Theater Duo Recognized at Roger Rees Awards

Theater Duo Recognized at Roger Rees Awards

Wantagh High School thespians Anthony Lerro and Abigail Ardelean were recognized in a prestigious theater competition for their performances this year. They were recently invited to the 13th annual Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance at the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan.

Anthony, a junior, was a nominee in the Outstanding Performer in a Musical category. He was selected for his performance as the title character in Wantagh High School’s spring production of “The SpongeBob Musical.” 

Although he was not chosen as a finalist, Anthony said it was an honor to be named as one of 54 semifinalists from high schools across Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. During the two-day Roger Rees Awards showcase, he attended several theater workshops with Broadway professionals, which he said were invaluable in helping him grow as an actor and singer. Anthony and the other nominees also came together for a choreographed performance at the Sunday evening awards ceremony. 

“I met some really great people, including actual professionals that I’ve looked up to for a long time,” Anthony said.

Abigail, a sophomore, was recognized in the acting category in the New Faces Solo Performance Honors program. She was invited to the Roger Rees Awards Showcase to attend master classes and coaching sessions. Additionally, she was honored at the evening awards ceremony.

Abigail submitted a recording of a monologue from “Radium Girls.” She played Kathryn Schaub in the show, which was Wantagh High School’s fall production. Her monologue was judged by a panel of professional casting directors. 

The master classes, Abigail said, focused on her personal theater interests. In one class, she worked with other student-actors to interpret scripts and put together small performances. 

“It was really helpful and educational,” Abigail said. “It helped me understand the industry more and how important it is to work as a team.”

Since the start of middle school, Anthony has appeared in nine Wantagh dramas and musicals, and Abigail has been in six shows.

“These are incredible honors for our student-actors, especially when considering the talent pool in our region,” Wantagh theater teacher Dr. Kim Davis said. “I'm so excited to see Anthony and Abigail recognized for their talent and hard work.”