Darien students win arts awards, will have their plays performed
On May 1, three Fairfield County high school students will experience the joy of live theatre in a whole new way — as playwrights. Darien residents Olivia Falkenrath and Quinn Murphy and Bethel resident Ryan Polistena were named winners of The Palace Theatre’s 2017 Ernie DiMattia emerging young artist scholarship Awards for their writing of an original one-act play. All three will witness their voices and visions come to life with a staged reading by professional actors at The Palace in Stamford.
Olivia Falkenrath, a 10th grade student at Greenwich Academy, was awarded first place — a $1,000 scholarship — for her play, “New beginnings.” The Palace also recognized Brunswick School 10th grader Quinn Murphy with a second place scholarship of $500 for “Siblings” and Ryan Polistena, a graduating senior at Bethel High School, with a third place $250 scholarship for his work, “Dilemma of the Single Chair.”
The Palace has brought in Broadway veteran Luis Salgado to guest direct the staged reading, which will be attended by the playwrights’ parents, teachers and friends as well as Stamford Center for the Arts board members and spotlight soiree gala sponsors
“Congratulations to Olivia, Quinn and Ryan for their excellent work,” said The Palace’s Executive Director Michael Moran. “Arts education is extremely important to The Palace. We are thrilled to welcome Luis Salgado, an accomplished director and Broadway veteran, and are excited to see how he will bring the unique vision of each young playwright to life.”
The emerging young artist scholarship award was established in 2010 and is open to all high school students from Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Winners have included instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, actors and playwrights. In 2015, the award was renamed for Ernie DiMattia, former president of The Ferguson Library in Stamford and a longtime Stamford Center for the Arts board member.