crew in serious drama or musical comedy may use this as an avenue for their talent. The musical production usually allows for a large chorus so that many students have the chance to participate even if they do not have a large role in the production.