Totem Pole Playhouse Announces Nominees For Annual Awards Honoring Area High School Musical Productions

Totem Pole Playhouse, Pennsylvania's premiere summer theatre located in Caledonia State Park, has announced 60 nominations in 12 categories for the fifth annual Totem Pole Playhouse Awards recognizing outstanding achievement in musical theater production and performance by high school students in the counties surrounding the Playhouse.

Named after the Totem Pole Playhouse, one of the longest running, nationally-recognized, fully professional summer theatres in the country, the awards focus solely on the performances of high school students, honoring their acting, singing, and dancing abilities.

McConnellsburg High School in Franklin County led all schools with a total of 11 nominations for their production of "Seussical." McConnellsburg's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" won the Carl Schurr Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical last year. Gettysburg Area High School in Adams County received 9 nominations for their production of "The Music Man" followed closely by "Shrek the Musical" at Waynesboro Area High School and "Titanic" at James Buchanan High School in Franklin County, and "The Addams Family" at St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerstown, MD, each with 8 nominations.

The remaining 16 nominations were shared between Forbes Road Junior/Senior High School in Fulton County, Shippensburg Area Senior High School in Franklin County and Biglerville High School in Adams County. All schools participating in the awards are also eligible for the best musical award named after Totem Pole Playhouse's long-serving Producing Artistic Director, Carl Schurr.

The nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Actress and an Actor in a Leading Role are: Emma Behta, St. Maria Goretti High School; Maria Torres, Biglerville High School; Rebecca Negro, Gettysburg Area High School; Brianna McFadden McConnellsburg High School; Claire Alfree, James Buchanan High School; Luke Szukalski, St. Maria Goretti High School, Benjamin Smith, Waynesboro Area Senior High School; Brice Feagley, McConnellsburg High School; Luke Lyman, Shippensburg Area Senior High School; and Nick Wallace, Gettysburg Area High School.

The recipients of the Outstanding Performance by an Actress and Actor in a Leading Role will also be awarded a $1,000.00 William M. Moore, Jr, college scholarship towards their future education. Mr. Moore appeared on stage at Totem Pole Playhouse as a young man and went on to a teach for 43 years in the Frederick County, Maryland, Public Schools where he served as the drama director for over a quarter of a century at Linganore High School.

The nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Actress and an Actor in
a Supporting Role are: Samantha Sutterman, St. Maria Goretti; Caitlin Heffner, Biglerville High School; Olivia Alexander, McConnellsburg High School; Brianna Waters, Forbes Road Junior / Senior High School; Olivia Policicchio, Waynesboro Area Senior High School; Dean King, James Buchanan High School; Holden Lupey, Forbes Road Junior / Senior High School; Cameron Wilson, Shippensburg Area Senior High School; Logan Connor, McConnellsburg High School, and Timothy Vinson, Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Featured Female and Male Ensemble member are: Paige Cavanaugh, Shippensburg Area Senior High School; Jacquelyn Wagaman, James Buchanan High School; Hailey Brownley, Biglerville High School; Katie Waite, Forbes Road Junior / Senior High School; Zoey Holland, St. Maria Goretti High School; Jared Semler, St. Maria Goretti High School; Will Knowles-Kellett, Gettysburg Area Senior High School; Ethan Dodson, Forbes Road Junior / Senior High School; Damon Knepper, McConnellsburg High School; and Logan Williams, James Buchanan High School.

The nominees for Outstanding Female and Male Solo Vocal Performance are: Rebecca Negro, Gettysburg Area High School; Emma Behta, St. Maria Goretti High School; Maria Torres, Biglerville High School; Briana McFadden, McConnellsburg High School; Mady Rosenberry, Shippensburg Area Senior High School; Luke Szukalski, St. Maria Goretti High School; Nick Wallace, Gettysburg Area High School; Brice Feagley,
McConnellsburg High School; Dean King, James Buchanan High School; and
Benjamin Smith, Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The nominees for Outstanding Vocal Duet are: Emma Behta and Luke Szukalski, Sr. Maria Goretti High School; Brianna McFadden and Brice Feagley, McConnellsburg High School; Rebecca Negro and Nick Wallace, Gettysburg Area High School; Benjamin Smith and Timothy Vinson, Waynesboro Area Senior High School; and Dean King and Logan Williams, James Buchanan High School.

The nominees for Outstanding Musical Chorus are: Shrek the Musical, Waynesboro Area Senior High School; The Music Man, Shippensburg Area Senior High School; The Music Man, Gettysburg Area High School; Titanic, James Buchanan High School; and Seussical, McConnellsburg High School.

The nominees for Outstanding Musical Production Number are: "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think" McConnellsburg High School, "You've Got Trouble" Gettysburg Area High School, "God Speed Titanic" James Buchanan High School, "Seventy-Six Trombones" Shippensburg Area Senior High School, and "I'm a Believer" Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The nominees for Outstanding Stage Crew: McConnellsburg High School, Shippensburg Area Senior High School, Gettysburg Area High School, Waynesboro Area Senior High School, and Biglerville High School.

The awards ceremony will be held this year for the first time on the stage of the Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayetteville, PA. Totem Pole's Producing Artistic Director, Rowan Joseph, will host the awards ceremony, Sunday, May 20th at 5PM which will include the presentation of a production number from each of the participating high schools as well as performances from the nominated female and male soloists.

The awards ceremony will also be streamed live via Totem Pole Playhouse's Facebook page the evening of the awards and will be available on-line afterwards as well for those unable to attend.



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