Posted on June 14th, 2021
Dallas, TX (June 14, 2021) – North Texas high school students, teachers, and their theater departments were celebrated in a virtual ceremony of the 10th Annual Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards (DSM HSMTA) on Friday, June 11. The awards ceremony was presented as a livestream broadcast through DSM’s YouTube channel and featured live performances, award presentations including $55,000 in scholarships, and acceptance speeches by the nominees and winners.
Patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards®, the DSM HSMTA celebrate the power of the arts and its ability to significantly improve all areas of education. The annual DSM HSMTA recognizes artistic and educational achievements of North Texas students and their high school programs. A total of 41 performances from 39 participating high schools were evaluated by a diverse group of highly qualified judges from the North Texas theater community. The 2021 Best Musical Award went to Waxahachie High School’s production of Matilda The Musical, the Best Actor award was presented to Parker Jackson (Guyer High School), and Best Actress went to Shantel Williams (Plano Senior High School). Megan Moore (Melissa High School) and Kelly Thomas (Poteet High School) received Outstanding Educator Awards, and 15 scholarships were awarded to deserving students pursuing degrees in both theatre and non-theatre majors. In addition, Dallas native and Broadway veteran Liz Mikel was presented with the 2021 Fullinwider Award in honor of her accomplishments within the North Texas theater community and beyond.
“Congratulations to all of the hardworking students and faculty involved in this year’s ceremony,” says Ken Novice, president of Dallas Summer Musicals. “The talent and dedication never cease to amaze us, and we are so proud to recognize and celebrate all of the 2021 nominees and winners!”
Hosted by Dallas native and award-winning performer Denise Lee, the livestream opened with 2021 nominees performing “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’” from Oklahoma!. Awards were then presented to students in 15 categories and $55,000 in scholarships were given in Theatre Major, Theatre Ambassador, Backstage Excellence, and DSM Spirit Award categories. Students and teachers from each school nominated for Best Musical were featured in vignettes throughout the ceremony discussing their productions and what makes their programs special. Best Actor and Best Actress nominees performed “La Vie Boheme” and “Seasons of Love” from RENT, and students joined 2021 Fullinwider Award recipient Liz Mikel in a performance of “Livin’ it Up on Top” from Hadestown. Two-time HSMTA Best Actress Haley Dortch announced the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, and Liz Mikel returned to present the Best Musical award. The ceremony closed with a finale performance of “Yorktown” from Hamilton. All performances were accompanied by a live band led by Music Director Cherish Love Robinson.
Since DSM’s first HSMTA in 2012, the program has developed regionally, accepting schools as far away as Lubbock, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi as well as new and returning schools from the DFW Metroplex. DSM’s HSMTA has grown to be one of the largest programs of its kind in the nation. DSM HSMTA has been recognized by The National High School Musical Theatre Awards as their official affiliate program for North Texas.
About Dallas Summer Musicals:
Since 1941, the non-profit Dallas Summer Musicals Inc. (DSM) has presented the Best of Broadway to North Texas audiences. Located in the historic Music Hall at Fair Park, DSM promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through education and community outreach programs, while enriching the cultural landscape of North Texas and the Southwest Region.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to offer affordable ticket prices, preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and develop impactful community programs.
DSM gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors, annual fund donors and corporate partners Germania Insurance, American Airlines, Texas Instruments, The Dallas Morning News, and WFAA TV Channel 8. For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214-421-5678 or visit our website at DallasSummerMusicals.org.
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