Music Theatre Wichita recently announced nominees for the 17th Annual Jester Awards, a program designed to celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre.
The accolades program showcases the next generation of musical theatre talent in Kansas. Each year, trained volunteer judges attend and evaluate dozens of performances.
This year, 102 judges viewed 127 performances of 41 productions, involving more than 2,800 students and 41 schools across the state of Kansas. The program began in Wichita, but now extends as far as Liberal, Hays, Salina, and Pittsburg, in addition to the greater Wichita area.
Hays High School, Thomas More Prep-Marian and Russell High School received multiple nominations for the Jester Awards for their fall musicals this year.
Local nominees are below.
Hays High School nominees for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Lead Actress (Esmeralda) Erin Muirhead
Lead Actor (Quasimodo) Ryan Will
Vocal Music Director—Johnny Matlock
Artistic Guest (Choreography) Twanita Augustine
Artistic Guest (Director) Jennie Rajewski
Design Guest—Nikki Nansel (Costume Design)
Design Guest—Jennie Rajewski, Jeremy Wann (Scenic Design)
Graphic Desgin—Alexis Robinson, Heath Meder
Supporting Actor (Jack) Dylan Werth
Scenic Design —Dylan Werth, Lane Werth, Alexandra Herrman, Halle Lang
Sound—Avery Normandin, Karl Rack, Sheldon Weber, Bryce Wasinger, Tiffany Pfeifer, Emily Shippers
Graphic Design—Lane Werth
Lobby Design—Lane Werth, Alexandra Herrman, Dylan Werth
Russell High School nominees for “Little Shop of Horrors”
Lead Actress (Audrey) Maria Hilger
Cameo Performance (Various characters) Bobby Rhodes
Small Ensemble (The Ronnettes) Abigail Koech, Jennifer Pummell, Anastasia States
The Jester Awards Ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 6, 2018 at Century II Performing Arts Center’s Convention Hall in Wichita. Honorees in 25 categories will be announced during the ceremony, and several of the honorees will perform. Scholarship awards will be presented to three students, lead male and female honorees and a technical theatre recipient.
Tickets to the ceremony are $10 each and may be purchased at the door, online at mtwichita.org or by calling the Music Theatre Wichita box office at 316-265-3107.
Alumni of the Jester Awards program can be seen onstage and backstage at Music Theatre Wichita this summer, as well as on Broadway and in regional theatres across the country.
MTWichita Board President Michelle Moe Witte says: “Theatre provides so many young people with a sense of community. Together, they learn the value of work, collaboration, creativity and dedication. Their work is inclusive and so are the Jester Awards. Whether they belted out a tune on stage, ran the sound board or created the program – this is their night to shine. It is our opportunity to celebrate all that they have accomplished and to honor the community they have created.”