National Youth Arts Awards Times Five!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

IMG_0762Last weekend, I had the honor of attending the National Youth Arts Awards in New York City. Remarkably, this was our fifth year in a row of both receiving nominations and having winners for these theatrical awards! It was equally as special to have a few of our students and family members attend as well! Grace Malone (G’16, ’20) and Hayden Jones (G’16) went to receive their acting awards and also accepted awards on behalf of Lorenzo Mahoney (G’16) and Teagan Morrison (G’17). Zoë Koss, who also was unable to attend, won an acting award for our High School’s first musical, Avenue Q, which received a nomination for Best Ensemble! But I was most proud of our award for Outstanding Production in the Junior High Division for last fall’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Grace and Hayden accompanied me onstage to accept that honor, and I know we all felt quite proud.

IMG_0754The awards ceremony itself is quite an experience! We are up against productions in the Eastern Region of the country with two awards ceremonies in New York City, a matinee and evening show. These are two among 15 such ceremonies held around the country representing a huge number of productions! High school students perform during the ceremony and the talent level is astounding. That makes it even more gratifying that a school our size is recognized for the work we’re doing. After my acceptance speech, the director that followed commented on the fact that he teaches The Importance of Being Earnest to his High School AP students, and how impressed he was that we performed it, uncut, in Middle School.

I am so proud of the work we’re doing at both the Middle and High School level and applaud ALL the students listed below for their nominations and achievements! And now? We start the process all over – and it really is about the process and all the lessons learned during that is more important than any awards. But they’re certainly nice when they happen!  

Awards:

  • FullSizeRenderOutstanding Production (Junior Division): The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Lead Actress in a Musical (High School): Zoë Koss as Kate Monster in Avenue Q
  • Lead Actor (Junior Division): Hayden Jones as John “Jack” Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Lead Actor (Junior Division): Lorenzo Mahoney as Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Lead Actress (Junior Division): Grace Malone as Gwendolyn Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Lead Actress (Junior Division): Teagan Morrison as Gwendolyn Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest

Nominations:

  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Thomas Simpson as Princeton in Avenue Q
  • Lead Actor (Junior Division): Lorenzo Mahoney as Pithetaerus in The Birds
  • Lead Actress (Junior Division): Emma King as Cecily Cardew in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Supporting Actor in a Musical: Charley Drew-Wolak as Rod in Avenue Q
  • Supporting Actor in a Musical: Jack Tierney as Nicky in Avenue Q
  • Supporting Actor (Junior Division): Jonathan Erwin as Euelpides in The Birds
  • Supporting Actor (Junior Division): Hayden Jones as Euelpides in The Birds
  • Supporting Actress (Junior Division): Amelia Dimas as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Supporting Actress (Junior Division): Colleen Torrans as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Evvie Cooley as Girl Bear in Avenue Q
  • Ensemble: Avenue Q
  • Costume Design: Beth Dunn and Tricia Ersin for The Birds
  • Direction: Reed Gabhart for The Importance of Being Earnest

Visit the National Youth Arts website to see the full list of winners for this ceremony and learn more about the NYA Awards.