The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

The Harriton Banner

The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

The Harriton Banner

The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

The Harriton Banner

Interview with Jack Lesser and Josh Markowitz


Harriton’s beloved tradition of Dr. Harriton has returned for another fantastic year, exceptionally uniting students and the Harriton community through its fundraising initiatives and engaging performance. This year’s Dr. Harriton takes us through various unique decades, each with their respective quirks, whether it be iconic hairstyles or exotic clothing. Each of the eleven contestants will resemble a different era, giving the 2024 show the name of Dr. Heraton. Though the contestants each have distinct acts and eras which they resemble, they will, nevertheless, work as a team to produce the group dances and to fundraise for this year’s charities of choice: The Lower Merion Scholarship Fund and Jerseys for Kids. We have had the pleasure of interviewing two of the contestants, Jack Lesser and Josh Markowitz, and have received insightful intel on what the experience has looked like for them . 

The Harriton Banner: What made you initially interested in participating in Dr. Harriton?

Jack Lesser: The culture. The opportunity to build an unbreakable bond with the team. I do already have one family, but I have been able to build another one. I will be forever bonded to my 10 other contestants after putting in long hard days dancing at various religious centers around the main line. 

Josh Markowitz: When I first saw Dr Harriton, I was a freshman watching my brother compete in it, and although his act was not anything above par, I was beyond captivated by the entire production of the show and the overall quality of it. I saw the faces on the contestants, and it just looked like an overall unforgettable experience. I knew then that I had to participate once I was a senior.

THB: What has been the most rewarding part of the whole experience?

JL: Personally for me, the most rewarding aspect has been going from an absolutely abysmal dancer to just a bad dancer. I really have made great strides in my abilities. Although, I am still officially ranked as the worst dancer per the choreographers.

JM: The most rewarding part of the whole experience has been the closeness of the group this year. From the contestants to the audio department to producers, directors, lighting, and everything in-between, it feels like one big family. Being together everyday after school for two hours for three months straight has made this group a big family, and I have got to interact with people that I maybe would not have if I never decided to participate. I am grateful for the great group of guys and girls that are a part of this year’s Dr. Harriton. I am also officially ranked as the third best dancer per the choreographers.

THB: Do you have any funny rehearsal stories? If so, what?

JL: The funniest moment had to be when Blake Newman thought he deserved to be the first string quarterback over me on the Dr. H football team. Blake? Pshhh I dominate him every day that ends in y.

JM: Me and my fellow contestant Jack Mattikow were practicing a part of the intro dance one day, and we both just could not figure it out. We called an official timeout, went into the church bathroom, and did the dance about 30 times until we got it. We then went home, and practiced it by ourselves for hours on end. Sweat, tears, and hard work went into practicing this part of the dance, which by the way was only about 15 seconds long. Fast forward a few days, me and Mattikow finally have gotten the whole dance down and are extremely excited to show everyone that we did it. Then, the top dawgs (directors) decided to cut that part from the intro dance. It is safe to say me and Mattikow contemplated our hard work after finding out about the recent executive decision made by corporate. However, it showed that although we would not be able to present the dance to the hundreds in attendance, we would work endlessly to make the show the best it could be, and move on into our new endeavors in future dances.

THB: Has anything surprised you about the experience?

JL: I wouldn’t say I was completely surprised because I knew somewhat. But Noah Ufberg is the most talented human I have ever let my eyes gander upon.

JM: The progress you will make as an overall dancer from the beginning to the end. In the beginning, I found myself struggling to do some simple moves that were taught to us. Now, those moves are simply second nature to me. I never knew that Dr Harriton could make me such a great dancer, and I look forward to potentially using the skills I learned here, and bringing them to places such as America’s Got Talent, or So You Think You Can Dance.

THB: What do you think will make this years’ Dr. Harriton special?

JL: Sam Smolen’s uncanny ability to work the curtains. I mean every time I get to watch him do his thing it amazes me. He’s by far the best curtain operator I’ve worked with, maybe the best of all time. 

JM: Watching the boys and girls climb the mountain of adversity. From heinous dancers to star-studded performers, it is going to be a presentation like no other. Also, our lights department is crazy, those lights change colors and stuff, it is more than a show, it is a grand spectacle.

THB: What is a lesson you have learned from this experience so far?

JL: I really have to get in shape. 

JM: Dancing should never be doubted as a difficult sport and it is worthy of becoming an olympic sport. That stuff is hard man wow.

The 2024 Dr. Harriton group includes perfect examples of what every highschool aims for: hardworking, passionate students. It was wonderful to see what Jack, Josh, and the other contestants worked so hard to bring to life on March 1st!

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About the Contributors
Libby Gaber
Libby Gaber, Arts and Entertainment Writer
Libby is a junior who is glad to be back writing for her second year in The Banner. Outside of writing, you can find her testing out new coffee shops, training service animals, exploring different hiking trails with her mom and dog, and excessively watching How I Met Your Mother. She also spends a lot of her time as a Harriton Service League officer, a yearbook editor, and treasurer for Ms. Jawork’s recycling club.
Grace Heller
Grace Heller, Arts and Entertainment Writer
Grace is a junior who is excited to write for the second year in the banner. Other than writing articles, you can find Grace watching Gilmore Girls, trying out new restaurants, spending time down the shore, playing golf, or listening to music. Other than The Banner, Grace rows for Harriton’s crew team, leads her freshman advisory, competes for FBLA, leads the global citizenship club and HSL’s Jared’s Box, and more! Grace looks forward to a great year with The Banner.

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