Students Earn Theater Awards and Scholarships

By Silvia Fragale, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Although the school’s spring musical closed in April, May was a busy month for several students involved in theater programs both at Trinity Hall and beyond, with students being nominated for and winning awards from Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) and the Count Basie Theater, as well as a scholarship from Two River Theater in Red Bank.

CBA hosted their annual Pony Awards on May 15, which allows the cast and crew of their drama department, Pegasus Productions, to vote for each other in numerous categories. Sophomores Brenna Dowd and Sarah Frankel were nominated for their participation in Pegasus Productions this year, and Frankel tied for the award for “Best Vocal Performance” for her role in CBA’s spring musical Disco Inferno.

“Winning was so exciting. I didn’t expect to win but it really was an honor. I was so glad that people saw something in me and my performance,” Frankel said.

Dowd was nominated for “Most Improved Stage Crew Member,” and although she did not win a Pony Award, five days later she won a Basie at The Basie Awards, an annual high school award show that is held at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank. In order to be nominated, schools must complete an application process and provide tickets for Basie evaluators to see their show. Nominations and awards are given to those who fit the criteria and excel in their category. Dowd won the Basie with CBA student Brandon Castro for “Outstanding Set Design – Drama” for CBA’s fall play The Nerd.

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Brandon C. from CBA and Brenna D. won a Basie award on May 20 for “Outstanding Set Design – Drama” for CBA’s fall play The Nerd. Photo courtesy of CBA.

“Castro and I were sitting and talking, thinking that it wasn’t going to be us. We didn’t believe that it was happening, and once we heard Lilly [McCann] scream, we realized it was real,” Dowd said.

Although Trinity Hall was not nominated for a Basie this year, students from the Queen’s Court Company attended the show to support Dowd and the other schools. After seeing the performances and work of neighboring high schools, the students hope that soon the Queen’s Court Company will be nominated for the prestigious award.

“It was nice to see how the high schools came together to support each other. I hope that someday we could be nominated and win an award,” sophomore Alessandra Sanfratello said.

On the heels of the high school drama award season, Two River Theater recently announced the students who were accepted to their competitive Metro Scholar Program, and Frankel was among the chosen few. The year-long program gives high school juniors from across NJ the chance to “take workshops and master classes with professional artists and assist staff throughout the company” (tworivertheater.org). Since 2005, the program has helped more than 100 students train for university theater programs. Frankel is the first Trinity Hall student to be accepted into the program since students must be in the 11th grade to participate.

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