Dr. Harriton 2021: Interview with Jonny & Nick

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For a new student or freshman, what Dr. Harriton is and what it stands for can be puzzling. Dr. Harriton is a show put on every year where each contestant and their “sponsor” support a non-profit that was selected by the student council.

Dr. Harriton is a great way for students to express themselves in a creative way to a larger audience, rather than just their friends, family, or classmates. Although much was unknown regarding whether or not the show would occur this year, Dr. Harriton is in fact taking place on May 21, just a few months later than usual.

The contestants, Harriton students, and Harriton teachers are excited to see what this year’s show will bring! Jonny Silverman (‘21) and Nick Biglin (‘22) are two of the contestants in this year’s Dr. Harriton and are more than ecstatic for the Harriton community to come together, watch, and create long-lasting memories. Here’s what they had to say about the show!

The Harriton Banner: What was your first experience with Dr. Harriton? 

Nick Biglin: I saw Dr. Harriton two years ago when I was a freshman and then again when I was a sophomore, which was right before quarantine, and it always seemed really awesome. I always knew people that were in it when I watched it and figured it was something I wanted to do. And so, I auditioned this year and obviously got in. 

THB: How about you, Jonny?

Jonny Silverman: I saw it freshman, sophomore, and junior year and I thought it looked really fun and a good opportunity to represent the school and do something for a good cause.

THB: What do you think is special about this show? Why is it so integral for Harriton’s culture?

NB: The joke is that Harriton has no school spirit. But people are always hype for it [Dr. Harriton]… People will legitimately go up to people and ask what’s going on with Dr. Harriton this year, because the show is usually in March and it got pushed back this year because of COVID restrictions. 

JS: It’s a time for the whole school to come together and watch something that people have worked hard to put on for everyone and it’s definitely something that everyone gets really into. Like you’ll be walking down the halls and people will be saying to you ‘Oh, you’re doing Dr. Harriton? Good luck! Good luck! How’s it going?’ and it’s really something that the whole school gets into and can rally behind. When the actual show is going on, it’s really exciting to watch and…something for a good cause. 

THB: How is Dr. Harriton different from talent shows at schools like Radnor or Conestoga? What makes it special? 

NB: I think it’s an inherently funny show, you know, in the years past. While it is not limited to only male contestants, it has been predominantly male, and you’re watching them do all these moves that would stereotypically be considered female dance moves, and that elicits humor in and of itself. I think that’s a really big part of it.

JS: I definitely agree with that. This isn’t just a normal talent show, there’s humor involved. It’s everyone dancing on stage in front of the whole school, like your friends, your teachers, your classmates are sitting in the audience watching you do something in front of everyone that’s funny because you’re doing moves you wouldn’t typically do in front of this amount of people. 

THB: How have you been able to balance your school and extracurriculars with Dr. Harriton? Have you found that to be a struggle or is this something that you’ve prioritized?

JS: I definitely have other things going on, like clubs, and obviously I prioritize my academics, but Dr. Harriton has practice every day from about 3-5 and I just know that from that time, I’m going to be unavailable. I’m going to be doing Dr. Harriton, and it’s a commitment and something that I want to do for my school… It’s a big-time commitment, but it’s something that’s worth it and pays off in the end. 

NB: Because of the dances, it’s dependent, you really need everyone there…. As long as you commit your time, it’s totally doable. 

THB: Okay! Last question: What was one performance, obviously since you’ve seen it in the years past, that you’ll always remember or inspire you? 

NB: Last year, Mikey Kotler, who is this year’s show director, wore what I believe to be a sparkly dress and sang “Holding Out For a Hero” from Shrek 2; that was pretty incredible. I am always going to remember that. 

JS: As Nicholas said, last year as a junior, one of my good friends Mikey Kotler was in the show and I was actually in part of his act helping him as a background dancer. Just doing that and seeing everything that goes on during the show, like behind stage and how everyone gets so close and all the funny things that take place…made me inspired to want to be a part of that this year. 

Watching Dr. Harriton is a great way to familiarize yourself with your community, and get to know everyone working on the show! This year’s show especially will be something to look forward to when school and other things are getting you down. Make sure to watch Nick, Jonny, and the other contestants of Dr. Harriton this year on May 21! Get excited Harriton!