Five Students Recognized with Working Artist Award


During a recent assembly, Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair Natania Hume recognized five students for their excellence and hard work in the arts.

Elsa Frankel ’23 leads our fall production of The Elephant Man, taking on the challenging role of Joseph Merrick with admirable empathy and authenticity. Her dedication to her craft as an actor has contributed to a nuanced and engaging performance and has proven an exemplar to all company members. Elsa has also taken the initiative to engage our ensemble and school community in discussions of disabilities in preparation for the performances.

Aster Carlstrom ’25 has taken on the duties of assistant director of the fall production of The Elephant Man with great confidence and determination. They have staged scenes with clarity of vision and deep understanding of the acting process. They have led their peers in the ensemble with honesty and kindness, offering constructive feedback at each step of the process.

Stella Gordon ’24 is a member of the dance ensemble and a student choreographer this season. She puts her fullest energy into each class and rehearsal, morphing to suit the styles and techniques for each piece. She leads her peers with clear direction as she creates her choreography, and comes into each session prepared with engaging material. Stella strives to develop her creative vision while also honoring the uniqueness of each dancer in her group. For her drive, creativity, thoughtfulness, she is the recipient of this Working Artist Award.

Aaron Chittilappilly ’24 returned to campus this fall after working as an intern/PA with a film crew in India during the summer. He was definitely inspired and ready to film. In AP Visual Arts he has applied his documentary approach to the concepts of self and home, working on the streets of Easthampton, interviewing and filming local residents. In the afternoons Aaron has been collaborating on a project with artist Kim Carlino and her mural at Eastworks. In the Film Club he’s working on a narrative script that the club will hopefully put into production in the near future. He’s also writing screenplays in Dr. Rodriguez’s class. To say that he’s deeply engaged and motivated is an obvious understatement.  It appears as if he’s turning Williston into his version of film school. The Working Artist award for outstanding performance in the Visual Arts this trimester goes to Aaron Chittilappilly.

Aaron Hammer ’24 always arrives to Tech Theater ready to engage in the work of the day and is excited about what we are building. He has a deep interest in the process behind the designs and is not afraid to ask questions to further his understanding. He is a great collaborator with his peers and strives to work efficiently and safely. For his dedication to and interest in Tech Theater, he is the recipient of this Williston Working Artist Award.