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Cedar Ridge's RAGTIME Tops 2014 Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards; Winners Announced!

Cedar Ridge's RAGTIME Tops 2014 Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards; Winners Announced!

Months of anticipation. Thousands of rehearsal hours. 13 musical numbers featuring hundreds of students from 19 Austin area high schools. It all came to a spectacular conclusion last night at the Long Center in front of a sold out crowd for the First Annual Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards (GAHSMTA).

Video taped messages from the likes of Jane Lynch and the casts of virtually every major current Broadway musical accented the evening's elaborately produced format.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell also appeared on stage to officially declare April 17 'Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards Day' in Austin.

Each of the schools nominated in the category of Best Production performed a full number from their nominated show. The evening also included a medley showcasing lead actors and actresses; an opening number introducing all nominees for lead, supporting and featured performer categories; a finale including a male and female from each participating school and a select ensemble (chosen through auditions) opening each act.

The GAHSMTA is the highly anticipated product of the first-ever partnership including the Long Center, The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts and ZACH Theatre.

Media partner KXAN recorded the event for edit rebroadcast on June 14.

Since September of 2013, a panel of judges has attended shows produced by each of the 19 participating high schools. The judges then met as a committee to decide on nominations in 15 categories. In all, more than 1500 students were involved in the various productions.

2014 Award Recipients

Best Production

Cedar Ridge High School Ragtime: School Edition

Best Direction

James Bowie High School Miss Saigon

Best Choreography

Cedar Ridge High School Ragtime: School Edition

Best Musical Direction

Cedar Ridge High School Ragtime: School Edition

Best Orchestra

James Bowie High School Miss Saigon

Best Scene Design

Hendrickson High School Monty Python's Spamalot

Best Lighting Design

James Bowie High School Miss Saigon

Best Costume Design

Dripping Springs High School Once Upon A Mattress

Best Technical Execution

Westlake High School West Side Story

Best Ensemble

Leander High School The Music Man

Best Actor in a Lead Role

Gio Truvillion as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime: School Edition Cedar Ridge High School

Best Actress in a Lead Role

Jamie Molina as Jo March in Little Women St. Stephen's Episcopal School

Best Actor is a Supporting Role

Connor Barr as Marvin "Buck" Barrow in Bonnie & Clyde McCallum Fine Arts Academy

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Molly McCaskill as Adelaide in Guys and Dolls Cedar Park High School

Best Featured Performer

Martha Ruby Clark as Dinah Murphy in South Pacific Vandegrift High School

Scholarships

In addition to the trophies, more than $30,000 in school and individual scholarships was awarded. 10 students each received $1,000 in cash scholarships. Six students received scholarships to summer intensive programs at Texas Arts Projects, ZACH Theatre and The University of Texas College of Fine Arts. Each participating school received a check for $500 as an investment in next year's crop of productions.

Cash Scholarship Recipients:

Saarah Hassoun St. Stephen's Episcopal School

Ronan Melomo LBJ High School/LASA

Emily Steele Leander High School

Conor Donnelly St. Stephen's Episcopal School

Donelvan Thigpen Cedar Park High School

Olson Kelly Vandegrift High School

Molly McCaskill Cedar Park High School

Journey Maranto Cedar Ridge High School

Holly Gibson Westlake High School

Gavin Barron Leander High School

Summer Intensive Scholarship Recipients:

Texas Arts Project Lena Owens Cedar Ridge High School

Chloe Berlinger Leander High School

ZACH Theatre Kate Brimmer Lake Travis High School

Keith Gruber McNeil High School

UT College of Fine Arts Curtis Faulkner James Bowie High School

Jessica O'Brien Cedar Ridge High School

eyeGO to the Arts Launch

GAHSMTA is the inaugural production for the Long Center's new eyeGO to the Arts program. Through eyeGO, $5 tickets to ALL Long Center Presents productions will be made available to high school students. With arts funding continually being cut in schools, the eyeGO to the Arts program is dedicated to making the arts accessible and affordable for high school students. Seldom do teenagers choose to attend live performances, stating barriers of cost and formality. Less expensive than a movie, eyeGO to the Arts empowers youth to consider live performances as a viable entertainment option. By making the performing arts financially available, all high school students have the opportunity to experience, by choice, the powerful and positive influence of live performance.

About the Greater Austin High School Musical Theater Awards: In 2013, the Greater Austin High School Musical Theater Awards was created to recognize students on a local level. Ultimately, the goal of GAHSMTA is to have students recognized at the national level starting in 2015.

The Greater Austin High School Musical Theater Awards are open to all public and private high schools in Travis, Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays and Williamson Counties. Only one musical and one cast per school are eligible to compete, and the performance must have taken place between Thursday, September 19, 2013 and Sunday, March 2, 2014. There is no cost to participate in the competition.

More information: www.thelongcenter.org/greater-austin-high-school-musical-theatre-awards/schools/

ABOUT THE LONG CENTER: The Long Center is Austin's Creative Home, built "by the community, for the community." The organization is primarily funded by private citizens and corporations and by nature understands the importance of giving. As a non-profit, the Long Center collaborates with community partners to sponsor educational programs, host free events on the City Terrace, subsidize rental costs for emerging art groups, and gift tickets to charitable and community-minded organizations. The Long Center also provides the best overall live entertainment experience of any venue in Austin. It is home to the Symphony, Opera and Ballet and boasts additional eclectic programming spanning diverse audiences. A commitment to acoustic excellence combined with exceptional theater site lines and an unparalleled outdoor view of Austin creates a magical experience and lasting memories. Austinites of all ages and interests are invited to explore the Long Center to expand their cultural perspective and appreciation of the arts. For more information, visit TheLongCenter.org or call (512) 474-LONG (5664) for ticket information.

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