Special to The Dallas Examiner
CEDAR HILL – Each year, local high schools anticipate being nominated for and a winning one or more of the 16 categories in the Dallas Summer Musical Awards, the high school equivalent of the Tony Awards.
This year, the Cedar Hill High School Theatre Program received five nominations, the most it has ever received, for its January production of The Wiz.
“We put so much work into that show,” Cedar Hill Theatre Director Bethany Kennedy said. “We put so much heart into it. It paid off, and it showed the judges what they’re capable of doing.”
For the first time, the school has been nominated for Best Actor (senior Jacobie Thornton) and Best Actress (Sydney Wade). It also received nominations for Best Orchestra, Best Costumes and Best Featured Performer (collegiate senior Sandy Johnson).
The award show will be held at On The Levee Theatre June 11at 7 p.m.
The date is also the day of the Cedar Hill High School Class of 2021 Graduation at Globe Life Field in Arlington. As much as the scholars may have been looking forward to graduation, representatives said the theatre performance takes precedence for a couple of reasons. They will make arrangements to receive their diplomas at a later date.
The winners of Best Actor and Best Actress will each receive a $10,000 scholarship. There are 10 finalists in each category. And the winners in each category will advance to The Jimmy Awards, the national high school musical awards, which will be held virtually on July 15.
“Being nominated means a lot,” Wade said. “It shows that people are paying attention and that they appreciate your hard work. Somebody’s always watching your success – even when you think they’re not.”
Wade played the lead role starring as “The Wiz” for the second year. She also served as the emcee/host for the 2020-2021 Cedar Hill ISD Convocation. She is undecided on her college choice but plans to study theatre.
“It’s been really exciting, and I’ve put a lot of time into the show,” Johnson said. “I also work on the costumes a lot during the school day.”
Johnson has the chance to become the second Best Featured Performer from Cedar Hill ISD in the past three years. University of North Texas sophomore Jeremiah Tarver earned the honor in 2019 for his performance in Newsies. Johnson will attend Texas A&M-Commerce to major in Political Science and minor in Marketing.
Thornton received All District Honors at UIL One Act Play. He played the Tin Man in The Wiz and will study Theatre at Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois.
“This honor is huge for me – just to know all of my hard work has been recognized and to know that we stood out to the judges,” Thornton said. “We’re making a name for theatre at Cedar Hill.”
Schools receiving nominations:
A&M Consolidated High School – Anastasia: The Musical
Abilene Wylie High School – Grease
All Saints’ Episcopal School – Little Women
Byron Nelson High School – Godspell
Cedar Hill High School – The Wiz
Frenship High School – Godspell
Grapevine Faith Christian School – The SpongeBob Musical
Grapevine High School – A Chorus Line – High School Edition
Guyer High School – Bright Star
Hebron High School – Chicago
Independence High School – You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Lake Country Christian School – Fiddler on the Roof
Lebanon Trail High School – Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits
Liberty Christian School – Mary Poppins
Madison-Ridgeland Academy – Anastasia: The Musical
Melissa High School – Curtains
Nolan Catholic High School – Newsies
Plano East Senior High School – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Plano Senior High School – Pippin
Poteet High School – You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Prince of Peace Christian School – Godspell
Southwest Christian School – Anastasia: The Musical
The Brook Hill School – Little Women
Tyler Legacy High School – Footloose
Wakeland High School – Anastasia: The Musical
Waxahachie High School – Matilda The Musical
Bishop Lynch High School – Outstanding Performance – Lorenzo Curran – Curtains
Duncanville High School – Outstanding Performance – Evan Lee – Dreamgirls
Forney High School – Outstanding Ensemble – Little Women
Fort Worth Country Day – Outstanding Performance – Jazmine Gomez – Children of Eden
Northwest High School – Outstanding Performance – Abriela Rodriguez – Into the Woods
Ovation Academy of Performing Arts – Outstanding Scenic Design – Little Women
Rowlett High School – Outstanding Performance – Audrey Lee – Ghost the Musical
Skyline High School – Outstanding Performance – Jaylon Sanders – Once on This Island
Timberview High School – Outstanding Performance – Chloe Williams – Gypsy