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NFA News: Summer programs, Halo Awards on tap

Summer programs are back!

After a year off due to the pandemic, summer programming is returning to Norwich Free Academy.

“We are excited to once again offer a variety of summer learning opportunities for students of all ages,” said Head of School Dr. Brian M. Kelly. “We know people are looking for these types of opportunities, especially this year, and we are pleased to provide them.”

Programs include art camps for grades 3-5 and 6-8, a STEM Academy for grades 5-8, independent science research for grades 7-8, a leadership program for grades 9-11, Wildcat Beginnings for incoming ninth graders, athletic conditioning for grades 9-12, basketball for grades 4-9, dance for grades 1-12 and activities for members of the Wildcat Marching Band.

Dates, times and prices vary per program. Registration is now open. All information is available online at

Playshop nominated for 13 HALO awards

Norwich Free Academy Playshop received 13 nominations for the upcoming HALO Awards, an annual celebration of the best in high school theatrical productions sponsored by Seven Angels Theatre.

“I am beyond thrilled for our students,” said Philip Trostler, director of the NFA Playshop. “This has been a remarkable year. Despite the challenges we faced, we were able to produce three fully virtual performances that followed all safety guidelines. It’s quite a testament to their talent and perseverance.”

The nominations are:

Best Comic Male Performance in a Musical: Matt Barbeau, Theory of Relativity

Best Comic Female Performance in a Musical: Bonnie Mentz, Theory of Relativity

Best Original Program Design or Artwork: Corinne McEntee, Theory of Relativity

Best Specialty Ensemble: Ericka Alfred, Chelsea Taylor, Lily O’Neil and Isabella Morabito for Me & Ricky, Theory of Relativity

Best Chorus: Theory of Relativity

Best Performance by a Couple or Dynamic Duo in a Musical: Isabella Morabito and Madison Collins, Theory of Relativity

Best Performance by a Cast in an Ensemble Musical: Theory of Relativity

Best Male Standout Performance in an Ensemble Play: Miles King, Monologue Show

Best Female Standout Performance in an Ensemble Play: Katelyn Lawton, Monologue Show

Best Male Standout Performance in an Ensemble Musical: Miles King, Theory of Relativity

Best Female Standout Performance in an Ensemble Musical: Chelsea Taylor, Theory of Relativity

Best Contemporary Play — Monologue Show

Best Contemporary Musical — Theory of Relativity

Typically held at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, the awards will be presented virtually this year. Awards night is scheduled for July 9 at 7 p.m. Access is provided for free, but you must sign up through the following link to watch live:

End of Year Recap

There are now more than 500 new members of the NFA alumni family with the graduation of the Class of 2021 — the 163rd commencement in Academy history.

For the second year in a row, the ceremony was held at Dodd Stadium, though this year the graduates and their families were in the stadium and not in their cars. The atmosphere was festive and proved a fitting end to a challenging year for all involved.

To watch the ceremony, as well as other end-of-year events like Class Night, Athletic Awards and Visual and Performing Arts Awards, visit

Note: Thanks for reading each month as we share the latest news from Norwich Free Academy. Summer vacation is on, and this column will return in September!

Michael O'Farrell is the director of communications at NFA and a parent of a two students, Class of 2022 and 2025. He can be reached at


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