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Local Students See Theatre Dreams Come True In Stamford

Darien resident Olivia Falkenrath, first place winner of The Palace Theatre’s 2017 Ernie DiMattia Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Awards.
Darien resident Olivia Falkenrath, first place winner of The Palace Theatre’s 2017 Ernie DiMattia Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Awards. Photo Credit: Submitted
Darien resident Quinn Murphy, second place winner of The Palace Theatre’s 2017 Ernie DiMattia Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Awards.
Darien resident Quinn Murphy, second place winner of The Palace Theatre’s 2017 Ernie DiMattia Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Awards. Photo Credit: Submitted
Bethel resident Ryan Polistena, third place winner of The Palace Theatre’s 2017 Ernie DiMattia Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Awards.
Bethel resident Ryan Polistena, third place winner of The Palace Theatre’s 2017 Ernie DiMattia Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Awards. Photo Credit: Submitted

STAMFORD Conn. – 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.

Falkenrath, a 10th grader at Greenwich Academy, was awarded first place – a $1,000 scholarship – for her play, “New Beginnings.” The Palace also recognized Brunswick School 10th grader Murphy with a second place scholarship of $500 for “Siblings” and 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.

A well-known performer, director, choreographer and producer, Salgado’s 20-year career spans Broadway, film, television, and stages around the world. Broadway credits include In The Heights, Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Rocky and On Your Feet. Most recently, he served as the director and choreographer for a production of In The Heights at The Axelrod Theater in Asbury Park and an all-Spanish production at The Gala Theater in Washington D.C.

“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.

A free staged reading will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 1 and is open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Lisa Colangelo at lcolangelo@palacestamford.org.

The Palace Theatre is located at 61 Atlantic St., (203) 325-4466, www.palacestamford.org .

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