Here’s why Austin theater teens love the stage and their awards show

Come April 13, the Long Center will rumble with singing and dancing during the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards.

RELATED: All rise for Austin high school musicals!

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Finale of the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards show in 2016. Contributed by James Goulden

So why do Austin theater teens love the stage and this singular awards ceremony? We asked.

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Mary Shae Lancaster. Contributed

Mary Shae Lancaster:  I love the high school musical theater awards for many reasons. Number 1 being the community that I’ve found with other high schoolers who appreciate and love the art form of musical theatre as much as I do. It has also nurtured and given me goals to strive for. I love watching talented student performers do this thing we love and do it phenomenally. Most of them can be found in the Select Ensemble over previous years. This is my first year as a part of the ensemble and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have met some of my closest friends through the process and progressed so much in my performance ability by simply being around incredibly talented peers.

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Terin Dailey. Contributed

Terin Dailey: This completely is a different world that I have the privilege of living every day. It means happiness for me in my life and having the chance to perform for another audience again is amazing. We put so much into this show, wanting it to look it’s very best in every aspect. (It) is a way for us to celebrate all the hard work and dedication that we all give to each other every year and how it has affected us immensely.

Lola Rios. Contributed

Lola Rios: (It is) more than a night of celebration. It is hard work, dedication and passion on one stage with 31 schools all singing and dancing for a common love. They have built hope for students to know that they have the support of their schools, other schools and the Long Center. Each school is honored on the night of the awards no matter if they walk away with an award or not. This is because of the magic that the night brings.

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Matthew Kennedy. Contributed

Matthew Kennedy: The high school musical theater awards provide outreach and recognition for talent and ability across the Austin area. It gives Austin schools a chance to connect on a greater level and be recognized for their hard work and artistry they bring to the table. It reminds me that I should try to do my best in whatever I attempt or pursue, and however the outcome may be, the reward is in knowing that I did my best.

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Maddie Brimmer. Contributed

Maddie Brimmer: Each school gets to showcase their abilities and be rewarded for their achievements and the schools nominated for best musical even get a chance to perform a small part of their show on the Long Center stage. It’s a magical night filled with teenagers dressed up in their nicest dresses, fantastic performances, and some celebrity appearances!

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Samantha Dickerson. Contributed

Samantha Dickerson: It’s an amazing opportunity to bring people of all different schools and backgrounds to all share our talents and a love of musical theatre and build relationships we wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s given me the opportunity to express my passion of musical theatre to an even further extent by participating in these amazing awards and being in the select ensemble; getting to do what I love.

Which show won the most nominations at the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards?

We haven’t counted how many nods each Austin area high school musical won. But thanks to alert theater teacher Joshua Denning, who posted quickly on Facebook, we do know that McCallum Fine Arts Academy‘s “Me and My Girl” nabbed nine nominations. The awards show — which is dynamite — is April 13 at the Long Center.

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Best Production
Leander “Pippin”
Anderson “Curtains”
Cedar Ridge “Cats”
McNeil “Barnum”
Hendrickson “In the Heights”
James Bowie “The Who’s Tommy”
Rouse “In the Heights”
McCallum Fine Arts Academy “Me and My Girl”

Best Featured Performer
Quinn Skarnulis. Anderson High School
Indigo Raetz Austin High School
Sarah Cadena Bastrop High School
Kristyn Chambers Brentwood Christian
Dainique Jones Cedar Ridge High
Logan Dundon Dripping Springs High School
Campbell Duffy Georgetown High
Clara Cable Lake Travis High
Kye Brown Lehman High School
Ellie Kuykendall Dripping Springs High
Kali Thompson Marble Falls High
Niko Bermea Rouse High School
Halle Hill Vandegrift High School

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Best Scenic Design
Cedar Ridge High School “ Cats”
Anderson High School “Curtains”
Rouse High School “ In the Heights”
Jack C. Hays High School “Into the Woods”
Elgin High School “Little Shop of Horrors”
Dripping Springs High School “My Fair Lady”
Katherine Anne Porter School “Pippin”
David Crockett High School “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

