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Wantagh thespians earn prestigious award


Earlier in the school year, Wantagh High School’s theatre department put on a production of “Rent: School Edition.” The production garnered praise for its excellence in the youth theatre world and won 2020 PlayBillder Award as part of the  Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance.

The theatre program’s success was acknowledged during the live stream of the awards ceremony. The PlayBiller Award, presented by Broadway actor Andrew Barth Feldman, of “Dear Evan Hansen,” recognizes school theater programs for their comprehensive and engaging marketing plans, including  Broadway-quality playbills or programs.

The department will receive a free PlayBillder license, a copy of the commemorative program and a $500 stipend for the high school’s computer department to generate future playbill programs.

Wantagh Theatre adviser Heather Naughton thanked the Roger Rees Awards committee for their recognition of the program. She said that the ad sales in the theatre program’s playbill generate about $10,000 annually, which helps support future performances.

Previously, Wantagh High School thespians Kyra Orgass and John Sileo were nominated for the 2020 Roger Rees Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress for their performances in “Rent: School Edition,” which Naughton directed. Sileo played the part of Roger Davis, an HIV positive songwriter and musician. Orgass played his girlfriend, Mimi.