2016 Tommy Tune Awards Nominations Announced; Full List!

Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is excited to announce the nominations and presenters for TUTS' 14th annual Tommy Tune Awards, which will be held on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The Tommy Tune Awards recognize and reward excellence in the production of musical theatre by high school students and their teachers. Co-hosts for this year's awards ceremony include Sarah Pepper and Jim Bernhard. Pepper is a host on Hot 95.7. Bernhard has written several original productions that have debuted at TUTS and authored the organization's theatrical history book, "Stars In Your Eyes".

After evaluating the 45 participating Houston-area high school productions during the 2015-2016 school year, a team of 30 Houston-based theatre professionals nominated 164 participants in 15 award categories. An additional committee considered 42 potential scholarship recipients.

The following high schools and individuals were nominated:

Best Musical:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Cypress Ranch High School, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
Foster High School, In The Heights
Pearland High School, Urinetown
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Hairspray

Best Leading Actor:
Sultan Abboushi from Episcopal High School as John the Baptist/Judas in Godpsell - 2012
Muhammad Yunus from Foster High School as Usnavi in In The Heights
Connor Krusleski from Friendswood High School as Beast in Disney's Beauty and The Beast
Michael Duran from George Bush High School as Lord Farquaad in Shrek The Musical
Matthew Rodgers from Spring Woods High School as Leo Bloom in The Producers
Adam Pena from Spring Woods High School as Max Bialystock in The Producers
Dustin Nichols from Stratford High School as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes
Collins Rush from Stratford High School as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes
Matthew Hopper from Stratford High School as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in Anything Goes

Best Leading Actress:
Grace Whaley from Cypress Ranch High School as Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Ashlyn Maddox from Cypress Woods High School as Esther Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis
Dakotah Boone from Foster High School as Nina in In The Heights
Nicole Daniels from James E. Taylor High School as Laurey in Oklahoma!
Chloe Madison from Klein Forest High School as Eva Peron in Evita
Gabie Adickes from Second Baptist School as Sandy Dumbrowski in Grease: School Version
Noelle Flores from Stratford High School as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes
Marlina Brown from Stratford High School as Erma in Anything Goes
Sofia Faus from Texas City High School as Fiona in Shrek The Musical

Best Supporting Actor:
Brendan Morrow and Michael Pham from Cypress Ranch High School as Boris and Goran in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Bodie Lowe from Friendswood High School as Cogsworth in Disney's Beauty and The Beast
Cole Little from Houston Christian High School as Sir Dennis / Galahad in Monty Python's Spamalot
Elam Blackwell from Kempner High School as Orin in Little Shop of Horrors
Chase Callahan from Kingwood High School as Cookie McGee in Nice Work If You Can Get It
Morgan Lenamon from Pearland High School as Officer Lockstock in Urinetown
Grayson LaGrange from Stratford High School as Elisha Whitney in Anything Goes
Alex Goeringer from The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School as Wilber Turnblad in Hairspray
Tierre Robinson from Westfield High School as Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls

Best Supporting Actress:
Sarah Bartholomew from Cypress Ranch High School as Baroness Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sofia Staartjes from Episcopal High School as Soloist in "Turn Back, O Man" in Godspell - 2012
Kyra Reue-Collins from Foster High School as Daniela in In The Heights
Sarah Harter from Klein High School as Smitty in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Kendall Spurlin from Second Baptist School as Frenchy in Grease: School Version
Nadia Belauchi from Stephen F. Austin High School as Abuela Claudia from In The Heights
Kate Schageman from Stratford High School as Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt in Anything Goes
Mia Munn from The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School as Penny Pingleon from Hairspray
Anna Strickland from The Woodlands High School as Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man

Best Featured Performer:
Greyson Landrum, Sam Pillion, and Jordan Wandix from Cypress Christian School as The Wickersham Brothers in Seussical
Chance Jarvis from Cypress Ranch High School as The Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Jillian Branch from Episcopal High School as Soloist in "Learn Your Lessons Well" in Godspell - 2012
Alex Semler and Kaesye Wyatt from Porter High School as Mayor and Mrs. Shinn in The Music Man
Tyler Braswel from Second Baptist School as Teen Angel in Grease: School Version
Kirby Morris from Stratford High School as Chastity (Angel #2) in Anything Goes
Mallory Bechtel from The John Cooper School as Fairy Godmother in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Jazmyne Charles from The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School as Little Inez in Hairspray
Maddie Gustitis from The Woodlands High School as Ethyl in The Music Man

Best Ensemble/Chorus:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Cypress Ranch High School, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
Friendswood High School, Disney's Beauty and The Beast
James E. Taylor High School, Oklahoma!
Klein Collins High School, Seussical
Klein Oak High School, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Pearland High School, Urinetown
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Hairspray
Westfield High School, Dreamgirls

Best Scenic Design:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
Foster High School, In The Heights
Friendswood High School, Disney's Beauty and The Beast
James E. Taylor High School, Oklahoma!
Klein Collins High School, Seussical
Klein High School, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Obra D. Tompkins High School, Into the Woods
Pearland High School, Urinetown
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
Texas City High School, Shrek The Musical

