Drama students’ monologues reflect growing up in ‘Our Town’


Mrs. Settembrino

A line of Tahsheem Williams’ monologue reads “I hope after this show everyone appreciates their town and school a little more because when you take a closer look, your town and school are what make you who you are.”

The high school drama class recently constructed and performed authentic monologues called “My Town” inspired by the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

“The fact that many students brought their monologues to Becton and continued to refer to it [Becton] as their home was the most touching part of the activity,” said Mrs. Settembrino, the instructor of the course.

The speeches about their childhood memories covered the span of several years that they have lived in East Rutherford and Carlstadt. They also emphasized the importance of valuing and appreciating daily life experiences and interactions.

Senior Jaylen Nuila specifically referenced her very first games played on McKenzie Field. “In eighth grade, my closest friend Amber and I would sit at the top [of the dugout] for hours and talk about our dreams or how we envisioned high school…now there is a new batch of kids climbing dugouts while planning their future, hoping to end up better than us,” she expressed. Concluding her act with an emotional turn, she gave her audience a casual goodbye after putting on her graduation gown. The senior believes this activity was a great way to reconcile with her past and improve on her future.

Monserrath Martinez
“Here we can find Riggin Field, where every Friday night those white lights beamed on my face as the fall wind sent shivers up my spine,” said Jaylen.

Furthermore, Junior Tahsheem Williams touched upon the gap that technology creates between teenagers and their daily relationships. “If this were the 80s or 90s, kids would have the street flooded with games, laughter, and memories. Nowadays, the stories are all inside their homes or on a screen,” he wrote. He also emphasized the significant pride and passion Becton athletes have for their school. “When you wear the Wildcat, you feel like you are a part of something. The teams, no matter what sport you play, become a family,” conveyed the drama student.

In essence, both students believe that joining the drama class has been a great opportunity for them to collaborate and exercise their creativity. “As a person, this assignment made me realize that I should appreciate the small things in life and the daily things we take for granted,” said Jaylen. They hope that their performances inspired the rest of their classmates and encouraged them to appreciate their experiences and opportunities while living in East Rutherford or Carlstadt.

The Becton drama instructor graded the written aspect of the monologues, as well as the individual performances. Her goal for the assignment was for her students to capture the essence of their hometown while at the same time, bring their monologues to life.

Excerpt from Jaylen Nuila’s Monologue

In the spring, the final season for a lot of us in our town; the last stop is Becton High School. In these crowded, narrow halls, there are thousands of conversations happening at once and thousands of memories being made. Shoving our friends in lockers while decorating hallways and taking the infamous Becton bathroom selfies is quickly coming to an undesirable end. The long four years will end in the blink of an eye, and maybe we will realize our teachers were right about most things. Becton, where I spent hours after school running around wearing maroon while hitting volleyballs and shooting basketballs, is home, a home I have to leave.

Excerpt from Tahsheem Williams’ Monologue

Henry P. Becton Regional High School is the name, Becton for short. The school educates 500 students. I would say about eighty-five percent don’t realize how blessed they are. The school is a pretty modern building with multiple computer labs and a nice-sized gym. Although the heating and cooling systems are a little annoying sometimes, we forget that some schools not too far away don’t have them. The school is always hosting events and fundraisers to give the students new experiences and opportunities. Most of the teachers are there to make the community better as many of them attended the school they now serve. Most of the teachers are underappreciated by the students. Their efforts in finding creative and fun activities to keep the students engaged often go unnoticed.