The 10th annual Hunting-Tony awards were given out Sunday to celebrate the Town of Huntington’s nine schools theatrical performances and theater departments.
This year’s ceremony was noticeably different than years because of Coronavirus pandemic. The event, previously held at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, went virtual.
While nominees and attendees did not get to walk the red carpet, this year featured plenty of exciting new solutions to the event. Huntington Town Councilwoman Joan Cergol, who co-sponsors the event alongside Councilman Mark Culbertson said, “This year, we had three co-hosts, all alumni of Northport High School and former Hunting-Tony winners, which really added a special flavor to the show.”
Former Hunting-Tonys winners also presented various awards.
One of the former Hunting-Tonys winners, Matt Kunkel, both directed and co-host the program and was excited at the chance to do so. The New York City based director said, “Winning an award in 2011 gave me the courage to pursue this field professionally.” He is working on a new Off-Broadway musical called Trevor: the Musical. Tony-nominated playwright and lyricist of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Everyday Rapture and The Unsinkable Molly Brown Dick Scalan even made an appearance presenting the award for best play: a tie between Harborfields High School’s Arsenic and Old Lace and Half Hollow Hills High School West’s Almost, Maine.
Though this year was much different than years prior, the awards were just as appreciated as ever by the students. Jospeh Interrane, this year’s winner for best actor for his role as Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace at Harborfields High School, said winning “was equally shocking and gratifying… [Brewster] was the most work I have ever put into a character.”
While 16-year-old Julia DaVolio won best supporting actress for her role in Half Hollow Hills High School West’s production of Almost, Maine, “I felt so lucky to even get a role in the play, let alone such an amazing award!” DaVolio said.
“As we look towards the future, I promise to use the Hunting-Tony awards to represent and relate to all students of every corner, class and color of this Town. Every artist and creator matters to me, and I will work tirelessly to make sure that every voice is heard,” said Kunkel on his plans to direct future Hunting-Tony shows.
The 2020 Hunting-Tonys show can be viewed at: https://huntingtonny.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=2185 as well as on the Town of Huntington website: https://www.huntingtonny.gov/featured-programs.
The 2020 Hunting-Tony Winners:
Best Lead Actor in a Play: Joseph Interrante, Harborfields High School, as Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace
Best Lead Actress in a Play: Neldi Gilot, Harborfields High School, as Abby Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace
Best Supporting Actor in a Play: David Mastroianni of Commack High School, as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet
Best Supporting Actress in a Play: Julia DaVolio of Half Hollow Hills High School West, as Marvalyn in Almost, Maine
Best Stage Crew in a Play: Huntington High School for Harvey
Best Stage Set Design in a Play: Cold Spring Harbor High School for Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Costumes in a Play: Commack High School for Romeo and Juliet
Best Technical Production for a Play: Half Hollow Hills High School East for The Good Doctor
Best Ensemble in a Play: Walt Whitman High School for Clue
Best Play: A TIE: Half Hollow Hills High School West for Almost, Maine and Harborfields High School for Arsenic and Old Lace