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 Islip High School’s theatre program, hosted by former Teenys winner and professional dancer Ryan Rodiño.
“High school theater and educational arts programs like the Teenys meant the world to me growing up,” Rodiño said. “It taught me the values of friendship, teamwork, confidence, and creativity.”
Richie, a junior at Islip High, is interested in acting. He thinks that the performing arts program provides a great outlet for students to express themselves and their creativity.
“This year we did a little ‘Music from the Movies’ performance,” Richie said. “We had these special masks which allowed us to sing near each other and perform again. It was a nice experience to be back in that environment again.”
This year was senior student Claudia’s first year in a performing arts class.
“I don’t think I ever stopped to think how important every one of us is, like to the harmony of a song in a show that we’re performing,” she said. “I just took it for granted...I’m really glad I got these lessons even though it was not a normal year.”
Desiree remarked on how the pandemic changed everyone’s lives.
“There was just so much that changed and theatre was the one thing that we could fall back and rely on,” she said. “Singing, acting, and dancing with everyone together was the only thing that really got a lot of us through it.”
Tenth-grader Maddie loves singing and finds her school’s arts program to be welcoming and accepting to everyone.
“It is just really nice to know that you truly have a family here in Islip,” Maddie said. “It’s something really special that I love about the program.”
Maggie, another tenth-grader, also thinks the program is special.
“We are a family and we come to support and care for each other so much,” she said. “It brings the whole entire show together because when we do it, we have fun.”
Congratulations, Islip Class of 2021! To see the full Teenys program, click the video above. It includes interviews with students, as well as performances from “Music from the Movies,” and a special guest appearance by Nick Sanchez, a Long Island native who is currently on tour with “Hamilton.”