Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: High School Musical Theatre Awards Nominees Revealed for Region

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Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has announced the nominees and recipients of the 2017-18 Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards.

Nominated performers will participate in a professionally produced showcase at 7:30 p.m. May 19 at in Thrivent Financial Hall of the center. Info: foxcitiespac.com.
According to a press release:

Throughout the 2017-18 school year, 17 area high schools participated in the program, an education initiative that celebrates and supports the achievements of high school theater programs in Northeastern Wisconsin. 

During the program year, participating students had the opportunity to attend eight workshops with professional artists at the center and had the opportunity to ask questions and explore different aspects of theater to give a deeper understanding of professional performing arts.

A team of trained adjudicators attended each participating school’s musical production and provided educational feedback, ultimately determining the recipients of this year’s awards. Scores for each production were tabulated and the top qualifiers were nominated to represent their school at the official showcase. All qualifying nominees will be recognized with an award in their category at the May 19 event. 

This year’s participating high schools: Ashwaubenon, Appleton East, Denmark, Fond du Lac, Freedom, Green Bay East, Green Bay Preble, Green Bay Southwest, Green Bay West, Hortonville, Kimberly, Little Chute, Mishicot, Neenah, Notre Dame Academy, St. Mary Catholic and Winneconne.

The nominees:

Outstanding Overall Production
Ashwaubenon: “School of Rock”
Fond du Lac: “Sister Act”

Green Bay Preble: “Hairspray”
Kimberly: “Little Shop of Horrors”

Outstanding Ensemble

Fond du Lac: “Sister Act”
Kimberly: “Little Shop of Horrors”
Little Chute: “Shrek”
Neenah: “Damn Yankees”
St. Mary Central: “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor
Jonah Hammen as Lord Farquaad in Little Chute’s “Shrek”
Kani Johnson as Donkey in Little Chute’s “Shrek”
Michael Murphy as Joe Hardy in Neenah’s “Damn Yankees”
Travis Vandenberg as Seymour Krelborn in Kimberly’s “Little Shop of Horrors”

Logan Zills as Dewey Finn in Ashwaubenon’s “School of Rock”

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress
Klaire Kulas as Audrey in Kimberly’s “Little Shop of Horrors”
Abbi Landrum as Tracy Turnblad in Green Bay Preble’s “Hairspray”
Paige Neumeyer as Cassie in Green Bay East’s “A Chorus Line”
Riley Seib as Golde in Mishicot’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Zakia Trotter as Deloris Van Cartier in Fond du Lac’s “Sister Act”

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor

Wesley Blashka as Rocky in Neenah’s “Damn Yankees”
Caleb Diny as Grimsby in Denmark’s “The Little Mermaid”
Jon Geniesse as Zack Mooneyham in Ashwaubenon’s “School of Rock”
Dom Lehner as Mr. Bratt in St. Mary Central’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
Deven Vera as Orin Scrivello, DDS in Kimberly’s “Little Shop of Horrors”
Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress

Jayna Glynn as Sister in Neenah’s “Damn Yankees”
Marissa Krueger as Sister Mary Patrick in Fond du Lac’s “Sister Act”
Briah Larson as Summer Hathaway in Ashwaubenon’s “School of Rock”

Lauren Meyer as Smitty in St. Mary Central’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
Claire Sawall as Carol Strong in Appleton East’s “Catch Me If You Can”
Rising Star Award
Recognizes an underclassman in a feature role who is not eligible for a lead or supporting role nomination.
Carly de la Masa as Tanika in Kimberly’s “Little Shop of Horrors”
Show Stopper Award
Nominated by adjudicators, this award recognizes a student not eligible for a lead or supporting nomination who demonstrated excellence in their contribution to the school’s production.
Sydney Sebert as Sister Mary Lazarus in Fond du Lac’s “Sister Act”

Community Engagement Award
Celebrating one outstanding school that connected its production back to its community.

Denmark High School: “The Little Mermaid” 

Outstanding Achievement Award
Celebrating a student who has triumphed over and defied difficulties. 
Brandon Lee of Green Bay Southwest

Backstage Spirit Award
Recognizing the individuals or crews who tirelessly contributed to the creation of seamless storytelling on stage. 

Katelyn Pietroske of Mishicot High School

At the showcase, one outstanding lead actress and one outstanding lead actor will be announced as Best Actress and Best Actor. Chosen through a separate audition process, these two performers will represent the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards program June 25 at The National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also called The Jimmys, in New York City. Participants in that program will audition for scholarships, learn from professionals in a week of workshops and perform on stage at the Minskoff Theatre (currently the Broadway home to Disney’s “The Lion King”).  

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays.

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