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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Amelia Perlmutter Wins Metro Award

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Amelia Perlmutter as Cady Heron in Mean Girls

While growing up in Rutherford, Amelia Perlmutter performed on many Rutherford school stages, including the Pierrepont, Union, and Rutherford High School stages. Throughout her four years at Rutherford High School, she has been in the choir and has performed in all four of the musicals. This is Rutherford interviewed Amelia to learn more about the Acting award she recently received and her love of acting and singing.


TIR: Since you are a Senior and will be graduating next week what are your plans after you leave RHS?


Amelia Perlmutter: I will be going to SUNY Purchase in the fall as a Screenwriting and Playwriting major. I will also be playing tennis there, which I'm really looking forward to!

TIR: How long have you been acting and singing?


AP: I've been singing basically since I could talk. I joined the choir in the 1st grade and I've been doing it every year since! I didn't really start acting until the 6th grade when I did my first musical.


"I have been lucky enough to have Amelia in choir all four years of high school, and it's been such a pleasure watching her grow and develop her talents. Not only is she an amazing singer/performer, but she's an amazing person! She's kind, helpful, enthusiastic, and personable. She has been such an asset to our program, and we wish her the very best in the future!" RHS Vocal Music Teacher and Choir Director, Patricia Blanchard told TIR.

TIR: What are some of the productions you have been a part of at RHS?


AP: I've done every musical at RHS since I was a freshman! Last year, I was Lavender in Matilda which was super fun and a really great experience. I've met a lot of great people and I've gotten to do some really fun shows! However, Mean Girls has to be my favorite.


Superintendent Jack Hurley explained, "Amelia's performance in Mean Girls was one of the best, if not the best performance, I've seen in my long history of attending Rutherford High School plays. She is very deserving of this award . I am very proud of her accomplishments and the honor she brought to our theater program."

Nick Scaglione (Damian), Amelia Perlmutter (Cady), and Liz Dunlop (Janis)

TIR: Tell us about the role, Cady Heron, you played in Mean Girls at RHS in March.


AP: Cady is someone who, like all of us, just really wants to fit in. After moving from Kenya (where she was homeschooled her whole life) to America, Cady does her best to belong, which ends up with her joining the clique of the three most popular girls in school. But after Regina, the meanest and most popular girl of all, starts dating Cady's crush, she ends up in a revenge plot to take Regina down. With the help of her two true friends, Janis and Damian, Cady wins, but ends up spiraling out of control and ending up just like Regina herself. Although she eventually finds her way back to the person she was, she has to first learn that being who you really are is the most important thing of all. TIR: What did you enjoy most about playing the role of Cady?


AP: There was so much to enjoy about playing Cady, but I think my favorite thing was that she was such a fun acting challenge. She has such a big transformation over the course of the show and goes through so much but, obviously, is the same person at her core through all of it. Trying to get an audience to love her and then hate her and then root for her again while making sure she was still deep down the Cady that she started out as was really difficult and really rewarding. Obviously it paid off!


UMS English Language Arts Teacher and former UMS Musical Director, Margaret MacDadyen-Doty, explained, "From the moment I met Amelia, it was obvious that she was an extremely talented young lady. It was not just her voice and her acting ability, which are amazing, but the way she could engage with the other actors and elevate them. She always worked tirelessly to ensure that hers was not the only great performance. She wanted the musical to be a great production filled with great performances. It is not surprising to hear that she has been awarded for her performance in Mean Girls. This is going to be the first of many."


RHS Principal Frank Morano told TIR, "Amelia's performance in Mean Girls was outstanding and most definitely deserving of this amazing award. This is a tribute to Amelia's hard work and dedication to the arts program at RHS. We are so excited for her and the entire program."

TIR: On June 12th you won a Metro (Metropolitan High School Theatre Award) for your Acting Performance as Cady Heron in Rutherford High School's Production of "Mean Girls". How are you feeling about receiving this award?

AP: It was such an absolute honor. There was such steep competition that I was treating the nomination as a victory. It honestly never crossed my mind that I would win, which made it even more exciting! It still feels like it wasn't real, and every once in a while I feel like I have to pinch myself to just remind myself that it was.

"When approaching her final season at RHS, Amelia came prepared and focused to take on any role given to her. She dug deep into her material and brought depth to the character of Cady Heron. Amelia spent a lot of time dissecting every word and movement Cady made. She interacted with the characters and space in a natural way. To mark the culmination of her time in Rutherford Theater with a Metro Award win is incredibly fitting. We are grateful for her dedication to this program and proud of all of her accomplishments," Mean Girls Co-Director, Courtney McManus, told TIR.

TIR: Can you tell us more about the Awards Ceremony at Tarrytown Music Hall?


AP: The awards ceremony was such a blast. You could feel the love and appreciation for the arts and theater all throughout the room and it was so nice to be in a space with people who appreciate theater as much as I do. There were performances by the 6 schools nominated for Outstanding Overall Production, as well as those nominated in the lead actor/actress categories. It was really fun and super cool to see their creativity and talent.


"We are incredibly proud of Amelia Perlmutter for her outstanding achievement in winning the Metro Award for her performance in Mean Girls. Her talent, dedication, and hard work have shone through, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impact. Her portrayal showcased her exceptional acting skills, bringing depth, humor, and authenticity to the role. Amelia's recognition is well-deserved and serves as a testament to her remarkable talent and commitment to her craft. We congratulate her on this well-earned honor and eagerly anticipate witnessing her future accomplishments in the world of performing arts," Brian Ersalesi, English and Arts Supervisor at RHS, told TIR.


TIR: Have you had any mentors on your musical theatre and theatre journey that you would like to mention?


AP: There are so many people who have helped me over the course of my theater career. Obviously, I have to say my parents. They're both actors and have taken turns helping me with every single audition and callback, giving me notes and helping me improve. They've had to listen to me sing at the top of my lungs for over 15 years and have run lines with me and have never complained, and I'm super grateful for that. My directors have also helped me a lot. They've pushed me to be the best I can be over the last four years and without that drive to be better I don't think I would be where I am today.


"Amelia is among the most talented individuals we have ever had grace the stage in my time at RHS. She has been working hard at her craft for years, always looking to improve and continue working hard to make her mark on that stage. She came into practice daily to work on her character while still helping her castmates improve their craft. I am so honored to have watched her grow over the years and so proud of her hard work a dedication to theater. There will never be another Amelia Perlmutter," explained Matthew Vaccaro, Co-Director of Mean Girls.

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