SHS Alumni Cory Candelet hosts Drama Intensive

Story by Christopher Caraballo, Staff Writer

For the past four weeks, SHS alumni Cory Candelet has been leading a Drama Intensive for teens in the southeastern Connecticut area. Candelet, a theater major at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), has wanted to teach a theater class for years. He and SHS Drama director Erin Sousa-Stanley finally decided that now was the perfect time to do it. 

We wanted to provide a class where teens in the area are able to seriously focus on and enhance their skills in theater,” said Candelet. “It is a very unique opportunity because there are not many classes around that teach audition techniques, scene study, dance, and many more skills that are necessary in order to take talented young adults to the next level in their journey to becoming amazing performers.”

The class focused on teaching young actors what it takes to become a professional. 

“Some skills that we focused on in class were how to walk into an audition room and own it, how to prepare for and execute great auditions and dance auditions, and how to dive deeper into characters, scene studies, and monologues. We talked a lot about where to find materials, how to pick the perfect monologue or song for YOU, and what not to do when you are going through an audition process.”

Candelet fell in love with drama in his junior year here at Stonington High School. Candelet, a former Bears football player, found his true passion on the stage. 

“[Theater] has shaped my life and made me a better person. To be successful in theatre you have to be fearless, vulnerable, and super hardworking  – and I am constantly learning new things.” 

Candelet immediately found success here at SHS, winning a Connecticut Halo Award for Best Couple in a Musical for his role in “The Sound of Music.” He credits his success to Stonington High School. 

“SHS Drama taught me so much that it’s hard to find a place to begin. I think the biggest thing I learned from Mr. and Mrs. Stanley during my short time in SHS drama is how important art is. Music and dance and acting all create a kind of magic that can touch the lives of audiences and people involved,” said Candelet. “It is so important because art is everywhere – the building you sit in was once a drawing, the shoes you are wearing were meticulously designed, the music you blast in your headphones took months to write, perform, and produce.”

Even though Candelet isn’t a stranger to the stage, he still learns new things every day.

“I learned so much from working with the teens that signed up for class and I am so excited for next year. East Lyme Regional Theater is an amazing program in the area that teaches theatre and more to kids and adults of all ages and experience levels while having so much fun in the process. I am honored to be a part of the fun, the classes, and the shows that they put on every year. We continue to grow every year and we hope that you will come join the fun sometime soon!”