The Teenys are back! For 12 years, the Islip Arts Council’s Teeny Awards have celebrated local high school theatre students and given them a platform to show off their tremendous talents. This year’s multi-part virtual celebration, called “Islip Arts Council’s Teenys Revisited,” continues with Bay Shore High School’s theatre program, hosted by former Teenys coordinator Brianna Coccio.
Several students shared their thoughts about their experiences in drama class this past year. Senior Jazmine Torres discovered how important it was to express her creativity and learn how to take on a larger role on stage.
“We did a show called ‘The Night I Died at the Palace Theatre,’” Jazmine said. “It was my first lead ever and it was very exciting for me because I had always been an ensemble kid.”
Ninth-grader Molly had been looking forward to being part of a show her first year in high school, but the pandemic threw everyone a curveball. Now she’s looking forward to auditioning and performing next school year.
Mia Graziano, a 10th-grader, says that being able to express her creativity through the arts has helped her with stress and anxiety, as well as helped her form her identity and sense of self.
“The musical arts really did help me to overcome these challenges,” she shared. “They helped me to push through and always gave me something to smile about at the end of the day.”
Bay Shore High School Choir and Drama Director Chris R. Bilella tells his students that there’s a place for everyone in drama, whether you want to be in the spotlight or backstage.
“When the shutdown happened, it wasn’t a matter of ‘will we go on,’ but it was more of ‘how will we make it go on?’” he said. “Although this year had its challenges, it has been a successful year for the Bay Shore drama program.”
Congratulations, Bay Shore Class of 2021! To see the full Teenys program, click the video above. It includes a scene from the murder mystery comedy “The Night I Died at the Palace Theatre,” as well as interviews with students and individual performances by Jazmine Torres, Allison Orellana, Anthony Campos, Angelina Corvato and Isaiah Baston.
The 2021 Islip Arts Council Teenys Revisited is made possible by the support of Suffolk County, Five Towns College, The Rotary Club of Islip, and from viewers like you. Please visit isliparts.org and make a donation so that we can continue to keep the arts alive in our community.