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CT High School Musical Theater Awards Night – Guilford’s Sweeney Was King

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on CT High School Musical Theater Awards Night – Guilford’s Sweeney Was King
Jun 062017
 

We all love the Amity Spring Musicals, the singing, the dancing, the acting, lighting, sets, and music, but evidently, the judges for the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards (CHSMTA) thought that Guilford’s production of Sweeney Todd was just “this much” better.

Of its 13 nominations, including its eighth nomination for outstanding musical production, Amity took home one award and ONE very special recognition, but no trophy.

Our own Yuliya Faryna won the Outstanding Supporting Actress award for her role as Golde (the mother) in Fiddler on the Roof.

And CHSMTA founder Brett A. Bernardini took time out from the Outstanding Student Achievement announcements to recognize Amity’s Harrison Paek for his work in the Arts in Education Student Achievement category.

Even though Harrison didn’t receive an award, he did have an opportunity to make a very well thought out speech.

Maybe I’m just partial to our Amity students, but I believe Eric Greenbaum, Tevye from Fiddler on The Roof, brought the house down when he performed “If I Were A Rich Man.” Thunderous applause and a standing ovation followed his song. (Not all of the Lead Actor Nominees received the same awesome reaction). He is a winner in my eyes.

The cast performed the “dream” sequence, including the towering ghost, also getting a standing ovation from their peers and the entire audience.

What do they say, “It doesn’t matter if you win, just being nominated is enough.” (?)

Although we always hope for more, there was an awful lot of talent on the Palace Theater stage on Monday night and Amity was well represented. Principal Anna Mahon did a terrific job making an award presentation.

Congratulations to Yuliya and Harrison for your honors, and to everyone that won awards.

To the Amity Theater Department as a whole, congratulations on all of your nominations. You deserved every one.

Until next year.

CT High School Musical Theater Awards Gala On Monday

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on CT High School Musical Theater Awards Gala On Monday
Jun 032016
 

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 1.01.59 AM

Amity’s Lillian Querker nominated for her supporting role as Little Red in “Into the Woods.”

Do you have your tickets for the 2016 CT High School Musical Theater Awards gala?

The Black Tie affair will take place at the Palace Theater, 100 E. Main St., Waterbury, on Monday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at www.palacetheaterct.org

Amity received 7 nominations for this year’s Spring Musical, “Into the Woods.”

OUTSTANDING HAIR & MAKE UP DESIGN

Amity Regional High School
Andrea Kennedy – INTO THE WOODS

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

Amity Regional High School
Julie Chevan -INTO THE WOODS

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN

Amity Regional High School
Dan Hassenmayer – INTO THE WOODS

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN

Amity Regional High School
Tom “Ivan” Ivanovich – INTO THE WOODS

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION

Amity Regional High School
Robert & Andrea Kennedy – INTO THE WOODS

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amity Regional High School
Lillian Querker – Little Red – INTO THE WOODS

PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR

Amity Regional High School
INTO THE WOODS

NOTE: Amity usually sweeps the categories with at least 3 actor nominations, Student Orchestra and Musical Direction, but not this year. Let’s see how it all pans out during the big competition.

 

Amity Wins 2 of 14 Nominated High School Musical Theater Awards — Plus One Big Bonus

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Amity Wins 2 of 14 Nominated High School Musical Theater Awards — Plus One Big Bonus
Jun 022015
 

Ryan Kennedy was honored for his work as young Tarzan.

Ryan Kennedy was honored for his work as young Tarzan.

On May 18, Orange Live was with Rob Kennedy and the Amity Theater kids when they learned they had received 14 nominations from the CT High School Musical Theater Awards officials.

On Monday evening, June 1, everyone was dressed to the nines as they entered the Palace Theater in Waterbury for the Awards Gala.

Amity, with its nomination as Outstanding Production of the Year, opened the show with a musical number from Tarzan. Little Ryan Kennedy as young Tarzan getting hoots and hollers from the crowd, even though, unfortunately, something was wrong with the sound system. For the first 1/4 of the song the audience could only really enjoy the dancing and heard a low mumble as the kids sang their hearts out.

Amity kids weren’t the only ones to be muted, the first best actress nominee to perform powered through about a third of her song without being heard as well.

