Meet Sophia Sapienza, a Foxy Award Winning Actress
By Katie Sun
Sophia Sapienza shares some of her favorite experiences from the Montgomery Township school district's theater program, which ultimately led to her being recognized as the best lead actress in a comedy in New Jersey during her junior year.
Sapienza, a rising senior at Montgomery High School, has acted in 13 school productions, beginning in fifth grade when she decided to audition for My Son Pinocchio. “I think what kept me coming back to theater after that show was that I had so much fun learning the songs and dances,” she said. As she performed in more shows and played bigger roles, Sapienza found that she started to enjoy acting more than singing or dancing.
“Something I love about [acting] is taking on the personality of a character, and getting to portray their range of actions and emotions,” said Sapienza. “On stage, when you act out someone's emotions through their dialogue or movements, it's a lot more exaggerated and dramatized than in real life so the audience can see it, and it's fun to just kind of go wild with that and be really over-the-top.”
Participating in the school theater productions also requires good time management skills, as actors have to balance their schoolwork with their long hours of rehearsals.
“I just try to squeeze in as much work as I can during the day—during class, study hall, the bus, you name it — so I don't have to stay up all night,” said Sapienza. “Usually it ends up all right, and I think being a part of the play is totally worth it.”
Sapienza won her Foxy award in May, with the awards ceremony taking place virtually due to COVID-19. “My family and I were watching it and we all screamed,” she said. “I did not expect to get it. I was so surprised by that, but I was so excited.”
Moon Over Buffalo had a lot of physical choreography that the actors had to memorize along with their lines, and Sapienza felt most proud of her ability to remember all of it for her performance.
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As a senior, this upcoming school year will be Sapienza’s last year of acting in MHS productions. One aspect that she will miss the most when she graduates is the camaraderie of the cast for the fall plays — especially the Moon Over Buffalo cast. And, she hopes the school will be able to produce a play during the 2020-2021 school year, given the pandemic and the uncertainty of in-person classes.
“We spent a lot of time with each other during and outside of rehearsals, and became like a family,” said Sapienza. “The show turned out to be amazing, and I'm so proud of all of us, but the people involved with the show are really what made the whole thing so memorable.”
In college, Sapienza said she wants to major in screenwriting for film and television. Her main passion is writing, but if she ever got the chance, she would love to do acting in the future as well.