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West Forsyth tops 2015 Ga. High School Musical Theater Awards

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The Shuler Hensley Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. CONTRIBUTED BY ARTSBRIDGE FOUNDATION
Gotta sing, gotta dance: Shuler Hensley performs at his namesake awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. CONTRIBUTED BY BEN ROSE

Gotta sing, gotta dance: Shuler Hensley performs at his namesake awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. CONTRIBUTED BY BEN ROSE

“Nice Work If You Can Get It” worked out nicely for West Forsyth High School at at Thursday night’s 2015 Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

(Photo gallery here.)

The school won eight of the 17 categories with its production of “Nice Work,” taking nearly half of the awards less formally known as the Shuler Hensley Awards, named for the Broadway actor reared in Cobb County.

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School took home five statues, coming in second in total awards. Starr’s Mill High School, Mount Paran Christian School, Alpharetta High School and Milton High School won one each.

Tony Award winner Hensley made several appearances during the seventh annual ceremony produced by ArtsBridge Foundation, a nonprofit that provides arts education and community engagement programs.

Gallery: Photos from the 2015 Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards

Following is the complete list of 2015 Shuler Awards recipients:

Overall Production: West Forsyth High School, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Ensemble: West Forsyth High School, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Best Performance by a Leading Actor: Nick Eibler as Jimmy Winter, West Forsyth High School “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Best Performance by a Leading Actress: McKenzie Kurtz as Mary Poppins, Milton High School, “Mary Poppins”
Best Performance by a Supporting Actor: Cody Marshall as Cookie McGee, West Forsyth High School, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Best Performance by a Supporting Actress: Alyssa Driggers as Judas, Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School, “Godspell”
Best Performance by a Featured Performer: Alexis Lewis as By My Side Soloist, Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School, “Godspell”
Direction: William Patti, Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School, “Godspell”
Sound: Alex Skelton, West Forsyth High School, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Costume Design: Eric Gray, West Forsyth High School, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Scenic Design: Sean Lakey and Rebecca Smith, Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School, “Godspell”
Lighting Design: David Philyaw, Rabun-Gap Nacoochee School, “Godspell”
Technical Execution: Eric Gray, West Forsyth High School, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Orchestra: Michelle Austin, Alpharetta High School, “The Drowsy Chaperone”
Music Direction: Eric Gray, West Forsyth High School, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Choreography: Lynne Brague, Mount Paran Christian School, “Peter Pan”
Show Stopper: Starr’s Mill High School, The Addams Family, “When You’re An Addams

Leading actor winner Eibler and leading actress winner Kurtz will travel to New York City to participate in the 7th Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards at Broadway’s Minskoff Theater on June 29. They will compete with performers from across the country for the coveted Jimmy Award as well as merit scholarships and professional opportunities.

Jai’Len Josey of Tri-Cities High School, the Hensley Awards leading actress winner last year, went on to win the national award.

A team of more than 60 Atlanta-based arts professionals evaluated the productions of 50 participating high schools. Twenty four public and private schools from throughout the state were nominated in the 17 categories.

In addition to the Shuler Awards, ArtsBridge Foundation presented three scholarships and one grant during the ceremony:

  • Broadway Dreams Performance Scholarships were awarded to Christopher Sferra of North Cobb Christian School and to Noel Isaacson of Lambert High School in Forsyth County.
  • The Morrell Memorial Music Scholarship was given to Dautri Erwin of Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts in Clayton County.
  • The Jubilee Cultural Arts Alliance Scenic Design Grant was awarded to Harlem High School in Columbia County.

Check out the full list of nominees here.


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