The Amity contingent went wild when presenter Connor Deane — Orange native, Amity grad, former Amity theater kid, graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College- Conservatory of Music and now the Executive Director/Resident Acting Coach at the Broadway Method Academy in Trumbull— graced the stage to present the award for Outstanding Hair and Make up Achievement.

Presenter Connor Deane greets winner Andrea Kennedy.

Presenter Connor Deane greets winner Andrea Kennedy.

The Amity group also shattered the sound barrier when Andrea Kennedy and David Linet won that award. Andrea hugged her former student, then graciously accepted the award and gave David plenty of time to offer his thanks too.

The second award that Amity won was for Outstanding Sound Design – Tom “Ivan” Ivanovich and Dave Trovarelli – Horizon Sound.

As the evening wound down to a close with only a few categories left to announce, Brett Bernardini, who founded the Awards 7 years ago, announced that they never present any awards for no reason, but several professionals in New York and adjudicators in Connecticut insisted that one person receive an award for his work and for inspiring an entire school. That person is Ryan Kennedy.

Ryan took the stage to thunderous applause and gave a sweet, unprepared speech.

Amity’s Tarzan and Jane, Max Karsanow and Addie Robbins were part of an ensemble group of students from 13 high schools who took part in the tribute song of the evening — “What I Did For Love” — a tradition that began two years ago to honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary.

One Amity Alumni that we didn’t see (but his name appeared in the program) was 2013 grad Peter Charney, who was the Assistant Stage Manager.

St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol was the big winner with 7 awards, including Lead Actress, Director and Production of the Year.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.59.00 PMBut Amity wasn’t out of the spotlight. While accepting his best director award, St. Paul’s Mark Mazzarella took a moment to mention that his students noticed the person next to him, shook his hand and hugged him whenever he won an award. “Wasn’t he up for that award too?” they’d ask.

That person, his competition, was Amity’s Rob Kennedy.

Mazzarella said, “It’s not that you win, or how many prizes you take home, it’s your actions that the kids see that will leave a lasting impression.”

The Spirit of St. Paul

One of Mazzarella’s students, Chiara Giampietro was up for Best Actress for her role as Maria in The Sound of Music. On Sunday evening she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Knowing that she wouldn’t be able to perform her full number, Mazzarella quickly put together a 3 minute video showing highlights of her performance in the play.

Out of the hospital, less than 24 hours after her life saving surgery Chiara came on stage after St. Paul’s cast performance and sang a couple of lines from Climb Ev’ry Mountain with KodyLynn Perkins who won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as Mother Abbas.

Chiara went on stage a few minutes later when her name was announced as best actress, and then again when St. Paul’s won best production of the year.

Chiara and Best Actor Zac Gottschall will both represent Connecticut in the Nationals on Broadway and have won $1,000 scholarships to attend the Broadway Method Academy’s Musical Theater Summer Intensive course.

This may not have been Amity’s year, but, as Ryan Kennedy said, “Even if we don’t win Production of the Year, it’s just an honor to be here.”

And the Winners Are … Full List of CT High School Musical Theater Award Recipients

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on And the Winners Are … Full List of CT High School Musical Theater Award Recipients
Jun 032014
 

Barbie Harger accepts the Award for best Lobby Display on behalf of Amity High School.

Barbie Harger accepts the Award for best Lobby Display on behalf of Amity High School.

Amity High School won three prizes at the Ct High School Musical Theater Awards event on June 2.

St. Paul Catholic High School was the big winner, taking home the most trophies for its production of A Little Princess.
Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress
Jillian Caillouette
A Little Princess
St. Paul Catholic

Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actor
Michael Hudak
Les Miserables
Immaculate High School

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress
Caleigh Lozito
A Little Princess
St. Paul Catholic High School

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor
Michael Lepore
RENT: School Edition
Trumbull High School

Ort Pengue Award for Outstanding Costume Design
Joanne Nyerick & Patricia O’Hagan
A Little Princess
St. Paul High School

Outstanding Hair & Make-up Achievement
Linda Hurst and Shannon-Courtney Denihan
Thoroughly Modern Millie
New Canaan High School

Outstanding Lighting Achievement
Alicia Richards (Lighting), Shown Boyle (Projections)
Carrie: The Musical
Regional Center For The Arts

Outstanding Set Design
Kirsten Reynolds & Mark Foster The Secret Garden
Valley Regional High School