Best Costume Design:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Cypress Ranch High School, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Cypress Woods High School, Meet Me in St. Louis
Foster High School, In The Heights
Klein Forest High School, Evita
Klein Oak High School, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Obra D. Tompkins High School, Into the Woods
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
Texas City High School, Shrek The Musical
The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Hairspray
The Woodlands High School, The Music Man

Best Lighting Design:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Cypress Ranch High School, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
Friendswood High School, Disney's Beauty and The Beast
James E. Taylor High School, Oklahoma!
Klein High School, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Klein Oak High School, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Obra D. Tompkins High School, Into the Woods
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
Texas City High School, Shrek The Musical
Westfield High School, Dreamgirls

Best Stage Crew & Technical Execution:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
James E. Taylor High School, Oklahoma!
Klein Collins High School, Seussical
Klein Forest High School, Evita
Lamar Consolidated High School, Little Shop of Horrors
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
Texas City High School, Shrek The Musical
The John Cooper School, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Hairspray
Westfield High School, Dreamgirls

Best Musical Direction:
Cypress Ranch High School, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
Friendswood High School, Disney's Beauty and The Beast
James E. Taylor High School, Oklahoma!
Klein Collins High School, Seussical
Klein High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Klein Oak High School, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Obra D. Tompkins High School, Into the Woods
Pearland High School, Urinetown
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Hairspray

Best Orchestra:
Clements High School, Ghost the Musical
Cypress Woods High School, Meet Me in St. Louis
Friendswood High School, Disney's Beauty and The Beast
George Bush High School, Shrek, The Musical
James E. Taylor High School, Oklahoma!
Klein Forest High School, Evita
Klein High School, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
Klein Oak High School, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Obra D. Tompkins High School, Into the Woods
Pasadena Memorial High School, Damn Yankees
Porter High School, The Music Man
The Woodlands High School, The Music Man

Best Choreography:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Cypress Ranch High School, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
Klein Collins High School, Seussical
Klein Oak High School, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Pearland High School, Urinetown
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Texas City High School, Shrek The Musical
The John Cooper School, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Hairspray
The Woodlands High School, The Music Man
Westfield High School, Dreamgirls

Best Direction:
Clear Springs High School, Seussical
Cypress Ranch High School, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Episcopal High School, Godspell - 2012
Foster High School, In the Heights
James E. Taylor High School, Oklahoma!
Klein Collins High School, Seussical
Pearland High School, Urinetown
Second Baptist School, Grease: School Version
Stratford High School, Anything Goes
Texas City High School, Shrek The Musical
The Kinkaid School/G.W. Carver Magnet High School, Hairspray
Westfield High School, Dreamgirls

Presenters for the evening will include Miller Outdoor Theatre's Managing Director Cissy Segall Davis, KUHT's Ernie Manouse, ABC 13's Tom Koch and TUTS Chairperson Amy Pierce.

Scholarships

TUTS' Tommy Tune Awards are designed not only to acknowledge remarkable musical theatre talent at the high school level, but also to encourage future artistic development. TUTS will present eight scholarships to outstanding participating students of the Tommy Tune Awards. These include the Ruth Denney Scholarship, named in honor of Tune's mentor and legendary Lamar High School drama teacher. Ruth Denney was the founder and first director of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and then Professor of Drama Education at the University of Texas at Austin. She died in 2007, just a few days before her 93rd birthday. Students under consideration were required to meet specific criteria set out by the Scholarship Committee, as well as submit an application and an essay. The scholarship committee, composed of TUTS board members, has carefully reviewed all of the applications and will announce the scholarship recipients during the awards ceremony.

Jimmy Awards

The Best Leading Actor and Actress will go on to compete at the national level for the Jimmy Award at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City. Established in 2009, the Jimmy Awards are named after Broadway theatre owner and producer, James M. Nederlander. This year, the program will bring the country's best high school performers together to compete on Broadway on June 27. While in New York, Jimmy Award participants will have the opportunity to participate in rehearsals and master classes, receive one-on-one coaching from theater professionals, be seen by casting agents, meet and converse with Broadway actors and compete for scholarships and other prizes. The week's events will culminate in a live awards show where the Jimmy Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress will be presented.

TUTS' Tommy Tune Awards are named for Houston native and Lamar High School alumnus, Tommy Tune. A performer, director and choreographer with more than 50 years of stage experience, Tune received nine Tony Awards for his work in the following productions: Seesaw, My One and Only, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Nine, Grand Hotel and The Will Rogers Follies. He was also awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2003 by President Bush. Tune is currently taking an autobiographical stroll in Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales where he dances, sings and tale-tells through more than 50 years of showmanship.

The Tommy Tune Awards ceremony is open to the general public. VIP tickets are on sale now, and standard tickets will be available for purchase beginning on April 7. To purchase VIP tickets or to receive more information, call (713) 558-8887 or visit TUTS.com/TommyTune.

TUTS' 2015-2016 season is generously sponsored by CHI St. Luke's Health. For all shows, air transportation is provided by United Airlines, the official airline of TUTS. Media sponsors include ABC-13 and Houston Chronicle. Season support is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Theater District Association, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

To learn more about TUTS' Education and Community Engagement programs, visit TUTS.com/EDU.

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