Three area schools dominated the 16th annual Betty Buckley Awards presented at Casa Mañana on Thursday. But the question of which school left the event with the grandest bragging rights was not clearly resolved.
All Saints’ Episcopal School took two of the most coveted awards —best musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, and best play, Wit — at the ceremony honoring outstanding achievements in productions of musicals and plays by its participating high schools.
Six schools or students were nominated in each of the awards’ 14 categories.
But the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts countered All Saints’ prestigious wins by garnering five awards, the most of any school in the competition. The school’s production of the Elvis-fueled musical All Shook Up won for best female actor in a musical, best male supporting actor, best choreography and best lighting. The school’s production of The 39 Steps took top honors in the best male actor in a play category.
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Carroll Senior High School took four awards — for best orchestra, scenic design, sound and costuming — for its production of the Mel Brooks spoof Young Frankenstein.
The remaining awards were divided among three schools: Byron Nelson High School (best male actor in a musical), Nolan Catholic High School (best female actor in a play) and Fort Worth Country Day (best female supporting actor).
The event was hosted by Cheryl Allison, an actress with an extensive history with Casa Manana (which she referred to as “home”), as well as work on stages across the country and in films, including last year’s No Letting Go.
The nominees were also welcomed by the event’s namesake, who is famous for originating the role of Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and a slew of other major Broadway roles. In her opening remarks, Buckley recalled her debut on the Casa stage at age 15.
“But I’m not going to tell you what year that was,” she added with a laugh.
Attendees were also treated to performances of production numbers from the six shows nominated in the best musical category.
Betty Buckley award winners
Best Musical — All Saints, The Drowsy Chaperone
Best Male Actor in a Musical — Joe Caskey, Byron Nelson, South Pacific
Best Female Actor in a Musical — Courtney Lynn Povero, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, All Shook Up
Best Play — All Saints, Wit
Best Male Actor in a Play — Ryder Hartsfield, FWAFA, The 39 Steps
Best Female Actor in a Play — Gabi Miranda, Nolan, Dearly Departed
Best Male Supporting Actor — Ashton Miramontes, FWAFA, All Shook Up
Best Female Supporting Actor — Kathleen Clum, Country Day, Little Women
Best Student Orchestra — Carroll, Young Frankenstein
Excellence in Choreography — Maddi Gunn, FWAFA, All Shook Up
Excellence in Sound Design — Nicole Butcher, Carroll, Young Frankenstein
Excellence in Scenic Design — Cliona Smith and Braden Anderson, Carroll, Young Frankenstein
Excellence in Costume Design — Ciara Smith and Alexandra Bramley, Carroll, Young Frankenstein
Excellence in Lighting Design — Logan Dean, FWAFA, All Shook Up