Outstanding Direction
Mark Mazzarella
A Little Princess
St. Paul Catholic High School

Ingrid Walsh
The Secret Garden
Valley Regional High School

Outstanding Sound Design
Tom “Ivan” Ivanovich In The Heights
Amity Regional High School

Outstanding Musical Direction
Emmett Drake
A Little Princess
St, Paul Catholic High School

Outstanding Choreography
Ashley Simone Kirchner Carrie: The Musical
Regional Center For The Arts

Outstanding Orchestra
Thoroughly Modern Millie
New Canaan High School

Outstanding Featured Performer
Kahari Blue 
In The Heights
Amity Regional High School

Outstanding Featured Ensemble Group
Marisa Mastrio, Chiara Ciampietro, Caroline Cianci, Annie Jarner, Amy Urso, Olivia Kilbourne
A Little Princess (Boarding House Girls)
St. Paul Catholic High School

Outstanding Graphic Design
St. Paul Catholic High School
A Little Princess

Outstanding Chorus
Regional Center For The Arts
Carrie: The Musical

Outstanding Lobby Design
In The Heights
Amity Regional High School

Student Achievement Award
Jack Houtz
Urinetown
Westhill High School

Student Achievement Award
Emily Ciancimino, Gabrielle Tropp, Rachel Tropp
RENT: School Edition
Trumbull High School

Student Achievement Award
Andrew Albert & Claire Gaudette
Into The Woods
Waterbury Arts Magnet School

President Award for Administrative Leadership Larissa Marks
Trumbull High School

Outstanding Production of the Year St. Paul Catholic High School
A Little Princess

Arts In Education Award
Nanacy Freedman Westhill High School
Urinetown

Amity Had The Most Nominations But St. Paul Catholic High School Won The Most Awards

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Amity Had The Most Nominations But St. Paul Catholic High School Won The Most Awards
Jun 032014
 

award winner Kahari Blue

award winner Kahari Blue

Little Millie Shapiro seemed to have a hard time pronouncing “Amity” during Monday night’s CT High School Musical Theater Award show which she co-hosted with her sister Abigail.

The young Broadway actress (Matilda) came up with some pretty creative pronunciations, the funniest, perhaps being “Animimity” as the sisters announced the Outstanding Musical Nominees.

The four hour award show showcased the best of the best in high school theater talent, and St. Paul Catholic High School, which produced last year’s Best Actress winner, Jillian Callouette, was the big winner with 8 wins for its production of A Little Princess.

Amity had the most nominations of any of the 21 participating high schools, and last year Amity walked away with 7 of 15 awards, including the top prize — Outstanding Musical.

In 2012 Amity had 11 nominations and 2 wins — Legally Blonde’s Allie Kramer went on to the National H.S. Musical Awards in New York City.

Best Actress nominee Shaylen Harger and the entire Amity cast blew the audience away with their performances, but it was Kahari Blue (the Piragua Guy) who went home with his Featured Performer trophy.

As much as every nominee wanted to be chosen as the winner, the students (from every high school) set a great example of good sportsmanship. They cheered for their competition and during acceptance speeches, several winners took a moment to thank their fellow nominees for their kindness and for being so gracious when their paths crossed.

NOTE: It’s 5 a.m. I’m tired and I will post the winners list a little later today. 

 

 

Opinion: Oozing With Talent, A Most Gracious Young Man Wins A Well-Deserved Award

 Amity High School, Around Town, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Opinion: Oozing With Talent, A Most Gracious Young Man Wins A Well-Deserved Award
Jun 062013
 

Peter Charney accepting his Best Supporting Actor Award.

Peter Charney accepting his Best Supporting Actor Award.

I still remember the first time I saw Peter Charney. I was working as Editor of the Amity Observer newspaper, attending the Flag Day ceremony on the Town Green in Orange.

This little 7-year-old boy gets up in front of everyone and in a very strong voice flawlessly sang the Star Spangled Banner. I instantly became a fan.

When he became a freshman at Amity High School, I knew that with their theater and other performing arts programs, he would have a home on the Amity stage.

It didn’t matter if he was in the chorus or a bit role with one line, Peter would catch the audience’s attention the second he came into the spotlight.

As a Nazi Youth in “Then They Came For Me,” just his presence gave you chills when you realized that there were thousands of kids like that during WWII.