Best Choreography
Cedar Ridge High School “Cats”
Dripping Springs High School “My Fair Lady”
Hendrickson High School “In the Heights”
James Bowie High School “The Who’s Tommy”
McCallum Fine Arts Academy “Me and My Girl”
McNeil High School “Barnum”
Rouse High School “In the Heights”
Vista Ridge High School “Thoroughly Modern Millie”

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Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Abigail Holtfort Cedar Park High
Brooke Silverstein St. Stephens
Gracee Street Lake Travis High
Kat Cruz Anderson High
Kiara Thomas Cedar Creek High
Lydia Emery Jack C. Hays High
Sophia Mullican McCallum Fine Arts Academy
Sydney Enos Georgetown High
Taylor Cooper Jack C. Hays High

Best Lighting Design
Lake Travis High School “Disney’s The Little Mermaid”
Hendrickson High School “In the Heights”
Rouse High School “In the Heights”
Jack C. Hays High School “Into the Woods”
Lehman High School “Our House”
Leander High School “Pippin”
St. Stephen’s Episcopal “Pippin”
James Bowie “The Who’s Tommy”

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Best Musical Direction
Marble Falls High School “Cinderella” (Broadway Version)
McNeil High School “Barnum”
Rouse High “In the Heights”
Vista Ridge High School “Thoroughly Modern Millie”
Anderson High School “Curtains”
Cedar Park High School “Cabaret”
James Bowie High School “The Who’s Tommy”
Lake Travis High School “Disney’s The Little Mermaid”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Trey Moffett East View High School
Bryce Keesee-Lourigan Georgetown High
Brian Baker Hendrickson High
Clayt Aziz Jack C. Hays High
Max Corney McCallum Fine Arts
H. Crocker McCallum Fine Arts
Andrew De La Garza Rouse High School
Logan Caraway Vista Ridge High

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Best Technical Execution
David Crockett High School “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
Anderson “Curtains”
LBJ/LASA “Nice Work if You Can Get It”
Del Valle “ Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”
McCallum Fine Arts Academy “Me and My Girl”
Marble Falls “Cinderella”
Rouse “In the Heights”
Round Rock “The Goodbye Girl”

Best Orchestra
Vista Ridge High School “Thoroughly Modern Millie”
Akins High School “Rock of Ages”
Leander High School “Pippin”
Lehman High School “Our House”
LBJ/LASA High School “Nice Work if You Can Get It”
Georgetown High School “Into the Woods”
Hendrickson High School “In the Heights”
East View High School “Big Fish”

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Best Actor in a Leading Role
Michael Morran Anderson High School
Bruno Maples David Crockett High
Chris Ayala Hendrickson High
Matthew Kennedy Leander High School
AJ Lawrence Lehman High School
Tristan Tierney McCallum Fine Arts
Keaton Brandt McNeil High School
Elliot Esquivel Rouse High School
Sam Oberle St. Stephen’s Episcopal

Best Costume Design
Westwood “Once Upon a Mattress”
Vista Ridge “Thoroughly Modern Millie”
McNeil “Barnum”
Marble Falls “Cinderella”
Georgetown “Into the Woods”
Dripping Springs “My Fair Lady”
Cedar Ridge “Cats”
Anderson “Curtains”

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Best Direction
Anderson “Curtains”
Cedar Creek “You’re A Good Man, “Charlie Brown”
Cedar Ridge “Cats”
Hendrickson “In the Heights”
James “The Who’s Tommy”
McCallum Fine Arts Academy “Me and My Girl”
McNeil “Barnum”
Rouse “In the Heights”

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Sophie Niles McNeil
Maddie Reese Lake Travis
Erin Swearingen Jack C. Hays
Anna McGuire McCallum Fine Arts
Jessica Askey Lake Travis
Trinity Adams Dripping Springs
Isabelle Dickey LBJ/LASA
Olivia Vines Anderson
Chloe Byars James Bowie

Best Ensemble
Cedar Ridge “Cats”
Dripping Springs “My Fair Lady”
Hendrickson . “In the Heights”
James Bowie “The Who’s Tommy”
Leander “Pippin”
Rouse “In the Heights”
St. Stephen’s Episcopal “Pippin”
Vandegrift “Oliver!”