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The Thespians of Nutley High School

Nutley High School offers many extracurriculars and academic achievements for the students that attend. One that many people may not know about is the International Thespian Honor Society, which is an honor society for high school and middle school theatre students. The society came to be at Nutley High School in the spring of 2018 where the first group of students were inducted. Among those was Julia Resnick, the current president of the Honor Society. The honor society’s advisor is Mr. Michael Gurrieri, an English/theatre/public speaking teacher at Nutley High School. Gurrieri said that his own personal experience in the theatre has been, “truly transformative and helped shape me into the person I am today.”


To be inducted, students must reach ten points which is, “roughly the equivalent of 100 hours of working in the theatre in various capacities,” stated Gurrieri. Being a part of this honor society gives students opportunities such as competing in state and national competitions, workshops and scholarship opportunities. Last year, the Nutley High School Thespian Troupe 4757 attended the New Jersey Thespian Festival, an event where theatre students from all over New Jersey compete and take part in workshops. Thespian Honor Society President, Julia Resnick, recalled how going to the 2018 NJ Thespian Festival, “was one of the best decisions of my life.” She followed up by explaining the awesome workshops they had available and the panel she went to about auditioning for colleges. 


The theatre programs offered at Nutley High School have grown in the past years. The most popular program being the spring musical. However, Gurrieri, “wanted to ensure that the theatre students here at Nutley had a wide range of opportunities,” so he intended to, “branch out by expanding the program.” This lead to the development of the Survey of Theatre/Theatre Arts I elective and launching the Thespian Honor Society in 2018. 


Julia Resnick spoke about her goals for the 2019-2020 school year. After the Fall Play was cut in the fall of 2018, Resnick, along with others who wanted the play, decided to try to bring it back for Fall 2019. The Nutley High School Fall Play is now back up and running for the fall of 2019 and is student directed by Resnick as well. Resnick is “so happy to say that Night Of The Living Dead will be performed on October 29 and 30 at JHWMS's choir room.” The play is another amazing opportunity for theatre students to shine and express their creativity in another way other than the musical. Resnick intends for “hopefully many Thespian run plays to come at NHS with plays that can be minimal, but also very very fun!”


Gurrieri stated that he hopes, “the program continues to grow in the years to come.” He remembered how much theatre meant to him back in high school and how much it still means to him. Gurrieri wanted that for the students here and it seems as though, it will only grow with time. As the theatre community at Nutley High School increases and the Thespian Troupe adds on new members, look into seeing one of the spectacular shows put on by these passionate and talented students!