Dr. Harriton 2022: Jason Dichter and Josh Smith


Pictured: Josh Smith (Left) and Jason Dichter (Right)

Jenna Ledley, Features Editor


School can be challenging and stressful, which is why it is so important for our school to have Dr. Harriton, a night where everyone in the school, teachers and students alike, come together for a night of fun and laughter and good deeds. Every year, Dr. Harriton not only brings the community together to watch fun talents and dances, but also to help and support local charities. This year’s Dr. Harriton is coming up on Friday on February 25th, so make sure to buy your tickets soon!


I interviewed two of Dr. Harriton’s contestants: Josh Smith (‘22) and Jason Dichter (‘22), to learn more about them and the upcoming show.


The Harriton Banner: What was your first experience with Dr. Harriton? (ie. going to the show when you were a freshman, having an older sibling go through the experience)?


Josh Smith: One of my friends had a brother who was in the show [during my] freshman year and I really looked up to him and thought it was cool that he was doing it. I also saw a senior who was a huge role model for me, whether he knew it or not, and I knew that if they could do it then I should definitely try.


Jason Dichter: I’ve attended Dr. Harriton since the 2017 show, which was one year after my sister attended it for the first time. After I saw how much she enjoyed it, I went the next year and have enjoyed every single show since then.


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


JS: There are so many things that really make this show special. Of course the first being the charity, but even after that, the friends that I have made, that I probably wouldn’t have [otherwise], is a great part as well. But I think that biggest is just the amount of attention that this show gets from the Harriton community. The Student Council has done an amazing job advertising and working hard on getting it out there and I think it is just a cool way to see some kids you know showcase talents or just go out on stage and have fun.


JD: I think this show is so special because not only does it do a great job of uniting the entire Harriton community, but it raises money for two great charities. The biggest thing though is how Dr. Harriton brings together many people with little to no dancing/show experience, and somehow puts on a great show because of all the hard work and dedication that everyone puts into it.


THB: How is the Dr. Harriton experience different from anything you have done before?


JS: Dancing has never been something I have done, so doing that has been something that I had to work on. I have never been pushed to do so many things that are outside of my comfort zone but I think it is really good and I’m excited for everyone to watch Superman take a dub.


JD: Dr. Harriton is different from what I’ve done before because it is one of the largest time commitments …I’ve ever [had]. It also is one of [best], if not the greatest, experiences to bond [with] people who you might not have started [of] as the closest friends [with].


THB: How has COVID had an impact on the show? How do you feel about the changes?


JD: COVID definitely has had an impact on the show, considering we had a temporary shut down due to some cases. We also have the opportunity this year to sell virtual livestream tickets, something that was not done before for Dr. Harriton. Although we didn’t have full capacity until recently, which is definitely an impact of COVID, we are still trying to make this show as big as possible and have as many viewers as possible.


THB: What has the experience of preparing for Dr. Harriton been like so far for you? Could you share any funny rehearsal stories or a lesson that you learned over the past months?


JS: These practices … are long. So it’s just like a sport … but it has had its moments. I think I can say this since it didn’t happen, but when we were planning to do a dance for the pep rally we didn’t have, we just started listening to different songs and dancing to them and it was the best moment that I had with everyone in the show.


JD: The experience has been a massive commitment, but an amazing opportunity to have a bunch of decently uncoordinated people learn how to dance and memorize an amazing and difficult dance. All the long hours and work [have] been worth it. My favorite rehearsal story was when the music cut out during a run through, and instead of stopping we sang the next 6 minutes of the dance and kept going.


THB: What is one past Dr. Harriton performance that you will always remember?


JS: I will never forget Ryan Dieudonné weight lifting 2 people without dropping them. While also looking like a jazzercise teacher…


JD: I will always remember Andy Wu’s performance during the 2020 Dr. Harriton because it was not only an amazing talent but it was unreal how well he did and how he managed to connect to the audience. That was definitely an unforgettable performance.


This year’s Dr. Harriton contestants have worked incredibly hard to put together an amazing show. They have learned tough dances, overcome COVID challenges, and stepped far outside of their comfort zones, all to put together a night for our school to enjoy. Be sure to buy your tickets today and keep an eye out for Josh and Jason, who will be competing for the 15th annual Dr. Harriton title!