Shepaug students garner Halo Awards
Shepaug Valley School Dramatics took home the coveted Best Contemporary Musical Award at the 2017 Halo Awards for its production of “The Theory of Relativity,” a show about human interconnectedness.
“It is such an honor to see our students recognized for this award,” said Beth Harvison, musical director for the show. “ It was a risk trying a brand new musical, but I knew the students were up for this special challenge.”
Shepaug has a strong tradition in the performing arts and has long been recognized for its excellence in theater.
The Halo Award ceremony is the premier high school theater award program in Connecticut and it continues to grow, with 64 schools participating from every corner of the state.
The award ceremony was held May 30 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury.
“Doing ‘The Theory Of Relativity’ was definitely a lot different from anything I have done before,” remarked Wilson King, who played Paul, in the production. “It was so great to bring to life new characters aside from the already established roles in other musicals.
“It allowed us to be much more creative with our interpretation as a cast,” King said. “It was so exciting to receive this award as a group as it was an ensemble show.”
“During the performances of ‘The Theory Of Relativity’ I felt like I could connect with audience members directly,” said Ellie Schmus, who played Amy II. “Bringing a brand new show to the stage was an honor and displays how Shepaug can be fearless and do something unique.
“It was electric to be on stage with the cast at the Halo Awards,” she said. “We could feel all the love and support.”
They were joined by juniors Arturo Ortega, Connor Richardson, Michael Iannazzo, Emmalyn Brenner and Jack Wright, and sophomores Autumn Dion, Tegan Anderson, Abigail Gorra, Thomas Bachelier, Julia Billings, Ellie Schmus, Wilson King and Bridget Snyder.
The stage crew, nominated for five Halo awards for their work and led by stage manager Kayleigh McKay, included Maxwell Krantz, Alvin Hermans, Elijah Duce, Tegan Anderson, Meghan Garfield, Amy Lowe, Erin McGrath, Timothy Murphy, Henry Roush, Noah Ciccimaro, Elizabeth Neunzig.
Emily Ward was nominated for her work as costume designer.
Julia McCabe, a Shepaug alum, returned to assist with lighting.
The orchestra, led by technical director David Raposo, included senior Thomas Roche and sophomore Joseph DeMilio. Brianne Chasanoff accompanied on the piano.