WESTFIELD, NJ – On Monday evening, students from the Westfield High School Theatre Department attended the annual Foxy Theatre Night Awards at Montclair State University.
Nominations for the WHS production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” in Fall 2018 included: Outstanding Production of a Comedy, Outstanding Achievement in Stage Direction for Westfield High School drama teacher Daniel Devlin, Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Comedy for Abbie Painter (Rosencrantz) and Julia Salvato (Guildenstern) and Outstanding Achievement by an Acting Ensemble of a Comedy.
Westfield won for Outstanding Achievement by an Acting Ensemble of a Comedy.
WHS sophomore Sophie Tananbaum played a Tragedian in the production and accepted the award along with the rest of the cast.
“This was an amazing experience to have as a high schooler,” Tananbaum said. “The show really helped solidify that every single actor in a production helps bring it to life. A win for the ensemble was a win for everyone who was involved with the show.”
Tananbaum explained the unique challenges of a play like “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”
“Some of the ensemble characters had very few lines,” she said. “We had to work together as a team, using pantomime and physical acting techniques; without everyone, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
WHS senior Julia Salvato played Guildenstern in the production.
“It’s an extremely difficult ensemble part,” Salvato said. “What was so outstanding was their physicality and the choices they made. The show itself is an absurdist adaptation of a classic play. The ensemble is performing without context; the cast was so united in creating that context themselves.”
The Westfield High School Theatre Department has a history of recognition for its productions.
Last year, WHS senior Julian Mazzola was awarded the Foxy for Outstanding Performance of a Lead Actor in a Comedy for his role in “The Man Who Came To Dinner” in Fall 2017.
Additionally in 2018, Daniel Devlin was awarded the prestigious Jo Anne Fox Award, which is given to a theater teacher who is “an inspiration to his/her students, whose passion for theatre is infectious and who creates a community, a loving extended family in his/her school in the process of producing high quality productions.”
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