PITTSBURG — Pittsburg High School Theatre students returned from Wichita late Friday with a bundle of awards for their work over the past year.
PHS Theatre was nominated for 17 Jester Awards through Music Theatre Wichita, returning to Pittsburg with 11, including Outstanding Leading Actor, Outstanding Leading Actress, Outstanding Director and many more.
“It’s really nice for us to be recognized for all aspects of our program,” Theatre Teacher Greg Shaw said. “We won tech awards for our crew and set design and lights and sound, as well as good representation with our actors, choreography and music.”
This marks the third year PHS has been nominated and brought home awards.
To select nominees, trained volunteers attend and evaluate shows all over the state. This year, 94 judges viewed 129 performances of 44 productions, involving more than 2,500 students and 38 schools across the state of Kansas. The program began in Wichita, but now extends as far as Liberal, Hays, Salina, and Pittsburg, in addition to the greater Wichita area.
Along with many individual, ensemble and crew awards, the PHS production of “Seussical” took home the award for Outstanding Overall Production. The entire cast performed a montage of the musical for a crowd of over 1,500 students, teachers, parents and more at the award show.
Senior Andrew Ortolani also performed a solo as Gomez Addams from his role in “The Addams Family, the Musical,” which earned him the award for Outstanding Leading Actor.
“It’s a huge deal for us. It’s like getting to perform at the state championship,” Shaw said. “And it is such a receptive audience because they have spent the year working on their own productions, so it’s nice to perform for our peers and be acknowledged.”
Students walked the red carpet before performing and accepting awards. A full list of awards won by PHS is below:
• Outstanding Direction of Show: Greg Shaw for Seussical
• Outstanding Leading Actress: McKenna Shaw for Seussical as Gertrude McFuzz
• Outstanding Leading Actor: Andrew Ortolani for Addams Family as Gomez Addams
• Outstanding Supporting Actress: McKenna Shaw for Addams Family as Wednesday Addams
• Outstanding Ensemble/Chorus: Seussical
• Outstanding Choreography/Staging: Maggie Stephens and Molly Stephens for Seussical
• Outstanding Stage Crew: Addams Family
• Outstanding Scenic Design: Greg Shaw and Chuck Boyles for Addams Family
• Outstanding Costumes: Todd and Philip Hoover-Holthus for Seussical
• Outstanding Lighting: Kirsten Burke and Olivia Ellison for Seussical
• Outstanding Sound: Jason Huffman, Miranda Madden and Elisabeth Brown for Seussical
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.