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The STARS Awards is pleased to announce the 2009 nominees for the Second Annual STARS Awards. STARS stands for Student Theatre Arts Recognition Scholarship Awards.

The STARS Awards© are patterned after the TONY® Awards but for High School Students. Our Mission is to elevate awareness of the importance of Arts in Education while recognizing the achievements of our talented High School Students and providing opportunities for Scholarships. Qualified judges attend student plays and musicals performed during the school year at participating High Schools within Brookhaven Town. One student aptly described theatre as their "sport," and we look at the STARS Awards as the "playoffs".

Highest scoring students are nominees; highest scoring student in each category is the winner in categories of drama, comedy and musical. Others include choreography, set design, lighting design, poster art, and recognition of stage managers. Top scoring students were selected as the nominees and will attend a formal red carpet, black tie STARS Awards Ceremony on June 7 at the Shea Theatre sponsored in part by our partner Suffolk County Community College ~ each nominee walks across the stage and receives recognition, a gift bag, and a certificate, each winner will be announced and presented with an Elegant Etched Glass Award, a scholarship from the STARS Awards, a matching scholarship from Stony Brook University, and a matching scholarship from Dowling College.

In celebration of our nominees and their achievements, in May, nominees & their parents, along with five representatives from each participating high school attend a Nominee Congratulatory Dinner at Stony Brook University’s Wang Center sponsored in part by Assemblyman Englebright, Stony Brook University, Wal*Mart.

This year participating High Schools included Rocky Point, Mount Sinai, Earl L. Vandermeulen (Port Jefferson), Comsewogue, Newfield (Middle Country SD), Centereach (Middle Country SD), Ward Melville (Three Village SD), Sachem East, Sachem North, Longwood and William Floyd. (High Schools within the Town of Brookhaven qualify to participate in our program). The STARS Awards reaches over 250,000 residents in the Town of Brookhaven.

According to Lori Anne Casdia, the Executive Director of the STARS Awards, the nominee congratulatory dinner, the ceremony and scholarship recognition program is a Not for Profit Program run by volunteers and completely supported by our Sponsors and Partners with no fees to participating High Schools. “We are so proud of the program, our accomplishments and achievements and we are ever so grateful to our sponsors: Wal*Mart, Suffolk County Community College, Dowling College, Stony Brook University, Times Beacon Records Newspapers, State Assemblyman Steven Englebright, Suffolk County Legislator Daniel Losquadro, PTP Consultants, Show Biz Shots, MAC Cosmetics, Coca Cola, LI Pulse, STW Consulting, EFT Network, Inc., WBAB, Crackerjack Advertising & Specialties Corp, J Signs, Short Stack Models, Lights Up Cue Sound, Robert A. Kelly Photography.”

“We can't do this alone! - We need Your Help! Please consider becoming a supporter and/or sponsor of this unique STARS Awards Program. We accept contributions of products, services, scholarships, grants, and of course monetary support of any amount. For more information please visit us at www.stars-awards.com.”


Leading Actor in a Musical

Dan Anemone, role of Nathan Detroit, Centereach, “Guys & Dolls” 
David Schwartz, role of Tevye, Mt Sinai, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Carlton Welch, role of Curly, Rocky Point, “Oklahoma”
Ralphie Picciarelli, role of Lumiere, “Beauty and the Beast”
Leading Performer in a Revue - Male

Tyler Boyle, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Evan Fazziola, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Tyrell Roberts, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Angelo Volego, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”

