Georgia High School Musical awards (the ‘Shulers’) to hit prime time on Saturday

 Tri Cities' Rubin Barksdale (center) and Jai'len Josey, winners of the 2014 Shuler Hensley Awards for best actresss and actor, met the awards' namesake (left) for lunch in New York in June. The two were competing in the National High School Musical Theater Awards, where Josey also took best actress. CONTRIBUTED BY BARKLEY RUSSELL

Tri Cities’ Rubin Barksdale (center) and Jai’len Josey (right), winners of the 2014 Shuler Hensley Awards for best actresss and actor, met the awards’ namesake (left) for lunch in New York in June. The two were competing in the National High School Musical Theater Awards, where Josey also took best actress. CONTRIBUTED BY BARKLEY RUSSELL

The scheduled Aug. 16 telecast of the sixth annual Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards offers a rare chance to catch a star on the rise.

Sure you’ve no doubt heard that pitch before in conjunction with this high-energy, high-intensity competition, also known as the Shuler Hensley Awards.

But while those Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre shows overflowed with talent, they didn’t feature Jai’len Josey. The Tri Cities High School student followed up her best actress win in the April event by taking the best actress prize at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in June in New York.

The two-hour broadcast on Channel 2 WSB-TV, hosted by anchors Jovita Moore and Fred Blankenship, will air starting at 8 p.m.

Fifty-nine Georgia schools competed in the Georgia awards, and Fulton County’s Tri Cities dominated with 13 trophies for its production of “Dreamgirls,” running the table on acting prizes while also snagging the best musical and best director awards, among others.

The Cobb Energy show includes an appearance by Marietta-born Broadway star Hensley, who also met Josey and Georgia best actor winner Rubin Barksdale for lunch in New York when they were preparing to compete for the national honors. The special also includes Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, both taped in New York, responding to student questions.


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