Community theater has been good to Stamford's Todd Piskin, and he hopes to return the favor in the future. For now, his dedication to the arts earned him Curtain Call's award as Youth Volunteer of the Year.
The 19-year-old is in his first year at Ithaca College, where he studies theater arts management. Community theaters are the focus of Piskin's already formulated career path.
"I'd like to do a couple years of company management with a touring company working on shows. Then after that, move over to executive director and management in nonprofit theaters like Curtain Call," he said.
"That whole idea of the community coming together to put on a show, particularly in a time of recession that is the strongest thing ever," Piskin said while sitting in Curtain Call's rehearsal space. "Once you've volunteered here and you've gotten that passion, and once you've learned from other people in the community, it's just so strong. And I think that is what a lot of people come back for."
Piskin became involved in theater in junior high school, first on the stage in Curtain Call's production of "Oliver." As he continued with Curtain Call, Piskin eventually transitioned to working backstage. But no matter his role in the production, Piskin revels in the camaraderie of the troupe. "There's just that one bond you have. I just like that so much. I would love to go into that as a professional," he said.
Piskin is only the second person to earn the Youth Volunteer of the Year. The first was the daughter of this year's Volunteer of the Year, John Zimmerman. Piskin said he is happy to receive the recognition, especially from a theater troupe for which he holds so much respect. "It wasn't so much that I wanted people to know that, 'Yeah, I have been here so much,' it was just the recognition. Yeah, I was happy. It was a nice thing to end my high school career on," Piskin said.