LIHSA Student Raquel Sciacca Makes Off-Off-Broadway Debut January 18, 2024
LIHSA Student Raquel Sciacca, a junior from Smithtown, is already an accomplished actor, but this weekend marks a new career milestone as she makes her Off-Off-Broadway debut in the Pride House. The play is making its world premiere January 18 and running through February 10 at The Siggy @ The Flea Theater.
Raquel made her theatrical debut at the Smithtown Theater playing Molly in the musical Annie when she was eight years old. “I was really shy, but I love singing and dancing. After my first show, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life!” she shared.
Since that time, Raquel has consistently performed in regional theaters. One of her favorite roles was when she was cast as Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street at the Argyle Theatre.
Dedicated to singing and dancing, Raquel studies tap dancing and performs with the NYC Tap Crew under the direction of Thommie Retter. She also takes voice lessons with Raquel Fernandez, Michael Lee Brown and Badiene Magaziner.
Raquel also has a weekly voice over job for a kid’s cartoon called Orange Moo Cow. She explains that it’s a Russian kids cartoon that started streaming on Kidoodle Tv and Youtube and she voices Cathy Cat’s lines in English. She additionally has been performing at 54 Below with Future Fest the last few years.
She was cast in Pride House through an open audition process. “I got really excited when I got the callback. The Director was so kind and told me he had seen me perform in A Christmas Story at the Engeman Theatre and also A Miracle on 34th Street at the Argyle and I thought it was cool that I already had a connection with him. When I got the email that I booked it I was jumping up and down!”
The Pride House cast of 15 started rehearsals on January 2nd. It is set in 1938 and Raquel is playing a 13-year-old Jewish girl who left France because of the Nazi era. Her character has an 8-year-old brother, and the rest of the cast are adults. She loves the cast and especially loves working directly with the playwright, Chris Weikel. She shares, “He’s in the room with us. We can share feedback on the lines. We collaborate on what works for the actor and the playwright. It’s so cool to see what his original thoughts were and how it evolves.”
The show title refers to a house on Fire Island. Raquel comments it’s a real house and still there today; a place she hopes to visit someday. It’s not just her first Off-Off-Broadway show, but her first role in a non-musical drama.
It takes Raquel about an hour on the train to get to New York City for rehearsals and she uses that time to keep up with her work. It’s been a very hard balance with late rehearsal nights, but she’s getting it done!
Raquel’s dad is an educator and learned about LIHSA through his work. Raquel’s parents were instrumental in working with Smithtown to allow students to attend LIHSA. It was worth the advocacy, “I love it! It’s so amazing to go to!” she shared. She also enjoyed hearing from former LIHSA students on Alumni Day last month. “Some alumni came back and talked about how you can also go into different theater fields like backstage and the importance of having a back-up plan. I thought that was really interesting and cool.”
Raquel’s dream is to attend college for musical theater and perform on Broadway someday. We will be cheering her on. Break a leg, Raquel!
Check out some photo highlights from Raquel’s work.