Hi! My name is Emilia Ciotti Hernandez! Pied Piper has always been one of the most significant parts of my life. Starting in Kindergarten, I did at least one show per season, up until 2018 when I graduated having been in over 25 shows and having worked on many more. I remember being in my first show Raggedy Ann and Andy and just being a part of the “toy chorus” that came out in the opening scene, and then again in the last one. Little 6-year-old Emilia never realized how important that stage and the people surrounding her would become to her. At that age, my mom was making me try a little bit of everything – ballet, art, softball – to see what I was drawn to. There truly was no competition, because Pied Piper was the only thing that I wanted to come back to.
PPCT fosters a community like no other. Although it might sound cliché, I knew I could always walk into rehearsals and see not just best friends, but family. Everyone who goes through this beautiful place comes out a better human because of all the skills you learn, socially and theatrically. I was recently talking to one of the current seniors, and I came to a realization. Most high school seniors are sad to leave their friends at school and are excited to celebrate this advancement into the next chapter of life with them, but it was not like that for me. I did not care too much about leaving my high school. I was sad to leave my home away from home, and I was excited to celebrate with the loving and supporting family I had created through it. A couple of months ago, my close friend from college came to stay with me over spring break. During this week I was home, she met my PPCT friends and fell in love with them. My friend later told me that she wished she had known about this theatre growing up because she recognized how much it did for me, and recognized the fantastic people it created.
Being on the board would be a privilege. Having recently graduated, I was there for all the big changes after Rey left. I was an Actors’ Society officer all four years of high school, which meant I worked closely with those spearheading the change. Having been there through difficult times, I know the strength and resilience the theatre has, and how much it can endure. Having the set of eyes of a recent alumna who thoroughly understands the capabilities we have as a community, would be a great asset. I will not stop at anything and will push ideas further because I know that we can do more than many think possible. Much like my mom, I can celebrate smaller achievements, while also not losing sight of the long-term goal. Some worries that people might have with my nomination is that I am a college student and have a lot on my plate. However, time management is a forte of mine, and the more work I have, the more I succeed (a skill I learned through the combination of multiple AP classes and late night rehearsals). I am very honored to have been nominated, and although I am a little nervous about this next step, I am also excited to see what is to come. Thank you so much.