ArtsBridge Foundation Reveals Participating Schools And Updates For 2023-24 Shuler Awards Competition

Fulton County leads with 12 competing schools.

By: Nov. 29, 2023
ArtsBridge Foundation Reveals Participating Schools And Updates For 2023-24 Shuler Awards Competition
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ArtsBridge Foundation has revealed the statewide list of high schools that will participate in the "Sweet 16" 16th Annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards (GHSMTA) for the 2023-24 school year.

The Shuler Awards or The Shulers-named for the Marietta-born stage and screen star Shuler Hensley-will be celebrated on April 18 and broadcast live from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The evening includes fun purple-carpet arrivals, live performances by nominees, and awards presented in 18 different categories. Scholarship recipients will also be announced.

Registration Day for this year's competition opened in August and yielded the list of participating schools from 25 Georgia counties. Fulton County leads the entries with 12 competing schools, with Gwinnett entering six schools and DeKalb and Forsyth Counties each with five schools. See the next page for a full list of schools.

"We love that three new schools are up for GHSMTA adjudication for the first time, with all participating schools spanning the Peach state," said Elizabeth Lenhart, director of arts education for ArtsBridge Foundation.

ArtsBridge Foundation Executive Director Jennifer D. Dobbs cited several changes made in 2021 and last year that positively impacted the 2023-24 GHSMTA competition and ArtsBridge Foundation's commitment to its mission, vision, and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (I.D.E.A.) initiative.

"Reducing the total entrant schools from 75 to 50 in 2021 empowered our small but nimble nonprofit team to give more attention and feedback to each competing school," said Dobbs. "This change, combined with last year securing a record 70 volunteer adjudicators-greatly expands the volunteer heart of this statewide student program. More adjudicators create more feedback for the students and advocacy for the schools.

"This year's enthusiastic response from returning and new schools actually overwhelmed the online registration system, so to fix this we expanded back from the 50-school cap to include 62 schools," added Dobbs. "Since we had the precedent of 75, we knew that as long as the volunteer adjudicators could step up-which they did-we could include the additional schools while correcting the tech-related challenge."

"Continuing our steps to strengthen our commitment to our objectives within all aspects of our arts education programming and forge safe and healthy environments for all the students we serve, all participating students, directors and adjudicators sign an acknowledgment of their commitment to our I.D.E.A. policy and shared values," Dobbs concluded.

Since 2009, the Shuler Awards program has engaged over 67,269 students from 162 schools and 45 counties/school systems.

In the months ahead, the 70 volunteer adjudicators will fan out across Georgia to attend live performances by hopeful high school theatre students and departments that will be judged in 15 categories with nominees announced in March. The April 18 GHSMTA event replicates the national Tony Awards ceremony and is broadcast live and statewide via Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The main objectives of the Shuler Awards 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.

GHSMTA categories include direction, music direction, orchestra, lighting, scenic design, choreography, ensemble, costumes, overall production, Shuler Showstopper and best performances by a leading actress and actor, supporting performers and a featured performer. In 2021 ArtsBridge added the Spotlight Award, and in 2023, The Standing Ovation Award, recognizing multiple schools' efforts in creating welcoming, diverse, and accessible theatre environments for all students.

"Starting in 2021, we combined previous categories of supporting actress and supporting actor into an expanded, non-gendered performance category named supporting performer," said Lenhart. "This category recognizes and celebrates students of any gender who performed supporting roles in their school's production.

"This was a popular change-among the first of its kind nationwide-as we will, for the third time, jointly award the two highest-scoring students as 2023-24 recipients for the supporting performer award, a change that greatly serves Georgia high school musical theatre students who identify across the entire gender spectrum," Lenhart added.

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 in June 2024, with merit scholarships and professional opportunities up for grabs, organized by Broadway League. Shuler Awards candidate productions are evaluated by a group of 70 volunteer adjudicators who are Georgia-based arts professionals. The accounting firm Bennett Thrasher will tabulate the results for the 2024 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees. More information is available online via ArtsBridgeGA.org/programs/Shuler-Awards.

ArtsBridge Foundation provides 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 and the five-time Southeast Emmy Award-winning annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards (GHSMTA). Since 2007, ArtsBridge has served nearly 425,000 students and educators from 70 Georgia counties, plus students from five bordering states. ArtsBridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more visit ArtsBridgeGA.org.

As of Oct. 17, the public and private high schools participating in the 2023-24 Shuler Awards include:

** indicates school competing in GHSMTA for the first time

Adairsville High School in Adairsville, Ga. (Bartow Co.)

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

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

Atlanta International School in Atlanta (Fulton Co.)

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

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

**Calvary Day School in Savannah, Ga. (Chatham 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.)

Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga. (Cherokee Co.)

**Commerce High School in Commerce, Ga. (Jackson Co.)

Dalton High School in Dalton, Ga. (Whitfield Co.)

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

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

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

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

Flowery Branch High School in Flowery Branch, Ga. (Hall Co.)

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

Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Ga.

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.)

Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, Ga. (Fulton Co.)

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

Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts, Jonesboro, Ga. (Clayton)

Maynard Jackson High School in Atlanta (Fulton Co.)

McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Ga. (Fayette Co.)

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

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

North Atlanta High School in Atlanta (Fulton Co.)

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

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

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

North Springs High School in Atlanta (Fulton Co.)

Northwest Whitfield Co. High School in Tunnel Hill, Ga.

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

Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, Ga. (Gwinnett)

Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Ga. (Walker Co.)

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

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

**Savannah Country Day School in Savannah, Ga. (Chatham Co.)

Sequoyah High School in Hickory Flat, Ga. (Cherokee 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.)

Thomson High School in Thomson, Ga. (McDuffie Co.)

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

Trinity Christian School in Sharpsburg, Ga. (Coweta Co.)

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

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



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