The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

Return of performing arts at MC?

Jack Breakey ’24
Mr. KC Perlberg on the famous stage in the Student Center, where he also teaches his classes this year.

If asked to consider the main cultural center of Mount Carmel, many would think of being under the lights at Barda-Dowling Stadium. But what about being under the lights on a stage on the north side of campus? 

The Student Center used to be home to many memorable theater and musical performances. During the school year, there were two major performances, a drama play that was performed in the fall and a musical in the spring. 

“When I started here, they were huge,” Mrs. Julie Chappetto, Dean of the Fine Arts Department and Assistant Dean, said when asked about the history of theater at Mount Carmel. Mrs. Chappetto further said that she used to help during the plays, especially with her art class and the Art Club. She even acted in one of the plays as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The problem was that throughout the years, even before COVID-19, the leadership of the Theater Club at MC began to dwindle. With the exit of influential former teachers and moderators, many students just lost interest in the program as a whole. The COVID breakout then indefinitely snuffed out MC’s Theater Club. 

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But last spring, several students were involved in a drama festival consisting of multiple ten-minute, one-act plays. “We put a lot of hard work into it,” said Angelo Correa ’25, who was involved as an actor.  “It just needed a better campaign.” 

The performance was a mild success, and comments for the festival were also very positive. ‘“I would do again,” said Jason Isais ’25, another performer last spring

But this year, a new teacher could change this forgotten program. From the great state of Michigan, Mr. KC Perlberg joined the Mount Carmel faculty in August. “This is why I am here in the first place,” said Mr. Perlberg about his plan for performing arts at MC.

Mr. Perlberg had a passion for music and arts at a very early age. He attended an all-boys high school in the Detroit area before continuing his love for music at Michigan State University where he studied Music Education and was a member of the Spartan Marching Band.

Mr. Pelberg believes that students should be the ones in charge of performing arts. “Let the spirit of the Mount Carmel students push us into a particular direction,” he said.  He also to speak to every individual Studium, formerly known as Division,  and make students there fill out a survey about their interest in performing arts. Other than the support from the students, Mrs. Chappetto even said that some alumni have expressed interest in possibly helping out getting performing arts back to where it used to be at MC.

The program is still very much in the works. Nothing is yet official. Mr. Perlberg and Mrs. Chappetto both mentioned that it depends on the willingness of the student body to participate in performing arts.

But who knows? Maybe in the next four years, Mount Carmel could have a booming theater program like it did in the past. As Mr. Perlberg noted, “Performing arts at Carmel has a very bright future.”

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About the Contributor
Jack Breakey ’24
Jack Breakey ’24, Staff Writer
John “Jack” Breakey is a Senior at Mount Carmel High School. Jack resides on the South Side of Chicago in the Morgan Park neighborhood. He also attended grammar school in the neighborhood at St. Cajetan School.  Jack is a member of Caravan Broadcasting Network as their Senior Producer and also a member of the MC Model UN club and a Peer Leader. Outside of school, he’s a member of the Chicago Fire Department Gold Badge Society. For hobbies, Jack enjoys bike riding, watching movies, playing video games, and researching government. One of Jack’s favorite pastimes is listening to music. He is a large fan of rock and roll, especially Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and the genre of bluegrass. This influence came from his father, Thomas Breakey, Mount Carmel class of 1982, and an active Chicago firefighter. His father has been a large inspiration for Jack, who has become a better man because of his father. Jack's dream job is working in international relations or national security. He researches current world events and conflicts while also being a student of history. Who knows? Jack might become the real Jack Ryan one day.