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Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

Finalist Jack Ceglie Wows the Roger Rees Awards

Ceglie+rehearsing+the+opening+number+before+the+showcase.+
Gianna Longo
Ceglie rehearsing the opening number before the showcase.

As the curtain falls and the audience rushes to its feet cheering, the crowd’s mind only goes to one name: Jack Ceglie. Junior Jack Ceglie has been involved in a plethora of different plays throughout the years, often featuring as the lead. Ceglie’s talent has never gone unnoticed or forgotten by his peers at LHS, but his involvement in other productions outside of school have garnered him further recognition. Recently, Ceglie was nominated by the Roger Rees Foundation as an “Outstanding Performer” for the 2023-2024 school year. The Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance recognizes outstanding student performers in high school, and represents 74 different high schools from across 13 counties. This year, the event held its 13th annual ceremony on May 19. 

There is more to the award than merely being nominated, and the work goes far beyond initial recognition. Several days before the award show begins, all nominees must attend a two-day intensive that focuses on solo and ensemble performances. The intensive itself, as remarked by Ceglie, is “intense but fun.” Ceglie added, “It is all condensed down into two days to really prepare for an event as big as this, which is a lot, but it still ends up getting done.” And, Ceglie is no stranger to work on stage. During this intensive, mentors and instructors help performers refine their craft, which, Ceglie explained, is an essential part of the performing process. “The teachers and coaches are all there to take what you have already done and expand on it – they add a whole other layer to the performances,” Ceglie mused. 

Ceglie has been part of the acting world since he was a child, participating in plays both in and out of school. From starring as Harol Hill in The Music Man to recently starring as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Ceglie’s variety within his roles over the years has facilitated his theatrical success. Performing on stage is more than just reciting lines; Ceglie has had to perfect the many components of his performative craft, and this has been the secret to his garnered success. 

Ceglie poses with fellow nominees.

When May 19 finally arrived, over 50 different high schoolers, including Ceglie, attended and performed among several well-known Broadway stars and coaches. The Roger Rees Awards begin via several consecutive ensemble performances, where all 50 nominees perform together. On the day of the performances, Ceglie experienced a sense of belonging, being able to perform with peers who had been working as hard as he had, and were equally as passionate about their craft as he was was an unforgettable experience. “To get to sing your solo song in front of an audience like that is something I could have never imagined. It feels like you have so much weight on your shoulders but there is also an ease to it because you are just performing what you did months ago but better. It is truly unforgettable,” Ceglie reminisced. 

Once the nominees’ performances had ended, the performers endured a round of meticulous judging from several well-known judges, including Merri Sugarman and Alton Fitzgerald White. During this period, over 30 cuts transpired, leaving Ceglie and only 11 nominees left; they had been announced as the official 12 finalists. “When they said my name as one of the 12 finalists, my soul had to have left my body for about five seconds. I was in a state of shock and was so grateful to have been noticed for the work that I had put into a show I did months beforehand,” Ceglie remarked. 

 

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About the Contributors
Dylan Hincken-Kossow
Dylan Hincken-Kossow, Assistant Editor
Hi! My name is Dylan Hincken-Kossow, and I’m a member of the Class of 2025. I am also part of the Speech & Debate Club, GirlUp, Key Club and the Mock Trial Club. I love to travel and read in my free time.
Gianna Longo
Gianna Longo, Managing Editor
Hey there! My name’s Gianna, and I’m a member of the Class of 2025, along with many clubs here at LHS. In my spare time, you can find me on the stage, in the music wing, at my dance studio, or writing and editing for Horizon. Happy reading!