Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards Winners Announced
The 10th Annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards - Shuler Hensley Awards - were held in Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on April 19. Two of the evening's award winners, Parker Jennings and Laughton Berry, will go on to compete with young performers from across the country for the coveted Jimmy Award as well as scholarships and professional opportunities. They are heading to New York to participate at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, taking place at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway, at 7:30 pm on June 25, 2018.
An Atlanta, GA native, Parker is thrilled to be returning to New York for the 2018 Jimmy Awards! She is a recent graduate at Greater Atlanta Christian School where she was most recently seen as Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain. Other favorite credits include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street, for which she was a 2017 Jimmy Awards nominee, Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins, for which she won the 2016 Best Performance by A Supporting Actress Shuler Award, and Morticia Addams in The Addams Family. Parker plans to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre at The Boston Conservatory.
"My freshman goal was to win one Shuler," says Parker. "Now I've got three and it's surreal! And to represent Georgia at the Jimmy Awards is an amazing honor. I'm preparing for the competition in New York both mentally and physically, including lifting weights to the My Fair Lady soundtrack."
Laughton Berry won the 2018 Shuler Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor for his role as Pippin in the Tri-Cities High School production of Pippin.
Laughton Royce Berry is a recent graduate of Tri-Cities High School. Some of his past favorite credits include Breathe: The Musical (Porter-Sanford Performing Arts Center), A Little Princess (Theatrical Outfit), The Collision Project (ALLIANCE THEATRE), and Pippin (Tri-Cities High School). He is eternally grateful to his family, friends and God. He will be attending Carnegie Mellon University to study Musical Theatre.
"Winning a Shuler Award was the perfect ending to my high school career," states Laughton. "Being part of the Jimmy Awards is being recognized among the best of the next generation of theatrical talent and that is priceless. I can't wait to meet the other nominees in New York and perform on a Broadway stage!"
Parker and Laughton will spend a whirlwind week in New York getting ready for the Jimmy Awards. Upon arrival, they will find out whether they will be performing in a solo medley or be in a group number at the awards show. Highlights of the trip will include performing for New York based industry professionals and rehearsing with a top-notch production team and choreographer. During the week, they'll also attend a Broadway show and have dinner at the world famous Sardi's Restaurant. The grand finale of the trip will be their performance at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway at the Jimmy Awards.
The Jimmy Awards/ The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) program impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions to New York for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on Broadway. Named for the Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships. The tenth annual Jimmy Awards will take place on Monday, June 25, 2018 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Coaching and rehearsals for this one-of-a-kind event will be held Monday, June 18, 2018 through Monday, June 25, 2018 in New York City. For more information, please visit JimmyAwards.com.
The Shuler Awards, fashioned after Broadway's Tony Awards, celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre. The awards show is produced and presented each year by ArtsBridge Foundation. The 2018 Shuler Hensley Awards were made possible by the following generous sponsors: Platinum Sponsor - The Georgia Lottery; Silver Sponsors - Georgia Public Broadcasting and Bennett Thrasher; Bronze Sponsors - Molly Blank Foundation, Delta Community Credit Union, Jimmy and Helen S. Carlos and GSUTV; Star Sponsors - Ed Voyles Automotive KIA, Smiley for Kylie Foundation, Magnum, Norcostco and Staging Directions.
ArtsBridge Foundation is dedicated to providing quality arts education and community programs that engage, motivate, inspire, and elevate the next generation of artists and arts supporters. ArtsBridge provides arts education opportunities to students in grades K-12 through programs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre including Field Trips, Master Classes, a Family Series, and the annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards - Shuler Hensley Awards. Since inception in 2007, ArtsBridge has served more than 350,000 students and educators from 58 Georgia counties, plus students from Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina. ArtsBridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more about their programs and how you can get involved, visit artsbridgega.org.