Eva Zazzali, a sophomore at the Academy of the Holy Angels, just won the inaugural bergenPAC Executive Producer’s Award. Zazzali was recognized for her portrayal of Viola in AHA’s spring 2023 production of “Twelfth Night the Musical.” Awards were presented May 22 at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood.
“I am so grateful to be able to receive the Executive Producer’s Award, although I was completely taken by surprise since the award I won had no list of nominees prior to the award ceremony,” Zazzali shared. “After my name was announced and I went up to make an acceptance speech…I was so happy that I got to represent the AHA Theater Program. The AHA Theater Program has allowed me to grow in so many unimaginable ways and I would not have been able to accept the award without the help from our Director Mrs. (Katie) Collins, Student Director Maia German, Choreographer Ariane Ryan, Musical Director George Croom, lighting design, and crew. I am so overjoyed by the opportunity to receive this award and be able to continue to do what I love through the AHA community.”
This Saddle River resident has been involved in theater for about 10 years, and pursues a variety of acting, dancing, and singing lessons.
“My older sister, Valentina (AHA ’21), was very involved in the arts, so I began to participate in all the programs she was performing in, as any younger sister does, and began to develop a new love for theater,” Zazzali added. “At our local community theater, I performed in my first musical, ‘Footloose,’ at the age of six with two of my sisters and played a role in the ensemble.”
Zazzali strives to immerse herself in her roles. As she prepared for her winning part, she worked to create a character based on her own ideas.
“I could not find many other performers who had performed this role, so it was definitely a challenge, but so exciting to find ways to add different attributes to my performance! Aside from the performing aspect, being able to give audience members a few hours of laughter, sadness, or joy will always be my favorite part of performing. Performing has allowed me to connect with total strangers and be a reason someone smiled or laughed, and enjoyed a break from the outside world. Being able to have the opportunity to be in an environment where I can create art and form unexpected friendships has been such an incredible experience and one that I am extremely grateful for.”
Zazzali is a member of the AHA Track Team and the Società Onoraria Italica, an honor society for students who excel in their studies of the Italian language. Her sister Federica (AHA ’23) is the society’s co-president.
Keep watching! Zazzali’s interpretation of Viola also earned her a Metro Award nomination for Outstanding Female Acting Performance. Winners will be announced in the coming weeks.