The nominations for the 2012 Stage Top Honor Awards were announced Monday, and the cast and staff of the Conservatory’s spring musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” received 11 nominations. Fifteen schools participated, and Harker received the fifth most nominations.
The Top Honor Awards recognizes outstanding work by high school musical theater programs. Four judges, each one a theater professional, attend performances at each of the participating schools and complete a lengthy and detailed evaluation, which then is passed along to each show’s director. Harker’s director, Laura Lang-Ree, received the adjudications last week and called the cast together after school to share the positive and constructive feedback. “Students receive over 75 pages of notes from outside professionals,” Lang-Ree said, offering feedback on everything from the ushers to each cast member and every technical element of the show.
Nominees for best actor/actress and best show are invited to perform at the awards ceremony, which this year will be on June 4 at the California Theater in downtown San Jose. The winners of the best actor/actress category will win a scholarship to New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, if they are accepted as students there.
While excited by the nominations, Lang-Ree is firm that, “We produce musicals so that we can learn from and enjoy the process – we are not in it to win a prize. That’s our philosophical stand, as we are always going to do our best, grow, stretch, fail, succeed and try again, regardless of whether we choose to be a part of an adjudication or competition.” Lang-Ree and musical director Catherine Snider were gratified by the best show and best chorus nominations, in particular, as those categories most clearly represent the goals of the Conservatory – a tight, well-rehearsed acting, dancing and singing ensemble in which each character is well-developed, everyone’s energy is equally high, and the chorus is an integral part of the play as a whole. “Nominated, win or not, we strive to make the process of performing as rich and valuable as possible, and therein lies the joy of rehearsal, process and performance,” Lang-Ree said.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” received the following nominations: overall production; chorus; leading actress (Noel Witcosky, grade 12); leading actor (Tristan Killeen, grade 12); supporting actor (Govinda Dasu, grade 12); supporting actress (Lauren Pinzás, grade 12); featured actress (Cristina Jerney, grade 11); direction (Lang-Ree); musical direction (Snider); choreography (Katie O’Bryon); and sound design (Brian Larsen).