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Shea's Performing Arts Center And The Lipke Foundation Announce The Recipients Of The 2022 KENNY AWARDS

Since the inception of the program, over 150 outstanding musical productions in local high schools have been recognized and honored by the Kenny Awards.

Shea's Performing Arts Center And The Lipke Foundation Announce The Recipients Of The 2022 KENNY AWARDS

Shea's Performing Arts Center and The Lipke Foundation are proud to announce the winners of 29th Annual Kenny Awards, an endeavor that recognizes the talent, dedication, and efforts of our local high school youth.

Outstanding Musical Production

Lancaster High School

Catch Me If You Can

Outstanding Leading Performance in a Male Role

Ryan Butler as "Jack Kelly"

Starpoint High School

Newsies: The Broadway Musical

Outstanding Leading Performance in a Female Role

Elizabeth Hopkins as "Jo March"

Barker High School

Little Women the Musical

Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Male Role

Amanda Kuo as "Adolfo Pirelli"

Amherst High School

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (School Edition)

Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Female Role

Kelsey Whipple as "Mrs. Phelps"

Tonawanda Middle/High School

Matilda the Musical

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble

The Voices and Puppeteers of "Audrey II" St. Mary's High School

Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Dramatic Performance

The Ballad of Sweeney Todd

Amherst Central High School

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (School Edition)

Outstanding Choral Performance

Amherst Central High School

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (School Edition)

Outstanding Dance Performance

Starpoint High School

Newsies: The Broadway Musical

Outstanding Orchestral Performance

Lancaster High School

Catch Me If You Can

Outstanding Technical Design

Starpoint High School

Newsies: The Broadway Musical

Outstanding Scenic Design

Tonawanda Middle/High School

Matilda the Musical

Outstanding Costume Design

Starpoint High School

Newsies: The Broadway Musical

The Blossom Cohan Award

Honors a performer who "Blossoms" in a role

Morgan Szpilewski as "Elmer"

Starpoint High School

Newsies: The Broadway Musical

Since the inception of the program, over 150 outstanding musical productions in local high schools have been recognized and honored by the Kenny Awards. In its 29th year, the Kenny Awards recognized local high school talent for excellence in producing and performing musicals.

The Kenny Awards were held at Shea's Buffalo Theatre, for the first time in person since 2019. This year's program included participation from 16 WNY high schools: Starpoint High School - Newsies: The Broadway Musical, Nardin Academy - Disney's Freaky Friday the Musical, Williamsville East High School - Seussical, Pine Valley Jr/Sr High School - Little Shop of Horrors, Tonawanda Middle/High School - Matilda the Musical, John F. Kennedy Jr/Sr High School - Mary Poppins, Eden High School - Guys and Dolls, Elba Central School - Annie, Barker High School - Little Women the Musical, East Aurora High School - Shrek the Musical, Maple Grove High School - Into the Woods, St. Mary's High School - Little Shop of Horrors, Amherst Central High School - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (School Edition), Iroquois High School - The Wedding Singer, Lewiston-Porter High School - Little Shop of Horrors, and Lancaster High School - Catch Me If You Can.

The following five finalist schools were invited to perform at the ceremony: Amherst Central High School - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (School Edition), Lancaster High School - Catch Me If You Can, Maple Grove High School - Into the Woods, Pine Valley Jr/Sr High School - Little Shop of Horrors, and Starpoint High School - Newsies: The Broadway Musical.

The Kenny adjudicators viewed and evaluated the productions and determined the nominees and winners. There are 17 award categories, including "The Kenny" for Outstanding Musical Production in which the winning school receives a $10,000 grant from the Lipke Foundation to be used solely by the school's theatre department. Other awards include individual performances in leading and supporting roles, as well as areas of technical production, orchestration, choreography, set design, and dance performance.

The Kenny Awards is one of more than 46 regional awards programs nationwide participating in the National High School Musical Awards Program, aka The Jimmy Awards, which is providing Ryan Butler and Elizabeth Hopkins with an all-expenses-paid, week-long trip to New York City to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards this June. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will include rehearsals and coaching sessions with Broadway performers, performances, and other beneficial experiences. Participants in The Jimmy Awards will compete live on Monday June 27 at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre for various college scholarships.

The Shea's Buffalo Theatre was originally built as a "picture palace" by Michael Shea in 1925. Today, the Shea's Performing Arts Center is comprised of three modern theatres in the heart of the Buffalo Theatre District, bringing the best of live performance through touring productions and local collaborations to Western New York. The Shea's Buffalo Theatre is the historic crown jewel of the Performing Arts Center and is one of the top touring theatres in the country with over 3,000 seats. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1975. Shea's 710 Theatre is the latest space to be added to the campus. Once home to Studio Arena, this 625-seat thrust theatre offers Broadway productions and plays produced by local and international theatre companies. Shea's Smith Theatre is a 200-seat black box theatre and plays host to Off-Broadway productions, comedy and collaborative productions with local theatre companies. Shea's Performing Arts Center is committed to keeping true to the history of Shea's Buffalo Theatre and to the future of the Western New York region, bringing the best of Broadway theatre and beyond to Buffalo, NY.

For more information on Shea's Performing Arts Center, upcoming shows, and other programs, visit www.sheas.org.



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