East End Arts presents local students with Teeny Awards

JOHN NEELY PHOTO | (Left to right) Hannah Schneider, Joe Carraseo, Tre Daniels, and Hayley Sheridan of Riverhead High.

North Fork high school actors’ comedic and musical talents shone at the tenth annual Teeny Awards competition, held Sunday night at Eastport-South Manor High School.

The Teeny Awards, inspired by the Tony Awards, are given each year by East End Arts to outstanding high school actors on the East End.

Actors from Southold High School’s cast of “Curtains” and Riverhead High School’s cast of “Working” entertained the crowds at the red carpet affair, along with actors from South Fork productions.

“Curtains” choreographers Marisa Fedele, Gayle Gammon and Winter Wilcenski took home the award for best choreography. Sam Kortchmar of Southold also took the award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical for his role in “Curtains.”

Riverhead’s Bishop McGann-Mercy High School’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” swept the comedy lead actors’ awards, with Nick Motlenski taking the award for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy and Nicole Chiuchiolo taking the award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy.

Kristen Suarez of Shoreham-Wading River High School took the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her role in her school’s production of “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

Veronica Reitz of Mattituck, who was in her school’s production of “Leader of the Pack” tied Emily Hinz of Pierson High School in Sag Harbor for the Best Lead Actress in a Musical award.

Jonathan Troiano of Riverhead took the award for Oustanding Performance for his role as “Action” in Riverhead High School’s production of “West Side Story.” The category was created to recognize a student who “shines brightly in a role that is not eligible for adjudication in the leading or supporting categories,” said the judges.

The cast and crew of Mattituck High School’s “Check, Please,” a one-act play produced in April, took the Judges’ Choice Award.

The award is chosen by a vote from the judges for a particular scene, musical number, dance number or group that the judges feel stands out enough to warrant special recognition.

Bishop McGann-Mercy High School was also recognized with the “Innovations in Theatre Education” award for its addition this year of a third production devoted to serious drama.

Stage managers from many East End shows were also recognized, including Sean Walden for Greenport’s production of “archy & mehitabel,” Kaylee Bergen and Kimberly Olsen for Mattituck’s production of “Leader of the Pack,” Maria Peroni and Julia Gaines for Mattituck’s production of “One Acts: The Rehearsal and Check, Please!,” Stephanie Strippoli for “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “The Glass Menagerie” and “Jeckyll & Hyde” at Bishop McGann-Mercy, Abigail Beodeker for Riverhead’s productions of “Working” and “West Side Story,” Jaclyn Conway for Southold’s production of “Curtains,” and Mariah Brengel for Shoreham-Wading River’s productions of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

East End Arts Executive Director Pat Snyder said she’s excited at how the Teeny Awards have motivated East End students to produce quality shows over the past ten years.

“The Teeny Awards have accomplished in the past ten years exactly what was expected – calling attention to the value of theatre experience in developing well rounded, confident young adults,” she said. “East End Arts is proud to have introduced this very special program that recognizes and applauds our talented students of the East End.”

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For photos of winners from Southold Town high schools, check out our slideshow on