‘Wizard of Oz’ is Zatorski’s curtain call
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Zatorski also had a no cut policy, so every student who auditioned would be guaranteed at least some role in the play.
South’s actors have high praise for Zatorski. “He’s the patriarch of this whole big family that becomes a show,” said senior Christina Casillo, who played the Scarecrow in the most recent play.
Casillo, who has starred in five plays since ninth grade, said despite tremendous pressure leading up to a show, Zatorski keeps calm and never breaks a sweat.
Trevor Ramcharitar, who played the Emerald City guard, said the students affectionately call him “Z.” Aimee Kaplan has been in six plays under Zatorski’s tutelage. “He’s become more than a teacher,” said Kaplan, who played the Wicked Witch. “He’s become one of my best friends.”
Several alumni attended the April 6 to show their appreciation for their former director and chorus teacher.
Zatorski said he isn’t sure what is next after retirement. He will also be stepping down from his summer gig as the organist in Valley Stream’s weekly Community Band concerts. He is considering doing some work with community theater, possibly playing in the pit.
First, he said, it is time for a break. But that doesn’t mean he won’t miss the atmosphere of rehearsals, the interaction with the students or the chance to shape budding actors.
Zatorski said putting on a play is unlike any other experience that students get in school. “It’s not a test,” he said. “The show has to go on. I really think it’s education at it’s finest.”