Around the Island

Island student wins ‘Teeny Award’ — Ceremony honors best in East End high school theater

One Island student has a new accolade to add to her already impressive résumé: Teeny Award winner.

The annual awards program from East End Arts celebrated the best in student theater Sunday evening at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. Shelter Island High School’s Emma Martinez Majdisova was recognized as Best Supporting Female in a Play for her performance as Betty Sue in “It’s Always the Butler.”

While Emma couldn’t be there personally for the event, which was held virtually and in person, presenter Andrina Wekontash Smith, a working actress and comedian who grew up on the Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton, accepted it on her behalf. She jokingly gestured like she would keep it for herself.

This year, high schools and their drama clubs faced unique challenges in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of hosting the usual school plays and musicals, social distancing measures forced schools to be even more creative in how they staged productions.

Throughout Sunday’s event, presenters marveled at how the students overcame adversity to still find ways to perform during the pandemic.

“I could not do this pandemic stuff, you guys killed it,” Ms. Wekontash Smith remarked.

The ceremony, now in its 19th year, was hosted by Gianna Volpe of “Heart of the East End,” the morning show on WLIW, the East End’s NPR station.