May 2, 2013

Starlight's Blue Star Award nominations

Starlight's 11th Annual Blue Star Award nominations announced today at area high schools


One of the largest high school theatre programs in the country, Starlight's Blue Star Awards ceremony will be held May 23

KANSAS CITY, Mo.: Nominations in 20 categories for Starlight's 11th Annual Blue Star Awards were announced today by Starlight Theatre employees who hand-delivered the good news to local high school musical theatre students and instructors. Winners of Starlight's Blue Star Awards will be recognized May 23 at a free public ceremony at Starlight Theatre.

Starlight's Blue Star Awards, modeled after Broadway's Tony® Awards, recognize achievement and excellence in high school musical theatre. This year, 43 area high schools with 50 productions representing more than 4,500 high school students from throughout the metropolitan area participated in Starlight's Blue Star Awards sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.

"At a time when funding for arts education continues to dwindle, I'm proud to say that Starlight's Blue Star Awards program is one of the largest musical theatre education programs in the country," said Denton Yockey, President and Executive Producer. "The adjudicators, comprised of musical theatre professionals, were forced to make some very difficult decisions due to the high caliber of this year's productions. It is evident that the theatrical accomplishments of all the student actors, singers, dancers, musicians, costumers, set designers, technicians and faculty involved in Starlight's Blue Star Awards continue to increase each year. "

Starlight's Blue Star Award nominations were made in 20 categories including artistic and technical excellence in staging a high school musical. An award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution by a Student, a teacher-nominated category, recognizes a student who has had a leadership impact on a school's production in the areas of direction, music direction or choreography. Two Rising Star Scholarships in the amount of $2,500 will be presented to the top male and female graduating seniors who have made outstanding contributions to the musical theatre department of their schools or extra-curricular theatre activities during his or her high school career or both.

The winners of the Outstanding Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Lead Role will receive a full-paid trip to New York City to compete in The 5th Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) June 30-July 2. The program will feature 62 of the country's most accomplished musical theater students who will work as team, in small groups and in one-one coaching sessions with theater professionals. At this "Super Bowl" of amateur musical theater, students will perform songs exclusively from the musical theater canon in the quest to win the coveted title of Best Performance by an Actress or Best Performance by an Actor and a Jimmy™ Award, named for legendary Broadway producer/theater owner James M. Nederlander, in recognition of his generous support of young artists.

For the Blue Star Awards, Starlight retained judges – theatre professionals, performing artists, designers and theatre art educators – to attend all 50 high school musical performances. Three judges independently attended and evaluated each show. Their evaluations provided performance and production commentaries, which were compiled and provided to the schools. The judges' evaluations were also provided to the Blue Star Awards nominating Committee for review. The final results were tabulated by Grant Thornton, a local auditing firm.

Several nominated schools and students will perform at Starlight's Blue Star Awards ceremony hosted by local celebrities and theatre professionals. Performances will include a number from each of the schools and musicals nominated for Outstanding Overall Production, as well as musical medleys performed by the nominees for Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Lead Role.

NOMINATIONS FOR STARLIGHT'S 11TH ANNUAL BLUE STAR AWARDS
Outstanding Overall Production
Lee's Summit North - Sweeney Todd
Raymore-Peculiar - Monty Python's Spamalot
Olathe South - 13
Liberty - A Christmas Carol
Shawnee Mission North - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Shawnee Mission East - The Drowsy Chaperone

Outstanding Artistic Contribution by a Student
Justin Olive – Choreography – Winnetonka – Hairspray
Sarah Bronson – Direction and Choreography – Central – The Cocoanuts
Maggie Niven – Direction – Shawnee Mission East – The Drowsy Chaperone
Madelon Wink – Choreography – Raymore-Peculiar - Nunsense
Camille Carter – Choreography – Benton – The Wizard of Oz
Nick Monaldo – Choreography – St. James Academy - Godspell

Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role
Michael Cohen - Truman – The King of Siam - The King and I
Daniel Lewis – Park Hill – Sweeney Todd - Sweeney Todd
Erick Patrick - Olathe South – Evan - 13
Dane Schnake - Raymore-Peculiar - King Arthur/ Herbert's Father - Monty Python's Spamalot
Patrick Graham - Lee's Summit North - Sweeney Todd - Sweeney Todd
Grayson Yockey - Blue Valley - Harold Hill - The Music Man

Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role
Anna Brockman - Central - Millie Dillmount - Thoroughly Modern Millie
Lily Kaufmann - Shawnee Mission East - Janet Van De Graaff - The Drowsy Chaperone
Olivia Gallo - Kearney – Ruth - Wonderful Town
Sarah Gabriel - Saint Thomas Aquinas - Reno Sweeney - Anything Goes
Carla Rivas - Lee's Summit North - Mrs. Lovett - Sweeney Todd
Tara Williams - Truman - Anna Leonowens - The King and I

Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role
Justin Armer and Alec Armer - Shawnee Mission East - Gangsters #1 & #2 - The Drowsy Chaperone
Sawyer Henkle - Raymore-Peculiar –Patsy - Monty Python's Spamalot
Houston St. John - Shawnee Mission West - Benny Southstreet - Guys and Dolls
Payton Dishman - Park Hill - Tobias Ragg - Sweeney Todd
Braden Clark - Olathe South – Archie - 13
Arthur Clifford – Olathe East – Emmett Forrest - Legally Blonde- The Musical

Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role
Abby Cramer - Shawnee Mission East –The Drowsy Chaperone - The Drowsy Chaperone
Nina Lopez - Paola - Bella Cohen - Rags
Rachael Birt - Shawnee Mission Northwest – Louise - Gypsy
Gabby Rehor - Shawnee Mission Northwest - Mrs. Meers - Thoroughly Modern Millie
Jessica Dennis - Lee's Summit North - Beggar Woman - Sweeney Todd
Brooke Bosworth - Olathe South – Lucy - 13

Outstanding Male Ensemble Member
Yuki Sakata - Winnetonka - Mr. Pinky - Hairspray
Nathaniel Weber - Raymore-Peculiar - Dancing Nun/Voice of God/French Tauter/Guard #1/Tim the Enchanter -Monty Python's Spamalot
Gabe Hayse - Olathe South – Richie - 13
Sam Sweet - Blue Valley Northwest - Wolf #2/Steward - Into the Woods
Aren Utter - Olathe East - Nikos Argitakos/UCLA Band Member/Fratboy/Harvard Student - Legally Blonde
Jalen Redmond - Park Hill - Person of London - Sweeney Todd

Outstanding Female Ensemble Member
Christina Cunningham - Raytown - Hag/Troll - Little Women
Morgan Walker - Grandview - Silly Girl/Ensemble - Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Sarah Regan - Platte County - Mrs. Mops - A Christmas Carol
Sydney Benton - Park Hill - Young Lucy - Sweeney Todd
Morgan Higgins - Olathe Northwest - Grandma Tzeitel - Fiddler on the Roof
Shelby Keller - Olathe East – Chutney - Legally Blonde-The Musical

Outstanding Ensemble
Raymore-Peculiar - Monty Python's Spamalot
Blue Valley - The Music Man
Liberty North - Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Olathe South - 13
Shawnee Mission East - The Drowsy Chaperone
Lee's Summit North - Sweeney Todd

Outstanding Orchestra
Lee's Summit – 9 to 5: The Musical
Blue Valley – The Music Man
Park Hill – Sweeney Todd
Lee's Summit North – Sweeney Todd
Olathe South - 13
Shawnee Mission East – The Drowsy Chaperone

Outstanding Scenic Design and Construction, Tier I ($0-$1,999)
Belton – Once Upon a Mattress
Park Hill – Sweeney Todd
Olathe South - 13
Central – The Cocoanuts
Basehor-Linwood – The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Scenic Design and Construction, Tier II ($2,000-$7,500)
Central - Thoroughly Modern Millie
Liberty – A Christmas Carol
Lee's Summit North – Sweeney Todd
Oak Park - Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Lee's Summit – 9 to 5: The Musical
Saint Thomas Aquinas – Anything Goes
Liberty North – Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Outstanding Lighting Design
Raytown – Little Women
Liberty – A Christmas Carol
Park Hill – Sweeney Todd
Olathe South - 13
Oak Park - Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Central - Thoroughly Modern Millie

Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design
Saint Thomas Aquinas – Anything Goes
Winnetonka - Hairspray
Liberty – A Christmas Carol
Shawnee Mission East – The Drowsy Chaperone
Raymore-Peculiar - Monty Python's Spamalot
Lee's Summit North – Sweeney Todd

Outstanding Costume Design, Tier I ($0-$1,799)
Gardner Edgerton – The Wizard of Oz
Kearney- Wonderful Town
Belton – Once Upon a Mattress
Shawnee Mission North - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
St. Teresa's Academy – Little Shop of Horrors
Raymore-Peculiar – Nunsense

Outstanding Costume Design, Tier II ($1,800-$6,500)
Winnetonka - Hairspray
Raymore-Peculiar - Monty Python's Spamalot
Lee's Summit North – Sweeney Todd
Olathe Northwest – Fiddler on the Roof
Benton – The Wizard of Oz
Piper – Seussical

Outstanding Technical Crew
Winnetonka - Costume Crew - Hairspray
Olathe South - Lighting Crew - 13
Winnetonka - Hair and Makeup Crew - Hairspray
Raymore-Peculiar - Costume Crew - Monty Python's Spamalot
Raymore-Peculiar - Hair and Makeup Crew - Monty Python's Spamalot
Lee's Summit - Deck/Set Crew – 9 to 5: The Musical

Technical Achievement Award
Piper - Courtney Romero, Scenic Design and Stage Management – Seussical
Olathe South - Justin Dudzik, Lighting Design – 13 and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Rising Star Scholarship – Male
Brady Brock – Belton
Jordan Malone – Paola
Riley Ewing – Blue Valley Northwest
Patrick Graham – Lee's Summit North
Dane Schnake – Raymore-Peculiar
A.J. Orth – Shawnee Mission East

Rising Star Scholarship – Female
Sarah Jacobs – Basehor-Linwood
Kaelyn Kreicbergs – Olathe South
Gabby Rehor – Shawnee Mission Northwest
Carmen Ortiz – Piper
Lily Kaufmann – Shawnee Mission East
Christa Brown – Shawnee Mission North

ABOUT STARLIGHT THEATRE
Starlight Theatre opened in 1951 and is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in Kansas City and the second largest outdoor producing theatre in the country. In addition to presenting and producing Broadway musicals and concerts, the not-for-profit organization offers extensive community outreach and educational programming which includes classes, scholarships and Starlight's Blue Star Awards, the second largest musical theatre award program for local high schools and students in the country. Located on 16 acres, Starlight's venue includes rehearsal halls, gift store, club area for dining, concessions, gardens, fountains and a 10-story, climate-controlled stage.
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