Waxahachie High School students, annual winners in Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards (DSM-HSMTA), scored big again this year with “Big Fish.” Their musical production of “Big Fish” received eight nominations, including Best Musical.
The production was also nominated for Best Musical Direction, Best Direction, Best Orchestra, and Best Costume Design. Best Set Design, Best Crew & Technical Execution, and Best Actor award (for Ben Barker as Edward Bloom) were additional nominations for “Big Fish.”
Waxahachie HS Fine Arts Director
WHS Head Theatre Director Andrew Reynolds said, “We were all super excited to recognized as a nominee for Best Musical, Best Actor, and several other awards for our production of BIG FISH! The DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards is always a big deal for our kids, and their hard work paid off. They told a beautiful story this past January, and even though we were excited to hear of the nominations, it is still bitter sweet.”
Reynolds said, “Since the big awards gala in May was canceled, our students won’t be able to perform live for a sold out Fair Park Music Hall. Nor will Ben Barker (our Best Actor nominee) be able to perform with his fellow nominees. Also, the winner of Best Actor and Actress won’t be able to attend the Jimmy Awards in NYC. However, we are beyond humbled to be nominated for these awards and will be excited to see if we actually win any of them.”
“We already know that one of our students, Monti Woodley, has received the Theatre Ambassador Scholarship Award for $2,500, so we are super excited for her! We at Waxahachie HS are proud to continue the strong, award winning tradition of great Music Theatre, and we’re happy to be a part of the DSM organization,” Reynolds added.
DSM HSMTA Virtual Presentation May 14
The awards ceremony, which traditionally takes place live at the Music Hall at Fair Park, will be presented virtually on May 14. Awards will be announced in a video presentation that features performances, virtual acceptance speeches, and cameo appearances by top Broadway talent.
The DSM HSMTA celebrates the power of the arts to improve all areas of education. The annual awards recognize artistic and educational achievements of North Texas students and their high school programs. A diverse group of qualified judges from the theater community evaluated 72 performances from 68 participating high schools for the program.
Awards will be presented in 15 categories. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduating seniors, who are first nominated by their teachers and then selected by the DSM scholarship panel. Through funds raised by private donations, DSM HSMTA will award $55,000 in cash scholarships. To date, DSM HSMTA College Scholarship program has awarded $300,000 in cash scholarships to deserving students.
Best Southwest High Schools
Other nominated high schools from our Best Southwest communities include Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy for Best Choreography. Their musical entry was “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.” Mansfield High School was nominated for three awards, including Best Orchestra and Best Costume Design. Gabriel Hill from Mansfield HS was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “The Little Mermaid.” Grand Prairie High School student Zion Maxwell was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in “Shrek.”
Duncanville High School student Alexis Walker was nominated for the Best Featured Performer for her role in “Cinderella: Enchanted Edition.” This was Duncanville HS’s first year to enter the DSM HSMTA competition.
“It is so important, more now than ever, to show our unity a community by celebrating the hard work, dedication, and incredible talent of these students and teachers in theater programs across North Texas,” said Ken Novice, president of Dallas Summer Musicals.
Nominees, participating high schools, and their shows are listed at DSMHSMTA.org. Winners will be announced at the virtual DSM HSMTA awards ceremony on May 14. Links to view the presentation will be posted at DSMHSMTA.org and on DSM’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.