Greenport School District

Not just another curtain at Greenport auditorium

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda (left) celebrates the installation of a new high-tech theater curtain with Main Stage Dance Academy owner Lucille Naar-Saladino, the district’s technology coordinator Joe Capuano and elementary school principal Joseph Tsaveras.

Theatrical performances at Greenport School District’s newly restored 1930s auditorium are about to become quite stunning.

A white screen called a cyclorama curtain was installed as a backdrop to the stage earlier this month and will be used to change scenery and create atmosphere through the use of projected images.

In September, Lucille Naar-Saladino, owner of Main Stage Dance Academy in Greenport, approached the school district with a proposal to split the $5,000 cost of a cyclorama curtain. Ms. Naar-Saladino, a former Radio City Rockette, moved from Manhattan to Greenport about six years ago.

“Coming from the city, it’s great to find a group of people that are interested in making big things happen ,” she said. “I love Greenport.”

Superintendent Michael Comanda said he’s pleased with the joint effort because the district wouldn’t have been able to purchase the curtain on its own. He’s convinced the shared purchase will result in professional-level theatrical opportunities.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. “It’s an example of how being open to working together can accomplish bigger and better things.”

Performances scheduled for next month, including the school’s talent show and the dance academy’s annual recital, will be the first to make use of the new curtain.

Ms. Naar-Saladino said she fell in love with Green-port’s vintage auditorium when she first held a recital there about two years ago. After her second performance, she said she felt the stage’s black background needed to be changed.

“It was a little thorn in my side,” she said. “As a creative person, I’m always trying to see the perfect vision for a show. I wanted to give it a professional touch.”

The cyclorama curtain, which is used during some Broadway performances, is the latest addition to Greenport’s newly restored auditorium.

Last year, the district held a ribbon-cutting at the completion of the auditorium restoration project, which included replacing the roof and repairing the leaky ceiling, replacing portions of the stage that buckled due to water damage and restoring over 620 seats.

The district’s technology coordinator, Joe Capuano, who also owns the sound system rental and installation business JC Productions in Green-port, said students are excited about the high-tech curtain. The Green-port grad said he spent most of his high school years in the auditorium and believes the latest enhancement will give students a chance to create something that theatergoers experience on Broadway.

“This is my room and it will always have a special place in my heart,” he said. “Anything that we can do to further this room — make it more beautiful, make it better, enhance performances — I’m 110 percent on board.”

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