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Montezuma-Cortez High School to present ‘Hello Dolly’ in March

Tickets to the show can be purchased online at

By Bailey Duran Special to The Journal

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024 5:58 PM Updated Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 6:04 PM

Montezuma-Cortez High School’s theater program is nearing the conclusion of rehearsals for the play “Hello Dolly,” which they will present in March.

The play will run on four dates, March 8-9 and 15-16 at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

This unique play not only involves members of the high school drama program, but also individuals from the community in the cast, crew and orchestra.

MCHS theater director Nicholaus Sandner said the youngest members of the group are pre-middle school age.

“We’ve got a number of people from the community. We’ve got several adults and then we’ve also got a lot of little kids,” Sandner said.

Dolly is being played by Emmie Beckler, and other lead roles include Irene Molloy by Lily Sandner, Minnie Fay is played by Maecyn White, Horace Vandergelder is played by Chandler Snyder, Cornelius Hackl is played by Xander Bennett and Barnaby Tucker is played by Carter Tanner.

The play takes place at the turn of the century in 1890 Yonkers, New York. Dolly, the protagonist, is an influential woman who is also a widow. Her husband was very wealthy, generous and well known by all in Yonkers.

Following her husband’s death, Dolly helps arrange people’s marriages, unintentionally falling in love herself.

Throughout the story, Dolly maneuvers people and their relationships to help find her ideal relationship.

Another part of the story follows young storekeepers who have never been out of Yonkers, who go to New York City. While there, they meet some young ladies and end up going on an adventure complete with dancing and “lots of singing.”

“It’s fun. The songs are all really catchy and charming,” Sandner said. “The dancing is really fun too, and the turn of the century costumes are really cool.”

Sandner said that along with learning the lines and preparing for their lead roles, Lily Sandner and White have been creating the dance choreography with the help of an adult volunteer.

“Most of our students are not necessarily trained dancers, so when we come into choreography and coming up with choreography, we try to work to their abilities and to their strengths,” Sander said.

“They’re having to balance playing roles in the play and also figuring out choreography and teaching it which has been a fun challenge,” Sandner said of Lily Sandner and White.

Some of the choreography inspiration has come from YouTube and movies, and then the choreographers come up with ideas for how to best utilize their favorite styles of dance.

Emily Lyndaker, the adult volunteer, has been helping Sandner and White with their choreography ideas.

“She’s been helping the girls bring out new ideas,” Sandner said. “She has a natural ability for coming up with interesting looking moves that fit within the music.”

Tickets to the show can be purchased online at

All photos by Nicholaus Sandner from recent Tech rehearsals

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