Cast and crew of ‘In the Heights’ send check for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

Posted:  Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 4:45pm

On November 17, a check for $1,500 was mailed to the New York City- based Hispanic Federation, designating the funds for “Unidos Disaster Relief & Recovery.” A letter from Camden Hills Regional High School Director Kim Murphy accompanied the check:

To Whom It May Concern:

Enclosed, please find our check to the Hispanic Federation for $,1500 for Unidos Hurricane Relief.  I would like to tell you a little bit about how we raised this money.

We recently produced Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical: In the Heights.  While we were rehearsing musical numbers and scenes from the show, portraying characters from the immigrant community of Washington Heights, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. 

While we were singing “Blackout,” we were reading headlines about a devastating blackout. 

As we were singing,  “we are powerless,” we were also reading headlines of Puerto Ricans feeling “powerless” – not only in reality, but also within their rights as American Citizens. 

And as we sang Miranda’s music, we again read how music can be used as a powerful tool – through the production of Lin-Manuel’s new song titled “Almost Like Praying” – with many Latino musicians coming together to perform and raise funds for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief.

And so we felt it fitting and timely that we should do our part.  Taking a cue from one of themes within the musical, where a central character wins money through a lottery, we also ran a “lottery” (50/50 raffle) during Intermission.  Many people were motivated to give to this cause.  Being powerless took on an additional meaning, as we Mainers lost power in a windstorm just three days before our show was scheduled to open.  Many were without power for six days; luckily the school got power back quickly and we were able to open In the Heights on time.  However, we reminded the audience – “Do you remember how you felt? Do you remember how you complained when you didn’t have power for six days? 

Well, if you lived in Puerto Rico, you would now be on day 52 without power.  We have the privilege to perform Lin-Manuel Miranda’s characters on stage tonight.  Let’s join with him in helping to raise money for hurricane relief, and show the world that we are not powerless.”

Pictured here are members of our cast and crew on closing night, Nov. 11, 2017.  

Also – a huge thank you to Alex Jurek and parents for selling 50/50 raffle tickets at each of the shows!  The winner of the 50/50 raffle was Karen Salenius!