On Monday night, Copeland got to thank the whole crew in front of more than 1,000 people packed into Peekskill’s Paramount Center for the Arts. She won for outstanding actress in a leading role for Ossining High School’s production of “Aida,” one of the production’s three wins and 10 nominations. Stage manager Jessica Fleischman took home a Technical Merit Award, and the production was also honored with an award for outstanding chorus.
“It totally feels surreal, and I still feel like I’m in a dream,” said Copeland, who played the title role of Aida. “I did not expect that at all. It brings me to tears to think about it because we all worked so hard on this. And to walk away with three awards after not participating for so long is phenomenal.”
The March production of "Aida" featured a mix of the school’s traditional talent, as well as first-timers. Although the Helen Hayes Youth Theatre Company has handed out awards since 1998 to more than 40 schools, this year marked the first time Ossining High School competed in more than seven years.
“We felt so strongly about the quality of the show last year that (director) Jessica (Beattie) put on that early on in the process this year we decided to go for it,” said Bradley Morrison, director of cultural arts at Ossining High School. “We’re really excited for Mykaela and Jessica for their individual awards but even more so for the chorus award because that shows the hard work that all of the kids put into the production.”
2012 Metropolitan High School Theater Award winners include:
Outstanding Overall Production: Archbishop Stepinac H.S.: "The Phantom of the Opera"
Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role: Ossining H.S.: "Aida" - Mykaela Copeland (Aida)
Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role: TIE: Archbishop Stepinac H.S.: "Phantom of the Opera" to Albert Stanaj (Phantom) and Fair Lawn High School: "Nine" to Sean Dabney (Guido Contini)
Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role: St. Joseph Reg. H.S. – "Cabaret" - Kelly Duffy (Fraulein Schneider)
Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role: Archbishop Stepinac H.S. – "Phantom of the Opera" - Chris Guzman (Raoul)
Outstanding Chorus: Ossining H.S. – "Aida"
Outstanding Production Number: Bergen County Academies – "The King and I" for “The Small House of Uncle Thomas”
Outstanding Featured Ensemble Group: Harrison H.S. - "42nd Street" – (Featured dancers of Amanda Almeida, Yvonne Duah, Nicole Ferrara, Tori Feeney, Jackie Ledesma, Andi Rella, Tori Lovallo, Olivia Pagano, Halle Mastroberardino, Nicolette Mitil, Adrianna Nocco, Mikie Sakanaka, Roma Scarano
Outstanding Duet: Clarkstown South H.S. – "Into the Woods" for “Hello Little Girl” Gina Tenore/Mitchell Schneider (Little Red Ridinghood/Wolf)
Outstanding Vocal Performance: Harrison H.S. – "42nd Street" – Cayla Pettinato (Peggy Sawyer)
Outstanding Acting Performance: Saddle River Day School – "Gypsy" – Skylar Gottlieb (Rose)
Outstanding Dance Performance: Lakeland H.S. – "Oklahoma!" – Anthony DeMarte (Will Parker)
Outstanding Comic Performance: Ramsey H.S. – "Curtains" - Alex Zammitti – Curtains (Christopher Belling)
Outstanding Orchestra (primarily student orchestras only): Bergen County Academies – "The King and I"
Outstanding Instrumentalist: Pearl River H.S. – "Damn Yankees" – David Avery
Outstanding Musical Direction: Clarkstown South H.S. – "Into the Woods" - Kip Bonsignore
Outstanding Stage Crew: Rye Neck H.S. – "Beauty and the Beast"
Outstanding Lobby Display: Northern Highlands H.S. – "The Wedding Singer" - Diane Brown, Anne Wilson, Melissa
Outstanding Graphic Design: Spring Valley H.S. – "Footloose" - May Neils, Edneraldine Simon
Outstanding Costuming Achievement: Bergen County Academies – "The King and I" - Terry Thiry, Victoria Pero, Janet Adamo
Technical Merit Award (Teacher Nominated): Ossining H.S. – "Aida" – Jessica Fleischman (Stage Manager/Lighting Designer) & Rockland Country Day School – "Urinetown" – Adam Kapilow (Lighting Designer)
(The list is an unofficial, incomplete listing of the award winners announced Monday. The complete listings are scheduled to be available on the Metropolitan High School Theater Awards website.)