We also saw him in “Les Miserables,” “Bang Bang You’re Dead.”showing off his juggling skills in “Chicago,” and bigger roles in “Almost, Maine,” “Legally Blonde,” starring in the heart-wrenching “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” and then his amazing award winning performance in “Sweeney Todd.”

I think it’s obvious that everyone loves Peter. He’s not only super talented, but professional beyond his years, smart and kind.

Peter justly won the Jamie Hulley Scholarship this year, which pays the same amount toward his college tuition for four years.

He will be studying theater at Hofstra University in the Fall.

This is one young man who will be going places. I predict that he will have a Tony Award by the time he’s 30. Theater is in his blood. Performing comes naturally to him and he is convincing in whatever role you put him in. With so many talents, he can do anything…and he does everything well.

After Amity Grad Alli Kramer announced his name as Outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role at this year’s CT High School Musical Theater Awards gala at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Peter made an eloquent speech with his fellow actors and actresses in mind.

He said, “First of all I’d like to thank my family, friends and the entire team behind this production. No matter what anyone says, we created something beautiful. I’m proud of all of you.

I think the wonderful thing about high school theater is  that there’s so much energy. it’s vibrant, it’s exciting, and incredibly memorable.

What we do as theater people is special. We tell stories, create dreams and inspire the next group of young people to believe in the magic of what we do.

Thank you to all the teachers and directors for what you do. And to all of the underclassmen out there, cherish these moments. What you are experiencing now is like nothing else in the world.

Finally I would like to thank my friend Kevin Gray who hosted this event last year, who recently passed away. [Kevin Gray was a Broadway actor who died on Feb. 11, 2013]

Kevin you touched and inspired so many people, probably without even knowing.

So, thank you very much, have a great night everyone.”

Jun 062012
 

 

Sophia Gall "Paulette" in a memorable scene on the Palace Theater stage.

The 2012 Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards presentations at the Palace Theater in Waterbury on Monday yielded many surprises for Amity High School, including the fact that OUR “Paulette” Sophia Gall did not win Outstanding Supporting Actress, but the “Paulette” from East Lyme High School walked away with the prize.

Our dynamic chorus was beaten by Valley Regional High School’s “Titanic” cast.

But, enough sour grapes on my part, call me biased (I am) — then again, I did not see all the other shows like the adjudicators, so what do I know. Seriously! were they sleeping when Sophia was on stage?

Back to the show and what we did get.

Stage Manager Sloane Churchill did receive a trophy for Outstanding Student Achievement.

And our Amity Superintendent John Brady, who attended the show to support the Amity Creative Theater Program found his way up on stage two times.

The CHSMT organizers asked if he would present an award, and he said he was happy to do that.

Brady was surprised when Sophia Gall, whom he felt was a shoe in for the award, did not win in her category. “Not to take anything away from the girl who won, but I just think that Sophia was over the top,” he said.

Amity Supt. John Brady, accepts the President's Award.

He was even more surprised when he was called to the stage to receive his own award that evening. The recipient of the President’s Award went to Brady in recognition for his overwhelming support for the arts at Amity.

Parent Russ Adair captured the moment on video.

For Amity, the most rewarding part of the evening was when the second to the last award was announced and Amity senior Alli Kramer’s name was called.

The Palace Theater erupted in thunderous applause as everyone, including ALL of the other students from competing high schools rose to their feet for Connecticut’s number one actress in a musical.

Brady said he was ecstatic when Alli Kramer won the top prize for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role. “Having seen all of the nominees, to me, Alli was the performer who had it all — she danced, she sang, she had a presence — She had it all, and, being biased toward Amity, I think the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards got it right by selecting Alli Kramer,” he said. “To me she was the most deserving. All the other nominees did a fantastic job, but Alli stood out.”

Alli Kramer is the Best High School Actress in CT

Alli and the amazing best actor winner, Shevance Stephens, who portrayed Coalhouse in the Regional Center for the Arts production of Ragtime, will accompany chaperone Robert Kennedy (from Amity) to New York City for a week long experience of a lifetime, training with Broadway choreographers, vocal coaches and directors with the best of the best from across the nation.

The week culminates into a performance on a Broadway stage for the National High School Musical Awards.

11 nominations – 2 wins — I can’t say the evening was a complete disappointment.