Leading Actor in a Drama
Brian Viccaro, role of James, Rocky Point, “Miracle Worker”
Leading Actor in Comedy
Ralphie Picciarelli, role of Hank Bennett, Newfield, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”
Brandon Murtaugh, role of Nigel Trupin, Ward Melville, “ The Expensive, Prized, Beloved Possession”
William Aberle, role of Steve Brodie, Longwood, “Life on the Bowery”
Allie Steiner, role of Harry Pate, Port Jefferson, “Werewolf Curse or Hair Today Gone Tomorrow”
Brandon Murtaugh, role of Garry Lejeun, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
James Evans, role of Clive, William Floyd, “See How They Run”
Leading Actress in a Musical
Hayley Moir, role of Polly Browne, Port Jefferson, “The Boyfriend”
Marguerite Jones, role of Headmistress Mme Dubonnet, Port Jefferson, “The Boyfriend”
Julia Tavolaro, role of Laurey, Rocky Point, Oklahoma
Michelle Cosentino, role of Belle, Newfield, “The Beauty & the Beast”
Leading Performer in a Revue – Female
Genevieve Diller, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Gabrielle Donnelly, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Melanie Morin, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Katelyn Onufrey, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Leading Actress in a Drama
Sara Penn, role of Helen, Rocky Point, “The Miracle Worker”
Brianna Gobetz, role of Francoise, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry The Word”
Lisa Lauto, role of Gina, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry The Word”
Jessica Bogia, role of Denise, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry The Word”
Leading Actress in a Comedy
Lisa Lauto, role of Brooke Ashton, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
Maya Mason, role of Etta Greenleaf, Port Jefferson, “Werewolf’s Curse or Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”
Katie Lugo, role of Ida (the maid), William Floyd, “See How They Run”
Supporting Actor in a Musical
Allie Steiner, role of Lord Brockhurst, Port Jefferson, “The Boyfriend”
Ruslan Ardashev, role of Will Parker, Rocky Point, “Oklahoma”
Asterios Fotiou, role of Ali Hachum, Rocky Point, “Oklahoma”
Christopher Sanfilippo, role of Gaston, Newfield, “ Beauty & the Beast”
Supporting Actor in a Drama
Christopher Germaine, role of Mr. Keller, Rocky Point, “The Miracle Worker”
Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Cory Kowalski, role of Jack Hobart, Longwood, “Life on the Bowery”
Adam Connolly, role of Lloyd Fellowes, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
Zachary Walden, role of Lionel (Mr. Toop), William Floyd, “See How They Run”
Ron Gross, role of Bishop, William Floyd, “See How They Run”
Supporting Actress in a Musical
Janine Leverich, role of Maisie, Port Jefferson, “The Boyfriend”
Ashley Ruggiero, role of Lady Brockhurst, Port Jefferson, “The Boyfriend”
Brittany Infranco, role of Ado Annie, Rocky Point, “Oklahoma”
Tina DeFalco, role of Babette, Newfield, “Beauty & the Beast”
Supporting Actress in a Drama
Julia Tavolaro, role of Kate, Rocky Point, “The Miracle Worker”
Taylor Knepper, role of Claire, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry the Word”
Hope Pedisich, role of Yvonne, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry the Word”
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Patricia Varady, role of Bridget, Longwood, “Life on the Bowery”
Jessica Bogia, role of Poppy Taylor, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
Lauren Stern, role of Liz (Tim) Allgood, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
Ashley Ruggiero, role of Madam Clara Voyant, Port Jefferson, “Werewolf’s Curse or Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”
Set Design
Laurie Phillips, Rocky Point, “The Miracle Worker”
Brianna Gobetz, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry the Word”
Brianna Gobetz, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
Jessica Bogia, Ward Melville, “The Expensive, Prized, Beloved Possession”
Heather Liggett, Centereach, “Guys & Dolls”
Lighting Design
Brooke Perlee, Newfield, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”
Paul Wyremback, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry the Word”
Paul Wyremback, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
Costume Designer
Elisabeth Staehle, Centereach, “Harvey”
Jackie Abruzzo, Newfield, “Beauty & the Beast”
Playbill Cover/Poster Art
Emily Zirimis, William Floyd, “Brigadoon”
Michael Sheinkopf, Port Jefferson, “The Boyfriend”
Sarah Coffey, Ward Melville, “Secret Garden”
Michael Skeinkopf, Port Jefferson, “Werewolf’s Curse or Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Stage Management
Adam Kuhn, Ward Melville, “Who Will Carry the Word”
Sean Swords, Port Jefferson, “The Boyfriend”
Sarah Prosser, Longwood, “Pippin”
Katie Parker, Ward Melville, “Noises Off”
Student Director
Sara Bradley, Rocky Point, “The Miracle Worker”
Jessie Lee Duncan, Rocky Point, “The Miracle Worker”
Jessica Bogia, Ward Melville, “The Expensive, Prized, Beloved Possession
Pit Band (1 award/Arts Council Scholarship goes to school)
Criteria: no more than 2 Non student performers in Pit Band
William Floyd, “Brigadoon”
Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Centereach, “Guys & Dolls”
Outstanding Performance
This 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:
Joseph Giordano, role of Sasha/Dancer, Mt Sinai, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Kelly Brajevich, role of the Fiddler, Mt Sinai, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Jyothi Thomas, Dance soloist/Spanish Harlem, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
Jonathan Brockman, role of “Censor”, Longwood, “Pippin”
Stephen Kalogeras, role of Lewis, Longwood, “Pippin”
Dylan Poulos, role of Bookseller/Fork, Newfield, “Beauty & the Beast”
Amy Cork, Dance soloist, William Floyd, “Brigadoon”
Judges Choice (1 award/Arts Council Scholarship goes to school)
This award is chosen by the judges in a vote. It is for a particular scene, musical number, dance number, ensemble effort or group that the judges feel stands out enough to warrant the special merit:
“The Bottle Dance”, Mt Sinai, “Fiddler on the Roof”
“On Broadway”, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
“Spanish Harlem”, Sachem East, “Smokey Joe’s Café”
“The Tango Dance”, Port Jefferson, “ The Boyfriend”
Innovation in Theatre Education Awards (1 award/Arts Council Scholarship goes to school)
This award was created to recognize schools that go beyond the regular theatre program of classes and yearly plays by supporting an activity that nurtures theatre arts in education. The winner of this category will be announced at the STARS Awards Gala on June 7, 2009.

We look forward to seeing you at the Nominee Congratulatory Dinner and the Red Carpet, Black Tie STARS Awards Gala.
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