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From Broadway to The Hive: Alex Paese Awarded the Legacy Robe

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Carissa Canzona'21
27 January 2020

The Passaic Valley Theater community frequently adopts traditions from Broadway. One of which, the Legacy Robe, was awarded to Alex Paese '21 this year for her contributions to the theater community throughout her high school career.Alex Paese wearing the Legacy Robe; property of Alex Paese

Paese was shocked when she received the award. “I had no idea I was getting it and couldn’t be happier," she said. "I was totally caught off guard and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my senior year with anyone other than those who were involved in the [theater program].”

Paese loves the connections she has forged through theater, whether it be with students or faculty. She considers learning how to be herself through acting as her greatest accomplishment. "I learned how not to be afraid of what people think and how to shine in a crowd while acting like nobody’s watching," said Paese. "I learned how to overcome my fears and how to present myself in a way I never knew I could.” 

Ms. Vanderstreet, Director of the Fall Play Everything Seems Like Maybe, considers the annual recipient of the Legacy Robe to be someone who has put “blood sweat and tears” into Passaic Valley’s productions and programs. “Alex poured so much of her time and self into [Everything Seems Like Maybe]. Not only was she in the cast, but she was my assistant director and helped with editing some of the monologues," Ms. Vanderstreet said. "She went above and beyond. She was always available to any of the cast members for questions and advice and she spent countless hours delivering and picking up filming equipment from members' houses. She has also been involved in many PV Theatre productions over the course of her years here at PV. She is a Hornet through and through and so deserving of this award.” 

Alex Paese learning she was awarded the Legacy Robe; property of Alex Paese Originating on Broadway, the Legacy Robe is a tradition where the ensemble member with the most Broadway credits receives the robe and “blesses” an upcoming production on opening night. There is also a ceremony in which the recipient puts on the robe and circles around the cast three times counterclockwise, while all cast members touch the robe as they pass. “We have adapted this tradition at PV and put our own spin on it in many ways. We do the circle and the theatre blessing, and then the recipient is responsible for making a patch with their name and show title to add to the robe before it goes to the next recipient," said Ms. Vanderstreet. "This honor helps to recognize how much effort the recipient has put into the theatre program at PV.”

Alex’s peers and mentors alike believe she is destined for greatness both on and off the stage. With this latest accolade, the hard work she has poured into the theater program at PV has not gone unnoticed.