Robert Pierno


Photo courtesy of Pierno.

Madison Mauro, Former Opinion Editor

Robert Pierno has been an active member of the theater department for 6 years. Performing in “Hamlet”, “West Side Story”, “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”, “Les Miserables”, “Our Town”, “Hello, Dolly!”and “Tuck Everlasting” throughout his four years at Emmaus High School, Pierno will always carry with him the determination and kindness that the theatre department has taught him. This fall, Pierno will be attending Marymount Manhattan College to pursue a degree in directing. He is excited to grow and work hard in New York City this fall. 

Stinger: When did you first become interested in theatre?

Pierno: My brother was in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and I was like, “I wanna go on stage and do that.” So for my sixth grade fall show I auditioned and I didn’t get in. Then I finally got into “Crazy For You” and that’s where it all started. 

Stinger: What are all of the roles you’ve played?

Pierno: I’ve been Gavroche, Newsboy, Tiny Tim, Jesse Tuck, and Barnaby Tucker. I also was a stage manager, Joly, Man With Socks, Baby John, and Voltemand.

Stinger: Which role has been your favorite?

Pierno: I feel like it’s going to be this one [in “Tuck Everlasting”]. I like bouncing off of someone. I’m Jesse Tuck, who I really like. It’s probably the best one [because] it has dancing and we sing. I have songs to myself which are nice too. 

Stinger: What was the most challenging role you’ve played?

Pierno: When I was a stage manager in “Our Town” one of my lines was four pages long which felt literally impossible. Also I could run my lines on my own and know them by the third week for rehearsal which was kind of lonely too. 

Stinger: Who is your biggest role model?

Pierno: Well, there’s my parents because I would not have been able to do all of this without them, especially in middle school. Teacher-wise I would say Cortez, she does choreography and she went with us to Italy. I got really close with her. I don’t know another teacher in Emmaus who puts kids before herself like she does. She’ll take hours out of her days to hear all of us sing… we couldn’t do it without her. 

Stinger: Why are you studying directing? 

Pierno: For me, I don’t see a job out of auditioning everyday. I love it, but I don’t consider myself dedicated to it. Auditions are so stressful for me, I can’t do that everyday. It’s just not my thing. Last year for “Hello, Dolly!” I was student directing. It gave me a leadership position and I got to work with Mrs. Kuebler. Seeing something big come out of nothing really sparked something in me. I didn’t hate any aspect of it, that’s how I knew. When you’re on the other side, it’s completely different. 

Stinger: How have you changed since freshman year?

Pierno: I would say I don’t let people’s opinions bother me. Freshman year I was a chicken without a head. I was like, “Oh my gosh this person thinks that or they probably think this.” Now I don’t care, I’m gonna take my opportunities and go with it. Italy played a really big role in that for me. That trip wouldn’t have happened if I had been in the same mindset. I used to think [that] I had to act like a highschooler, now I’m like, okay, I am a high schooler. I’m just going to enjoy the moment. I have to do what’s gonna make me happy. 

Stinger: What will you miss most about EHS?

Pierno: I think, not school itself, but I’m going to miss going to school in the morning and getting jitters after school for rehearsal. I would stare at the clock waiting for rehearsal. When I was in rehearsal I wasn’t a high schooler, my friends were around me, and I could be myself. I’ll also miss the opportunities. Saying goodbye to teachers too, they’ve seen me grow like I’ve seen myself grow.

Stinger: What’s a song that describes your high school career?

Pierno: “Don’t Stop Believing”, it’s literally a classic but it works. If you don’t believe in yourself no ones gonna believe in you. 

Stinger: What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Pierno: When I go to college I wanna be a better version of myself. I know for a fact I’m not the same person I was freshman year and I know if I don’t come out different when I graduate I didn’t grow in college. I’d like to direct a Broadway musical. Will I actually? No. Do I hope? Yes. Living in New York, and getting that New York grind in, I wanna succeed in the city, maybe my path will take me another way but for now I’m ready for a new start.