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ArtsBridge Foundation Announces Participating Schools For 2021-2022 Shuler Awards Competition

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Shuler Awards candidate productions will be evaluated by a group of 55 volunteers who are Georgia-based arts professionals.

ArtsBridge Foundation Announces Participating Schools For 2021-2022 Shuler Awards Competition

ArtsBridge Foundation has announced 50 Georgia high schools selected to compete in the 14th Annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards competition spanning the 2021-22 school year.

Following one year as an "all virtual" statewide competition, The Shuler Awards or The Shulers - named for the Marietta-born stage and screen star Shuler Hensley - return to a more traditional live performance and awards event to take place April 21, marking the 14th straight year of competition with a return to the stage of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for the first time since May 2019.

Registration Day for this year's competition, which took place on Aug. 30, yielded the list of schools from 18 Georgia counties set to participate. Fulton County leads the entries with 10 competing schools, with Gwinnett entering seven schools and Cobb with six schools.

"While just over half of the Shuler Awards competitors are from Metro Atlanta high schools, it's exciting to see participating schools spanning our state, from Brunswick on the southeast coast to Calhoun in the northwest Georgia mountains," said Angela Farr Schiller, director of arts education for ArtsBridge Foundation. "While many aspects of the Shuler Awards uphold longstanding traditions, format updates also enable participating schools, our volunteer adjudicators and the ArtsBridge Foundation team to work smarter not harder with a fun and fair competition for everyone."

ArtsBridge Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Dobbs provided context for the changes to the 2021-2022 Shuler Awards competition.

"One of the biggest lessons learned from our 'COVID year' of virtual competition was a need for ArtsBridge Foundation to right-size the competition from 75 to 50 entrant schools, which empowers our small but nimble nonprofit team and our 55 volunteer adjudicators to give more attention to each competing school," said Dobbs.

Since 2009, the Shuler Awards engaged over 60,000 students from 142 schools and 38 counties/school systems. In August 2019, registration day for the 2019-2020 competition broke records with 75 schools from 26 counties enrolling in the program online, filling the application pool in less than 20 minutes. In August, registrations for the 50 schools of the 2021-2022 competition were also completed in 15 minutes.

In the months ahead, volunteer adjudicators will fan out across the state to attend live performances by hopeful high school theater students, some accompanied by high school band and orchestra participants. High school theater students and departments will be judged in 17 categories with finalists to be announced in March. The April 21 Shuler Awards event replicates the national Tony Awards ceremony with red carpet arrivals and live musical performances broadcast live and statewide via Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The main objectives of the Shuler Awards program are to increase awareness, advocacy and support for Georgia's arts education programs, to develop and foster growing talent by providing learning and performance opportunities, and to cultivate/nurture productive relationships among Georgia's promising thespians and educators.

The Shuler Award categories traditionally include direction, music direction, orchestra, lighting/scenic design, showstopper, choreography, ensemble, overall production, costumes, and best performances by a leading actress and actor, supporting performers and a featured performer. In 2021 the competition added a Show-Must-Go-On Spotlight Award. The categories of sound, lighting and technical execution return to the Shuler Awards competition after a pause for last year's virtual-only format.

"Starting this year, we're combining previous categories of supporting actress and supporting actor into an expanded, non-gendered performance category named supporting performer," said Farr Schiller. "This category will recognize and celebrate students of any gender who performed in supporting roles in their school's production, and the two highest-scoring students will be jointly awarded as this year's recipients for the supporting performer award, a change to greater serve Georgia high school musical theatre students who identify across the entire gender spectrum."

Farr Schiller added that the Shuler Awards is the nation's first regional high school musical theatre awards program to institute such a change.

The Shuler Awards leading actress and actor winners will travel to New York City as Georgia's entrants for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards program named The Jimmy Awards and participate in the awards show at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway on June 27, with merit scholarships and professional opportunities up for grabs. These national competitions were canceled in spring 2020 due to pandemic-related Broadway closures, returning in 2021 with an all-virtual format organized by Broadway League.

Shuler Awards candidate productions will be evaluated by a group of 55 volunteers who are Georgia-based arts professionals. The accounting firm Bennett Thrasher will tabulate the results for the 2022 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees. More information is available online via ArtsBridgeGA.org/programs/shuler-awards.

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 K-12 students through programs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, including field trips, professional development, family programs, and the annual Shuler Awards. Since 2007, ArtsBridge has served more than 410,000 students and educators from 67 Georgia counties, plus students from five bordering states. ArtsBridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. ArtsBridge Foundation and Georgia Public Broadcasting's GPB-TV live broadcast of The Shulers won the Southeast Emmy Award in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 for special event coverage, indicative of the superb quality and high production value Georgia students bring at show time. To learn more visit ArtsBridgeGA.org.

As of Nov. 4, the 50 public and private high schools participating in the 2021-2022 Shuler Awards include:

Allatoona High School in Acworth, Ga. (Cobb Co.)

Alpharetta High School in Alpharetta, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

Buford High School in Buford, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)

Calhoun High School in Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)

Cambridge High School in Milton, Ga, (Fulton Co.)

Chamblee High School in Chamblee, Ga. (DeKalb Co.)

Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek (Fulton Co.)

Davidson Fine Arts School in Augusta, Ga. (Richmond Co.)

Decatur High School in Decatur, Ga. (DeKalb Co.)

Denmark High School in Alpharetta, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)

Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga. (Glynn Co.)

Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)

Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)

Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross (Gwinnett Co)

Greenbrier High School in Evans, Ga. (Columbia Co.)

Grovetown High School in Grovetown, Ga. (Columbia Co.)

Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga. (Rockdale Co.)

Heritage High School in Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.)

Hiram High School in Hiram, Ga. (Paulding Co.)

Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

Johnson High School in Gainesville, Ga. (Hall Co.)

Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw (Cobb Co.)

King's Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta (Fulton Co.)

Lakeside High School in Atlanta (DeKalb Co.)

Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Ga. (Hall Co.)

Lambert High School in Suwanee, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)

Lanier High School in Sugar Hill, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)

Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta (Fulton Co.)

Milton High School in Milton, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

Morgan County High School in Madison, Ga. (Morgan Co.)

Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville (Gwinnett)

North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga. (Cobb Co.)

North Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)

North Hall High School in Gainesville, Ga. (Hall Co.)

Pope High School in Marietta, Ga. (Cobb Co.)

Prince Avenue Christian School in Bogart, Ga. (Oconee Co.)

Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, Ga. (Gwinnett)

Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap (Rabun Co.)

Ringgold High School in Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.)

Roswell High School in Roswell, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

Savannah Christian Preparatory School (Chatham Co.)

Sonoraville High School in Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)

South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)

St. Pius X Catholic High School in Chamblee, Ga. (DeKalb)

Starr's Mill High School in Fayetteville, Ga. (Fayette Co.)

Tri-Cities High School in East Point, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)

West Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga. (Cobb Co.)

Whitefield Academy in Mableton, Ga. (Cobb Co.)


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