Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy won the coveted Best Musical title for their production of “Bullets Over Broadway” in the Eighth Annual Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards (DSM HSMTA. The award ceremony was held at the Music Hall at Fair Park May 9.
Other Best Southwest high schools winning awards included Cedar Hill High School, who entered the competition for the first time this year with their production of “Newsies.” Perennial winners Mansfield High School and Waxahachie High School also picked up awards. Students, parents, teachers and arts advocates from across North Texas cheered as the 10 schools nominated for best musical performed, and as winners and scholarship recipients were announced. The best actress and best actor nominees from each high school also performed medleys during the event.
Best Southwest High School Awards
Best Musical-Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy – Bullets Over Broadway
Best Orchestra- Mansfield HS –Catch Me If You Can
Best Scenic Design-Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy – Bullets Over Broadway
Best Costume Design-Waxahachie HS – Mary Poppins
Best Technical Execution-Waxahachie HS – Mary Poppins
Best Ensemble/Chorus-Cedar Hill HS – Newsies
Best Supporting Actress-Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy – Bullets Over Broadway – Joryhebel Ginorio
Best Featured Performer-Cedar Hill HS – Newsies – Jeremiah Tarver
Outstanding Educator Award-Andy Reynolds – Waxahachie High School
“This annual event is such a great reminder of all the outstanding talent that’s being cultivated amongst the next generation of performers in Texas and beyond. DSM looks forward to this night every year because we know how dedicated all of the students, teachers, staff, volunteers and supporters are to this program, and we can’t thank everyone enough,” said Kenneth T. Novice, DSM President.
Nominees received the red-carpet treatment, chauffeured to the Music Hall by RideCentric. Their arrivals were accompanied by the click of photographer’s cameras as they walked the red carpet into the Music Hall.
Emcee Teresa Woodward, award-winning journalist and WFAA Channel 8 news anchor, welcomed the enthusiastic crowd as she introduced the opening number. Musical numbers were accompanied by a live professional orchestra conducted by Music Director Mark Brymer.
Awards Presented In 19 Categories
Awards were presented in 19 categories and 14 scholarships were awarded to outstanding graduating seniors nominated by their teachers and selected by the DSM scholarship committee. The College Scholarship program consisted of seven Ambassador Scholarships at $2,000 each, five Theater Major Scholarships (in all areas of theater) at $5,000 each, and two $5,000 scholarships for winners in the Best Leading Actor and Best Leading Actress categories.
Broadway veteran Hunter Ryan Herdlicka received the Fullinwider Award for his impact to the Dallas theatre community and beyond. He is a Dallas native and graduate of Plano West Senior High School. Herdlicka starred on Broadway as Henrik in the Tony Award® winning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music for almost two years.”
Coby Rogers, Frenship High School, took home the Best Leading Actor Award and Haley Dortch, Guyer High School, won the Best Leading Actress Award. They each receive a $5,000 scholarship and all-expense paid trip for five days to New York City. There they will represent their high school in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (aka the Jimmy Awards) June 24.
Since DSM’s first HSMTA in 2012, the program has developed regionally, accepting schools as far away as Lubbock and Oklahoma. DSM 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. DSM is grateful to 2018-19 season sponsors Texas Instruments, American Airlines, The Dallas Morning News, and WFAA Channel 8.