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Four Island students are Teeny Award nominees

Four Shelter Island students have received nominations for Teeny Awards for their performances in a film written by long-time director of the school’s plays, John Kaasik. Mr. Kaasik also wrote the music. Artist and cartoonist Peter Waldner was artistic consultant for the production.

The local nominees for Mr. Kaasik’s play, “It’s Always the Butler,” are Myla Dougherty as lead female for her portrayal of the narrator; Franny Regan as lead female for her portrayal of the butler; Tyler Gulluscio as lead male for his portrayal of Elvin the Magnificent; and Emma Martinez as supporting female for her portrayal as Betty-Sue.

Winners will be named at a gala ceremony at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Sunday, July 11, at 6 p.m. or can be live streamed on Facebook at facebook.com/teenyawards.

The program will feature performances from this year’s shows presented by 18 participating schools.

This year’s categories have been expanded to include awards for design and technical areas, including stage management, costumes and props, set audio and lighting design.

“I actually wrote the play last year and was going to do it with last year’s students,” Mr. Kaasik said. “But it was sort of last minute and everything seemed hopeless.”

Although some theater people turned to Zoom performances, Mr. Kaasik said he felt “the essence of live theatre, live actors on stage” was lost. But the idea of a film turned out to be “a lot more inspiring,” he said.

“I wrote the play as a stage play about a rural community theater trying to put on a Zoom play. If this gets done again on stage it will have little boxes on the edges of the stage with actors in them while the main story will be played out in the center of the stage,” he said.

The performance was offered to a limited audience but one aspect that made it special was that it was a student/faculty production with adults acting with the students, he said. “I’m sure all of us will admit, this was a lot of fun,” Mr. Kaasik said.