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Sutton Drama Club attends the TAMY awards

Two nominations and one win for A Christmas Carol
Jennifer Carlsen
Lyla Carlsen and Elle Dwyer were in their gowns and ready for the show!

On Sunday, June 2, Mount Wachusett Community College held their 17th annual TAMY awards celebration. For the first time, the Sutton Drama Club participated and was represented by Cameron Loss, the club’s director, and Freshman Lyla Carlsen and 3rd grader Ella Dwyer.

Wait, why is this the first time for Sutton? Some background information is necessary.

Cameron Loss has been the club’s director for the past 17 years. In that time, the Drama Club never attempted a musical performance. The reason, he says, is simple. “A musical is so much more work than a regular play. By the time you learn the songs, integrate and rehearse the choreography, and do all the rest that a musical requires, you easily put in twice the amount of time as a play.”

Seniors Nixon Huggins, Maggie Jakubiak, and Emily Pietras in A Christmas Carol

Fine, but that doesn’t answer why Sutton has not done a musical in his time. “The Drama Club members are talented, wonderful students, but they are also tremendously involved students and do not have time for a musical. Take our three seniors from A Christmas Carol (Nixon Huggins, Margaret Jakubiak, Emily Pietras)–they were involved in chorus, dance, CSL, Connections, sports, DECA, and more. They were top notch performers, but also busy students. They worked hard to keep great grades and, occasionally, even rest. To ask Sutton students to do a musical is a major time commitment that the members just cannot meet unless they stop most or all of their other activities.

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“Oh, and I had never directed a musical. That’s pretty important, too.”

Ella Dwyer, 3rd grade, saw her name in lights as she was nominated for the Rising Star Award

Looking to change A Christmas Carol, a community biannual holiday staple since 2017, Mr. Loss started incorporating songs into the script. Along with Kristjon Imperio, they wrote ten original songs that helped change the play into a musical.

“We wanted to drop the two songs we previously used, but we didn’t want to replace them with someone eles’s songs. Slowly, we started writing down ideas, creating basic tunes, and developing them into full scale songs. The original goals was two songs, so imagine our surprise when the songs just kept coming and soon we had ten. To say the Drama Club members were surprised is an understatement.”

Though they were nominated for Technical Excellence in Sound, Sutton did not win.

Once the decision to create a musical was finalized, Sutton entered the TAMYs and found out in May that they had received two nominations: Technical Excellence in Sound and Rising Star Award–Ella Dwyer. In addition, each school that entered had one member in a supporting role selected for the Not Your Average Chorus Member award, and Sutton’s was Lyla Carlsen.

Though Sutton did not either award, Lyla took the stage to receive her medal.

Lyla Carlsen, 9th grader, received her Not-Your-Average Chorus Member award (Lyla is picture front row, far left)

Overall, the evening was a wonderful experience, and the Drama Club will hope to win awards in the future.

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