Cedar Hill ISD Theatre Scholars Nominated For Multiple Awards

Cedar Hill theatre students

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Fifteen Cedar Hill High School Theatre Scholars have been nominated for awards at two different programs in May.

“It’s about time we received recognition for our work,” Cedar Hill Theatre Director Bethany Kennedy said. “For us to get nominated is a win. Empowering the scholars this year was one of our goals.”

The Schmidt & Jones Awards are set for Tuesday, May 7 at the Lyric Stage in Dallas, and Broadway Dallas is set for Friday, May 24 at Fair Park in Dallas.

There’s a third award show, the Betty Buckley’s, set for Thursday, May 16 at Casa Manana in Fort Worth.

Senior Kele Nwanju earned a nomination in Best Choreography for the Addams Family (Schmidt & Jones).

“The nomination means everything to me,” Nwanju said. “My first love is dance, so to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about is special. I wanted to make sure everyone in Cedar Hill Theatre felt welcome, and I think I did my job.”

Earlier this year, Nwanju was named Texas Thespians’ Thespian of the Month. She will study Theatre at Texas State University.

Junior Maria Luiza Viana was nominated in both Broadway Dallas (Outstanding Female Performer) and Schmidt * Jones (Best Female Ensemble).

Senior Anya Guidry is nominated for Best Supporting Actress (“Addams Family”), which CHHS Theatre performed last fall.

She played the role of Alice Beineke in the production.

“It was a difficult role for me, and I enjoyed the challenge,” said Guidry, who will study Vocal Performance and continue acting at the University of North Texas.

Sophomore Vitoria Sodre was nominated for Best Actress in “Addams Family” (Schmidt & Jones); she was the character, Wednesday, in the production.

“Wednesday was my second leading role,” Sodre said. “It was my favorite role. I had to tap into a difficult acting aspect.”

Junior Keiron Gordon was nominated for Best Supporting Performer in “Addams Family” for the role of Uncle Fester.

“The role gave me confidence,” Gordon said. “It was pretty uplifting. It raised my spirits for future performances.”

Junior Josiah Mose received a nomination for Best Minor Role (Schmidt & Jones) for playing Lurch in “Addams Family.”

“I loved the fact that I could be quiet, yet show personality,” Mose said.

Sophomore Kayle Perkins was nominated for “Addams Family” (Schmidt & Jones) for Best Stage Manager, in her first time as a Stage Manager.

She had to step into the role unexpectedly, after previously serving as Assistant Stage Manager.

“It was a little stressful, but overall, a great experience,” said Perkins, who plans on taking a break from stage management in order to focus on acting.

Junior Naji Muhammad was part of the group nominated for Best Choreography in both Broadway Dallas and Schmidt & Jones.

“We had to teach (the routines) in a short timeframe, but we worked together to get it done,” Muhammad said.

Senior Donald Smith, junior Diedrick Yancey, and sophomore Jaden Devezin were part of the Broadway Dallas Best Choreography.

“Ninety percent of the production was student-made,” said Smith, who earned a partial acting scholarship to Oklahoma City University.

Senior Shalom Oyawe was nominated for Outstanding Lead Performer in “Seussical: The Musical,” which CHISD Theatre performed in January. She played the role of Gertrude McFuzz.

“Being nominated was a huge honor for me,” Oyawe said. “I was very excited when I found out. The character is so different from what I’ve done in the past.

Oyawe was nominated last year for her portrayal of Babette in “Beauty & The Beast.” She will study Fine Arts/Musical Theatre at Sam Houston State University, with plans of becoming an actress.

Sophomore Lathan Kidd began acting two years ago when he performed in “The Lion King” as a Bessie Coleman Middle School eighth-grader. He was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Performer, Broadway Dallas for his portrayal of Lee Wickersham.

“I don’t know if I would have had the confidence, if not for my directors,” Kidd said.

Senior Miguel Rodriguez was nominated for Best Set Design for “Seussical.”

“When you look at musicals, most people pay attention to the stage instead of what’s behind it,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez will study Photography at UNT and is considering being involved in theatre as well.

Junior Morgan Akins earned a nomination for Best Costume Design in both shows (Schmidt & Jones, Broadway Dallas).

“I liked that we had so much control over the costume design of each character,” Akins said. “I enjoyed  seeing my art on stage.”

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