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 West Islip High School’s theatre program, hosted by former Teenys coordinator Brianna Coccio.
This year, the students of the theatre program put on a production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” At the beginning of the year, it wasn’t certain that any performance would be possible, but through the use of clear masks, social distancing, and other safety precautions, the show went on. Close friends and family were invited to dress rehearsal in person, and the show was recorded to be streamed out to the community virtually.
Graduating senior Jake played Seymour and loves that the performing arts, especially dancing, gives him an outlet for expression.
“I’m actually going to school for musical theatre and I'm really looking forward to finally getting there,” Jake said. “Hopefully it’ll be closer to normal than it has been and once we’re there we can really create great art.”
Andrew, who played Mr. Mushnik, also appreciates expressing his creativity through musical theatre.
“I was a little nervous at the beginning with the challenges of Covid, especially with the masks,” Andrew explained. “Trying to sing on a stage and project and get diction down ー it was a little frustrating because all the challenges were very new. It was hard to adapt to, but at the end we pulled through.”
Lindsey, a senior, sees the performing arts as a way to connect with others. She had played Audrey several years ago as a freshman and was excited to get the opportunity to play her again.
“To be able to see that growth from freshman to senior year in that role was just amazing,” she said, and added that musical theatre has a permanent place in her heart.
West Islip orchestra teacher Ryan Jensen appreciates how supportive the administration was of the school’s theatre program this year.
“We went into this year knowing that it would be very different from previous years,” Jensen said. “It was a good opportunity for them to come together again to put something together and work towards a common goal. I know that the parents enjoyed it a lot.”
Congratulations, West Islip Class of 2021! To see the full Teenys program, including scenes from “Little Shop of Horrors” and interviews with students, click the video above.
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.