ATLANTA — Nominees in the 17 categories for the Shuler Hensley Awards, a Georgia high school musical theater celebration were announced.
Milton High School and West Forsyth High lead with nominations, 14 and 11, respectively.
Last year, Milton High School's musical "Spamalot" was nominated for 13 and took home six awards and West Forsyth's "Oliver!" was nominated for 12 and won four awards.
"All directors hope they will have a talented cast and that the budget will be enough to pay for everything, but you must believe that the product you are producing is worthy of all the work,” said Eric Gray, artistic director for Studio West Production at West Forsyth High School. “I am so thankful for the parents and talent I have been blessed with at West Forsyth. We have a very supportive administration and the local support grows every year.”
The Shuler Awards, which honor musical theatre excellence at the high school level, take place April 17 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
The Red Carpet Event begins at 6 p.m. and curtain is at 7:30 pm.
Categories include: overall production, direction, musical direction, choreography, orchestra, scenic design, lighting design, costume design, sound design, technical execution, ensemble, leading actor and actress, supporting actor and actress, featured performer.
New this year is the showstopper award.
A team of over 45 Atlanta-based arts professionals have evaluated participating high school productions, with winners to be announced at the “Tony Awards-style” ceremony.
Fifty-nine high schools from 23 counties, representing school districts as well as private schools from throughout the state participated this year.
Schools located in our news coverage area earned dozens of nominations and will be going head-to-head at the awards ceremony.
• Milton High School’s performance of “Legally Blonde” earned 14 nominations, including best direction and best leading actor, Crawford Horton and best leading actress, McKenzie Kurtz. Milton has one honorable mention.
• West Forsyth’s “A Tale of Two Cities” earned 11 nominations, including best leading actor, Nick Eibler and best leading actress, Peyton Smith. In addition, West earned two honorable mentions.
• Johns Creek High School’s “Once Upon a Mattress” earned 10 nominations, including best supporting actress, Tori Beauchamp, and there were six honorable mentions.
• South Forsyth High School’s “Shrek the Musical” earned seven nominations and six honorable mentions.
• Lambert High School’s performance of “Bye Bye Birdie” is nominated in two categories and has one honorable mention.
• Alpharetta High School’s The Pajama Game was not nominated this year, but earned an honorable mention for best orchestra.
The ceremony includes performances from the six schools nominated for best overall production, leading actor and actress nominee medleys and the new showstopper performance.
In addition to the awards, a total of six scholarships will be awarded.
The program is an initiative of ArtsBridge, the Foundation’s arts education initiative for the purpose of far-reaching community engagement and arts education. The Shuler Awards are supported by the Cobb Energy Centre Foundation through private contributions and sponsorships.
The event’s presenting sponsor is The Georgia Lottery, the lead sponsors include Channel 2 – WSB-TV, Chattahoochee Technical College and Cherry Bekaert and the supporting sponsor is Delta Community Credit Union.
A highlight of the show will be cameo appearances by Shuler Hensley.
The Shuler Student Ensemble, with over 80 participants – the largest in the history of the awards - representing the schools participating in this year’s competition, performs the opening and finale production numbers.
For a complete list of nominees, honorable mentions and scholarships visit www.shulerawards.com.
For general information on the Shuler Hensley Awards program, visit www.shulerawards.org or call 770- 916-2800. Tickets, which serve as a fundraiser for the program, are $20 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-653-8000. To purchase in-person, visit the Bank of North Georgia Box office at the Cobb Energy Centre.