High school thespians vie for awards

Posted Monday, May. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Mansfield and Summit High School thespians could round up more than a dozen awards next week for their musical productions.

Mansfield earned 10 nominations for its production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” in the Betty Lynn Buckley Awards, while Summit chalked up seven bids for “The Secret Garden” in the Schmidt and Jones Awards. Both awards presentations are set for May 23, the Buckleys at Casa Manana in Fort Worth and the Schmidt and Jones at the Irving Arts Center.

Both schools have already posted wins in their contests.

“We’ve won every single category except supporting actress,” said Kristy Thomas, who directed “The Drowsy Chaperone.” “I’ll take 10 out of 11 (possible) nominations.”

“The Drowsy Chaperone” garnered bids for Best Musical, Best Actor (Daniel George), Best Actress (Megan Broussard), Best Supporting Actor (Jake Tulley), Best Ensemble, Best Orchestra (Will Ludlow), Set Design (Erin Seeton), Costume Design (Meredith Peebles), Best Choreography (Megan Broussard) and Best Lighting Design (Vashal Singh).

The school won six Buckley Awards last year for its production of “Seussical,” for best actor, actress, choreography, lighting, costume and orchestra. Thomas credits the school’s team of directors, including musical director Reginald Wright and technical director Kasey Vaitekunas.

“We’re consistent, there’s never a year with Kasey and I where we’re like ‘let’s not do the Buckley’s, let’s do a small show,’” Thomas said. “We have a ridiculously strong group of people who are good at what they do.”

Lindsey Simmons and Melissa Iverson at Summit High did choose to leave the Buckley contest and compete in the Schmidt and Jones Awards.

“With the Buckleys, not everyone is required to see your show,” Iverson said. “You can submit a video. With this one (Schmidt and Jones), everyone who votes has to see your show.”

The show is up for seven awards, including Best Orchestra, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Camryn Nunley), Best Actress in Leading Role (Anna Ateek), Best Actor in Supporting Role (Gabriel Kunda), scene design (Jaime Dimas and Hannah Hackley), costume design (Dana Jennings) and lighting design (Izaak Aguilar, Corey Magin and Zachery Streaty).

The school was nominated for “all three design categories as well as best female actress in a minor role and male and female ensemble performer,” Simmons said. “We won best costume design, Dana Jennings, the same girl who is nomated this year for ‘Big River.’”

Simmons said she has no idea how her thespians will fare this year.

“There’s a variety of people voting and they don’t tell you what they’re looking for,” she said. “We have a unique show that was very dramatic. I think we stand a good chance in every category, but there’s no way of knowing. We’re proud of our work no matter if we get an award or not.”

The winners of best actor and actress from both competitions will receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York to compete against winners of regional contests from across the United States in the National High School Musical Awards.

Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM

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