MABANK–The Dallas Summer Musicals organization just announced its nominees for the 9th Annual DSM High School Musical Theater Awards and Mabank High is one of 36 North Texas high schools on the list.
“I am so proud of all of the actors and technicians in our company,” MHS Theater Director Hannah Williams said. “There is no way we could have received these nominations, alongside some of the best programs in North Texas, if not for those who put so much effort and talent into our show this year.”
MHS was nominated for Best Scenic Design, Best Choreography and Best Supporting Actor for its production of “James and the Giant Peach” this past fall.
The Best Scenic Design nomination is one with which MHS is familiar.
“We have received this nomination many years in a row now,” Williams said. “I attribute these nominations to all of the people, from so many different programs and groups, who help with the design of our production.”
Williams said that the collaborative team members include administrators, teachers, students and alumni.
“MHS Director of Advanced Academics Dr. Aaron Williams helps with design and construction,” she said, “while MHS art teachers Christine Robinson and Wendy Brantley put a lot of hard work and artistry into decorating the set.”
Other help came from Social Studies teacher Kelly Scoggins, whose family donated construction supplies for the stage, MHS Alum Lindsay Haynes Wilson who helped paint and decorate the set, and Ag teacher Dustin Clark, whose department created the mechanism to rotate the peach manually.
“This was a true team effort,” Williams said. “The teachers, and former students, along with the countless students who helped build and decorate the set before and after school, are why we received this nomination.”
MHS will compete with Melissa, North Lamar, Richardson, Rowlett, Southwest Christian, Waxahachie and Weatherford high schools for this category.
Williams is excited about the nomination for Best Choreography and attributes the selection to a new dance class that was added to her teaching roster this year.
“This was my first year choreographing and it was some of the most fun I have had. I was able to focus on teaching my students basic techniques in class so they could master the moves and sequences more easily during rehearsals,” Williams said.
Dance Captains Cherokee Brown, Trinity McCarley and Bethany McSperitt helped Williams with choreography and teaching.
Other schools nominated in this category include Everman, Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, Guyer, North Forney, Northwest, Plano East Senior and Plano Senior high schools.
The last of the nominations for MHS was for Best Supporting Actor which went to MHS Junior Gage Hardin.
“I am so thrilled he was recognized. Gage has participated in our musicals since his freshman year and he has such a great amount of talent and an impeccable work ethic,” Williams said.
Gage also had a leading role in the One-Act Play “Over the Tavern” for which he received an All-Star Cast award.
Other students competing in this category are from Grand Prairie, Grapevine Faith Christian, Lebanon Trail, Mansfield, Melissa, Northwest and Ovation Academy for the Performing Arts high schools.
“I am so proud of the entire program,” Williams said. “The leading roles, supporting roles, ensemble roles and all of the unsung heroes who worked backstage. I am also grateful to all of the administrators, teachers and volunteers who helped us put on our show.”
The DSM High School Musical Theater Awards were founded by Leah and Jerry Fullenwider and are designed to inspire students, recognize high school musical theater programs and support art education in North Texas Schools. This year’s awards will be announced on May 14 in the company’s newly formatted digital show featuring a video with performances, virtual acceptance speeches and cameos from top Broadway talent.