Spotlight of the Week: Sammy Koolik and Matias Litewka


Rachel Snyder

Sammy Koolik and Matias Litewka pose outside of Stacy Auditorium, where they will be performing later this week.

This week, Type One sat down with seniors Sammy Koolik and Matias Litewka to ask them some questions about PC’s production of Brighton Beach Memoirs.  This seven-character play revolves around a Jewish-American family living in New York City during the late 1930s.  Koolik and Litewka shared with us details of their experiences with fine arts at the Pine and helped give a sneak peek at what audience members should expect this week.

Type One: Who is your character in Brighton Beach Memoirs and how do they fit into the plot?

Sammy Koolik: I play Eugene Morris Jerome, a 15-year-old boy who is an aspiring writer and baseball player. Eugene is the narrator of the play, as he records all of his family’s crazy antics in his memoirs.

Matias LitewkaI play Jack, a 42-year-old man with an insufferable family, a heart condition, freeloading relatives, and a mistress named Helene.

Carolina Salazar, Class of 2017
Sammy Koolik’s “Dill” and junior Cayleigh Pine’s “Scout” interacting in PC’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”


T1: What has been your favorite role besides this one?

Koolik: I really enjoyed playing Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. This performance was very exciting because we were able to address many controversial topics (most of which are still very relevant today) in front of such a large audience.

Litewka: Probably man #1 in middle school, because I was #1, so that was pretty cool. Other than that, being the director in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was sick too, because I got to yell at everyone, and that’s always fun!

Tara Schulman, Class of 2017
Matias Litewka as “Peter Quince” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” pictured alongside juniors Drew Morris and Hank Ingham and Class of 2017 graduate Richard Silverman.


T1: When and why did you get involved in theater?

Koolik: When I was in 2nd grade I saw The Lion King on Broadway and was absolutely mesmerized. From then on, I started taking theater classes and participating in school and community-based productions.

Litewka: In eighth grade, I was at a rocket club meeting, and JB (senior Johnathan Ballou) said something along the lines of “Do the musical, you won’t,” so I was like “I won’t?,” and he was like “you won’t,” so I was like “bet, watch me,” and I joined the musical.


T1: What is it like being a part of such a small cast?

Koolik: Working in this small group has really allowed us to take on these characters in such an intimate setting. Being a part of such a small cast also forced us to form incredibly strong bonds with one another.

Litewka: It’s nice being so close to everyone, and I can join the Snapchat group chat without wanting to throw my phone out the window because of notification spam.


T1: What extracurricular activities are you involved in outside of acting?

Koolik: Outside of acting I am also involved in dance, sailing, and art. Outside of all that I spend most of my time at home cooking and baking with new inventive recipes.

Litewka: My extracurricular activities include watching soccer, lifting but not getting bigger, vibing, wearing sunglasses, pretending to be a congressman (Model Congress), pretending to be a UN delegate (Model UN), pretending to be other characters, pretending to be cool, and vibing. 


T1: What is your favorite non-theater moment of your senior year?

Koolik: My favorite moment of senior year has definitely been being accepted to college and finally being able to be a care-free second-semester senior.

Litewka: My favorite non-theater moment of senior year is probably having my homecoming court speech read to the school, which had rave reviews from admin including, but not limited to, “No.” and “I assume this is a joke.”


T1: What is your favorite scene or moment in the play?

Koolik: My favorite moment of this play is when Eugene breaks the 4th wall to address the audience in a classic Ferris-Bueller-like fashion.

Litewka: I’m not sure that I’m allowed to write it here, but it has to do with Eugene (Sammy), his cousin Nora (Cayleigh Pine), and their adventure to the Golden Palace of the Himalayas.


T1: What should audience members look forward to?

Koolik: Audience members are in for a treat if they come see this production filled with humor as well as poignant, heartfelt family moments.

Litewka: Sammy creepily hitting on his cousin, Sammy being a star athlete, Sammy’s mom disliking the Irish and gingers, as well as many other moments I don’t want to spoil. Just come to the play, and watch us whack this play out of the park!


For more information about the play, click here.  Make sure to come and watch Sammy, Matias, and the rest of the Brighton Beach Memoirs cast this Thursday and Friday, February 1st and 2nd, at 7:00 pm. in Stacy Auditorium.  We hope to see you there!