Tag Archives: Stonington High School

SHS Drama Wins Six Halo Awards for Theater Arts

by: Anna Maria Trusky

Libby Hall, Heather Jackson, Erin Lee Sousa Stanley (Theater Director), Rachyl Jackson, and Wyatt Floyd of Stonington High School Drama have a lot to celebrate—and to look forward to!

Students at Stonington High School (SHS) Drama started their summer on an award-winning high note—and unlike most students, who live for vacation, these talented young people can’t wait for the fall semester! For the second year in a row, SHS Drama participated in the Halo Awards, a statewide competition that honors excellence in high school theater. The award program is administered by Waterbury’s professional Seven Angels Theatre, which was started by Semina DiLaurentis, a Waterbury native and Broadway and TV actress who originated the role of Sister Amnesia in the musical Nunsense. Competition was tough, as drama students from all over the state were nominated. The awards were given at the end of the school year in a Tony-like ceremony at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. SHS was nominated for 17 awards and won six. The winners included Ian Capozzoli (Best Ensemble Member); Haley Barravecchia and Cory Candelet  (Best Couple); Libby Hall (Best Comic Performer in a Play, female); Antonio Pereira (Above and Beyond Award); and Mackenzie Angus (Stage Manager), Kimberly Armstrong and Hannah Lyon (Assistant Stage Managers) for Best Student Stage Management & Running Crew.

SHS Theater Director Erin Lee Sousa Stanley loves the Halo Awards process. “The judges come from the executive staff, board, and actors from Seven Angels. They are professionals who really care about what we are doing and see all our plays. It’s a wonderful experience for the students.”

SHS Drama students and soon-to-be Juniors Heather Jackson, Rachyl Jackson, Libby Hall, and Wyatt Floyd were thrilled about the awards and eagerly shared their feelings about being involved in the Drama program at SHS. Rachyl, a talented make-up artist, remembers watching her big brother rehearse and helping him run lines when he went to SHS. “I wanted to be those kids up there,” she said.

“Rachyl is amazing,” Erin said. “She does so much research to create the perfect makeup for each character.”

Rachyl’s twin sister Heather played the role of Julia in the school’s recent production of Lend Me a Tenor. “I love the way we become like a family when we work on a show together,” she said. “Theater is like a varsity sport. There is a lot of teamwork involved.”

Wyatt, an actor and photographer who does the call board photos, slide shows, and DVDs, was an apprentice stage manager this past school year. “The whole experience of theater is thrilling. The drama program is the best part of the school year,” he said.

Libby noted that “It is humbling to see the work of the other schools that are nominated for the awards. Seeing how much talent there is makes you want to work harder. I would not want to be at any other school because our drama program and the training we get from Mrs. Stanley is the best.”

Mackenzie Angus, an award winner who just graduated and will be attending a pre-med program, joined the interview by phone. “I love stage managing. You get to see everything on and off stage, all the behind-the-scenes activity. And I couldn’t ask for better friends.”

“The program is going great,” said Erin. “We’re selling out performances. The whole community really looks forward to our shows. It is a true family affair because our students’ parents get involved, and it inspires younger children. We have amazing kids here at Stonington, and our drama program attracts the cream of the crop!”

Mystic Woman’s Club Donations

The Mystic Woman’s Club made donations and scholarships totaling $11,000 to various local organizations and high school seniors for its 2007-2008 fiscal year. The money is the net profit from the Thrift Shop located on Route 1, across from the Stonington High School, Pawcatuck. Hours of operation for the shop are Monday – Saturday, 12-3:30 p.m. Shoppers and donations are always welcomed during those hours. To join, call membership chairperson, Eleanor at 860.536.6730.

Recipients of this year’s donations are:

Scholarships – Cierra Patrick, Ella Grasso, Elizabeth Bolduc, Stonington High School, Meghan Mizak, Fitch High School

Donations - Child & Family Agency, Denison Pequotsepos, Denison Society, FRESH, Friends of Fitch Crew, GFWC/CT Art Contest, GFWC/CT Kind News, GFWC/CT State Project, Groton Animal Foundation, Katie Blair House, Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center, Literacy Volunteers of Eastern CT, Mystic-Noank Library, MASH, Mystic River Chorale, Mystic River Historical Society, Mystic-Noank Community Band, New Life Ministries of Stonington, New London Homeless Shelter, Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, Riverfront Children’s Center, Stonington Free Library, Stonington Human Services, Thames River Family Program, Westerly Adult Day Care, Westerly Area Rest Meals, and Wheeler Library.

Student Leaders Honored at Breakfast

(l-r) Simone Barner, Priya Ranade, Kathryn McCarthy, Christopher Campbell, Britta Helen Kunkmoeller, Jennifer Rogers, Tianchi Xu, Jaya Batra, Michael Reisfeld, Eileen Semancik, Hannah Boettcher, Connor Toole, Kalen Larsen, Emma Lochiatto, and Norman Harrison III, are high school juniors and seniors that proved their commitment to excellence in school as well as in our community. Betsy Perkins, Perkins & Murphy College Admissions Consultancy, Frank Winkler, Groton Utilities, and Daemeon Banks, People’s United Bank, are sponsors of the Annual Education Breakfast.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT’s East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, and Waterford councils, in conjunction with the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, held their Annual Education Breakfast on Friday, May 30, at the Groton Inn and Suites. Valedictorians from Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School, Ledyard High School, Stonington High School, North Stonington High School, Robert E. Fitch High School, The Williams School, East Lyme High School, New London High School, and Waterford High School spoke on the importance of community interaction with education institutions. Juniors from each school, who have shown outstanding community leadership skills, were also honored.