Lee’s Summit R-7 students nominated for Starlight Theatre’s Blue Star Awards

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

All three Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools have captured nominations for Starlight Theatre’s Blue Star Awards program. Nominations were announced during mid-May. Winners in each category will be announced May 25 at a public ceremony at Starlight Theatre.

A total of 42 area high schools received nominations in this 15th annual Blue Star Awards program.

Local nominations include:

  • Elizabeth Bennet as Ursula in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” from Lee’s Summit High School, outstanding actress in a supporting role
  • Jenell Johnson as Oda Mae Brown in “Ghost the Musical” from Lee’s Summit North High School, outstanding actress in a supporting role
  • Jessica Haney in “Disney’s Mary Poppins” from Lee’s Summit West High School, outstanding female ensemble member
  • Garrett Richardson as Officer Wallace in “Ghost the Musical” from Lee’s Summit North, outstanding male ensemble member
  • “Disney’s Mary Poppins” from Lee’s Summit West, outstanding costume design and construction, tier 2;
  • Elizabeth Bennett from Lee’s Summit High School, Rising Star Scholarship-female.

Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, modeled after Broadway’s Tony® Awards, marks its 15th anniversary with the 2016-17 school year. Sponsored in part by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the educational program annually recognizes achievement and excellence in high school musical theatre. This year, a total of 52 high schools producing 59 musicals (a new record) participated.

The culmination of the program each year is the annual Blue Star Awards Ceremony at Starlight Theatre. This year’s awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. May 25. The ceremony is free and open to the public. Parking is $5 per vehicle.

“The Blue Star Awards is Starlight Theatre’s largest and most recognized musical theatre education program,” said Rich Baker, Starlight president and CEO. “As we prepare to celebrate the 15th class of Blue Star Awards nominees and winners, we also applaud every one of the 5,000+ high school students and teachers who worked so hard and shared their special talents to entertain audiences across our city and beyond!”

A panel of three adjudicators attended the musical productions of each participating school during the fall 2016 and/or spring 2017 semesters. These judges provided critiques of both performance and technical categories to Starlight’s Education Department. Additionally, their comments were compiled and shared with each school’s theatre teacher and students; in all, more than 1,000 pages of commentary were sent to the 52 participating schools. The Blue Star Awards Nomination Committee, made up of select adjudicators, met for a total of 42 hours to deliberate and select final nominees and award winners.  

Several nominated schools and students will perform on Starlight’s stage at the May 25 awards ceremony. Performances will include a number from each of the six schools and musicals nominated for outstanding overall production, as well as musical medleys performed by the 12 nominees for outstanding actor and actress in a lead role.

A final highlight of the annual Blue Star Awards Ceremony is the awarding of Rising Star Scholarships to two high school seniors. The $2,500 college scholarships are presented to one male and one female senior who contributed the most to his or her high school theatre department and demonstrated exceptional theatrical achievement.

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