Ben Recchia directs annual CCS play for the second time
By Madison Hakey | The Charlotte News
Happy (belated) birthday, Dr. Seuss! In light of this whimsical author’s birthday on Mar. 2, CCS will present “Seussical” on Apr. 7, 8, and 9. The theatrical production is put into play by Charlotte’s own Benjamin Recchia as director; Sabrina Davis as band member and choreographer; Emma Hess, Elise Asker, Katey Hayes, and Rebecca Cottrell as backstage crew; Meg Young and Simone Edgar-Holmes on makeup; Emma Flore as assistant; Rayona Silverman and Paige Thibault on lights and sound; and finally Benjamin’s parents, Carl Recchia as music director and Mary Recchia on costumes. With such a wonderful crew of locals working together, the show will be all sorts of fun. Dr. Seuss would be proud.
The beginnings of a great director
Beginning just before his 7th grade year at CCS, Recchia participated in the Flynn Theatre’s production of “The Phenomenal Flynn Vaudeville Cabaret” because his dad and Robin Fawcett, the theatre arts teacher at CVU, were involved. Ironically, this show was “the first-ever vaudeville show on the Flynn main stage, a stage built for vaudeville,” Recchia says.
After enjoying this adventure, Recchia became an actor at CCS during his 7th and 8th grade years and continued to help with CCS productions during his freshman and sophomore years at CVU. Junior year, however, CCS found itself in a pickle: the school had no director. Since Recchia had been participating in the shows for quite some time, he understood what needed to be done in order to put on the show. After going through necessary preparations, Recchia presented his ideas to the principal and got the job. This year it just seemed to fit that Recchia would be the director again. “I love being able to provide a good theater experience for the kids,” he says. In fact, Recchia even shortened the rehearsal time to encourage students who were involved in winter sports to join in the fun. His number one concern is including everyone in this wonderful experience.
Playing the part
Recchia chose the play for this year based on a few things aside from the fact that Dr. Seuss’s birthday is around the time of the performance. Most important, Recchia knew the play needed to be a fun experience for the participants and the audience. “Seussical” is one of Recchia’s favorite plays because of how entertaining it is. In addition, he knew the script allowed for all students to be in on the action. “It’s no fun when four people have all the songs and the lines,” he says.
He would know. Having been main stage and backstage multiple times during his life, Recchia knows the ins and outs of theatre. Even though he loves directing, he says it’s hard to simply hope everything goes as planned and not be able to help if something does go wrong. “I like being able to help, and when I’m backstage I can do that.”
To next year and beyond
Theater work is a great hobby but not a career path for Recchia. Interested in science and art, Recchia says it is nice to go back and forth. However, his aspirations favor the scientific side of his interests. “I hope to be a vet for exotic animals at the zoo and aquarium,” he says. “Probably in the wild, too!” Adventure on, Recchia, whether on stage or in the zoo!