AUBURN - Students in Cayuga Community College’s Harlequin Productions saved their best performance for last this semester, as the group earned a slew of awards at a recent statewide festival.
Performing four short selections from “All Around the Table” at the annual festival for the Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS), Harlequin Productions finished as the runner-up in the Best Short Production category. Students earned a discretionary award for Excellence in Ensemble Acting, and Bob Frame earned a discretionary award for Excellence in Direction. Those were two of just five discretionary awards issued at the festival.
Combined with Cayuga student Thomas Norris receiving a People’s Choice Award for Outstanding Performance, the discretionary awards made the showing at the festival one of the most successful in recent history for Harlequin.
“It was really an incredible performance by our students,” said Frame. “The shows ran smoothly, and the audience was really enjoying the plays. Our students rose to the occasion. It was our best performance of the semester.”
Students agreed, with Norris and fellow actors Aaron Baim, Allie McLeod and Jennifer O’Neil saying the group overcame some early jitters to produce their best performance of the semester. Harlequin performed on the festival’s second day, which gave the cast a whole day to see the strong performances of their competition.
Fortunately, the audience enjoyed the humor and students’ acting abilities in Harlequin’s performance.
“The audience response was really strong. They were laughing at our jokes and the storylines, and I think we built on that energy,” said McLeod. “Everyone seemed like they were having their best shows. It was exciting to see and be a part of.”
Norris credited Frame, the cast and crew for helping him improve as an actor, saying he wouldn’t have received the People’s Choice Award without them.
“Bob is the reason why I got that award. Instead of telling me I couldn’t improve as an actor, he pushed me to be better. It wasn’t always fun, but Bob trained me and helped me get to where I am today,” said Norris. “I wouldn’t have received the award without his help. Really, I have to thank Bob, the cast and crew for that. Without them, that wouldn’t have happened.”
To learn more about Harlequin Productions, visit https://www.cayuga-cc.edu/students/student-life/harlequin/.