MONTCLAIR, NJ — The cast and crew of Metamorphoses, Westfield High School’s fall play, won Outstanding Overall Production at the Montclair State University Theatre Night Awards May 12. In addition, for that same production, 10th grader Jesse Zimmermann won Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama and drama teacher Daniel Devlin earned an award for Outstanding Achievement in Stage Direction.
“I am so incredibly proud of these young artists and the work they did on this production,” said Devlin. “Being recognized for this excellent work is a nice added plus. I’m very grateful to the folks at MSU for persevering with these awards. There are so many amazingly talented young artists working all across the state and it is really nice to have someone from the professional ranks validate that work. As I tell the students all the time, we do not do what we do for awards. We do it to tell a story. To touch an audience. To share emotional highs and lows. To receive an award for this is just a super-cool added bonus.”
"Producing Metamorphoses was a magical experience for all involved,” said Samantha Gruskin, the show’s stage manager. “The show was certainly challenging, but so rewarding to perform. It was an honor to receive the recognition from MSU. Each and every one of us truly loved the show, so it meant a lot to us to be recognized for something we were so invested in."
This was MSU’s 6th annual Theatre Night Awards, recognizing excellence in the production of high school and middle school straight plays throughout New Jersey. The awards honor the accomplishments and commitment to excellence of students and educators in the areas of performance, direction, design, technical achievement, as well as outstanding productions in the following genres: Drama, Comedy, Classical, New Work and Overall Production.
The nominees and recipients of the Theatre Night Awards are selected through a rigorous, multi-stage adjudication process, according to MSU. Review panels include faculty members of the Theatre Department at MSU, working professionals and alumni and select students majoring in theatre. They viewed productions of plays from over fifty schools statewide.