A Wired Win

The recent stay-at-home order forced a long-awaited awards show to be moved online.

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photo by Cassie Pultorak

Set and costume design were two of the award categories that NASH seniors won.

Lucie Flagg, Staff Writer

Last Saturday night, as students around the district participated in whatever at-home activities social distancing brought their way, a group of NAI and NASH actors and directors and two staff members joined a group Zoom call and first heard to the news they’d been awaiting since late-October.

The fall production of Charlotte’s Web at NAI took home seven Prime Stage Theatre Drama Awards, more than any other local school. 

“It was truly that moment where I realized that the past four years of my life had finally paid off,” said senior Julia Moose, “and with all that is happening right now with the coronavirus, those moments are hard to find.”

photo by Jess Daninhirsch
Along with the help of three juniors, the four NASH senior directors of Charlotte’s Web last October worked tirelessly to put on the best show possible.

Last October, freshman and sophomore actors at NAI put on a production of Charlotte’s Web under the direction of Moose and other NASH senior stage veterans Aleni Antalis, Ian Rampton and Skylar Rodgers. In the audience of one of the performances was a panel of judges from Pittsburgh’s Prime Stage Theatre, who nominated the show for thirteen awards, including Best Overall Production. 

“It was fun to see the students’ reactions and support for each other,” said NAI counselor Mr. Kiggins, who is one of the staff sponsors of the school’s plays. “Everyone was genuinely excited for each other and for the success of the show.”

Each of the four NASH seniors was also nominated for individual awards based on their hard-work behind the scenes of the show. Rampton was nominated for Best Student Lighting Design and, along with Moose, Best Student Director. Antalis was nominated for Best Student Scenic Design, and Rodgers for Best Student Stage Manager and Best Student Costume Design.

“Although the student directors got split into different tasks throughout the process, we were always in it together, and made sure to have fun in the process,” said Rodgers. 

The cast may have hung up their costumes for the last time back in October, but the spirit of the show lived on through the final awards show last weekend. 

I was really excited to be able to represent such an amazing show and program.”

— Julia Moose, senior

The Prime Stage Theatre Drama Awards were originally scheduled to take place at the Hazlett Theatre, where the nominated casts, including groups from Avonworth, Shadyside Academy, Pine-Richland, and Carlynton, would have the opportunity to perform a scene from their plays.

Upon the news of PA Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order, the show was promptly moved online, and the group from North Allegheny planned a group call via Zoom.  

By the end of the evening, the NA students had taken home seven wins of the thirteen nominated award categories, and each of the senior student directors had won an individualized award. 

“I was really excited to be able to represent such an amazing show and program,” said Moose. “Everyone, from the directors to the cast members, had worked so hard, and it was really special that we finally got the recognition we deserved.”

Prime Stage Theater

Though the online awards were not what the group had pictured when they were nominated back in October, they nevertheless made the most of their wins. 

“I wish the students could have had their moment to perform at the Hazlett Theatre and to give their acceptance speeches,” Kiggins said. “However, the fact that we won so many of the awards was extremely exciting.”

For the seniors, who have participated in NAI plays since their freshman year, winning was the perfect way to say goodbye.

“As a senior moving on and someone who has been student directing since the beginning, I will miss the NAI plays more than anything,” said Rodgers. And now, she can say that she’s finished her time with the plays as an award winner.