A New Canaan Rising Star

Meet the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Female award at the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards; NCHS Drama program was honored four times, including Production of the Year.

Who: Ashley Pacelli

School: New Canaan High School

Year: Class of 2011

Achievement: When members of the program attended the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards at the Palace Theater in Waterbury on June 6, 's nomination for Outstanding Supporting Female was one of 17 the high school theater program had garnered.

The nomination for her role as the title character in "" was her second, but when she heard her name called that night, it was her first win.

So perhaps it's understandable when Pacelli says that this was probably her favorite role in a high school career that spanned all four of her years at NCHS. 

"[Chaperone] is a fun show, and easy to understand for the audience. I was able to play a character that is such a great character. She was the title of the show, she came out with these one-liners that made everybody laugh," Pacellli said.

Comparing involvement in the drama program to a "varsity sport," she explained that it's a year-round commitment. 

As she details, theater at NCHS includes two one-act plays in the fall, a freshman/sophomore musical, winter and spring musicals, additional student-run productions and a drama festival.

For this year's freshman/sophomore production, Pacelli worked backstage for the first time.

"That was a unique experience," she said, adding she was "glad to see the other side of what goes on behind the scenes with the backstage crew."

In addition to the drama program, her activities during her time at the high school have a definite theme. She participates in choir, Madrigal ensemble, all-state choir, and was named to the National Honor Society.  

Beyond the high school campus, she has continued to participate at the , where she started acting, "'around third grade with Kay Shields." She was a part of the , explaining that as the youngest participant she loved the chance to learn from seasoned performers.

Key to Her Awesomeness:

When she continues her education this fall at Connecticut College, Pacelli plans to double major in theater, and "something else."

"I definitely want to keep it in my life ... it's something I could see pursuing professionally," she said.

Reflecting on her high school years she adds, "New Canaan High School Theater has been my high school experience. It's what has made high school really special to me. The people involved, they have become my second family."

Jane Himmel June 29, 2011 at 08:34 PM
And Ashley's such a nice kid, to boot! Have a great time at "CoCo for Wo and Bo," Ashley. (those who recall when it went co-ed will understand what I"m saying!)


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