Williston conferred the Williston Working Artist Award on two students at an assembly on April 5. Triniti Slaughter ’18 and Yana Pyryalina ’18 received the awards, which recognize exemplary effort and mastery of an art form.
Emily Ditkovski, visual and performing arts teacher and director of the Williston Theatre, spoke about Triniti’s devotion to dance and acting. “With lines and blocking memorized, the cast of Peter and the Starcatcher are busy putting together all of the pieces of the show. With moving set pieces and actors swimming and flying across the stage, we have our work cut out for us. It is certainly not easy.” She continued: “The Williston Working Artist award in the theater goes to a cast member who has embraced this challenge fully. Never missing a beat (literally and figuratively) and always there for her fellow starcatchers, Triniti demonstrates the camaraderie, creativity, and focus an actor needs.
This is nothing new, it’s just how Triniti approaches her work in the theater. During rehearsals for last spring’s In the Heights there was literally not a moment when she wasn’t rehearsing her choreography (including during breaks!). In Starcatcher, Triniti fearlessly embodies a character who is bossy and obsessed with being the absolute best. Thanks to Triniti’s superb actor instincts her fellow orphans get the joy of being the recipient of insults, noogies, and punches (all well-choreographed, of course).”
Natania Hume, head of the arts department, read notes from Steve Berlanga, Director of Choirs, who praised pianist Yana’s devotion to music. “Yana has been a strong force in our music program. She not only participates with the Jazz Band, but also takes an active role in organizing events involving student performances,” he wrote. “She has an incredibly strong work ethic, always managing to prepare her music ahead of time so that we can improve our music-making in rehearsal. She is extremely passionate not only in sharing her own talents, but in organizing and encouraging other students to share theirs. She has participated in almost every concert that we have had this year, and even played in the band for the Winter Choral Concert. Yana makes music for the love of it and is also an incredible musician and serious performer.”
Congratulations to these two hard-working, skilled performers!