PITTSBURG — Music Theatre Wichita announced this week that Pittsburg High School Theatre has been nominated for 15 Jester Awards for its production of "Aida."

Launched in 2002, the Jester Awards program honors excellence in high school theatre programs.

“With a skilled and dedicated team of judges attending dozens of performances, the Jester Awards have won high praise for successfully increasing awareness and pride in the achievements of local young people,” according to Music Theatre Wichita’s website.

Nominations for PHS Theatre include: “Aida” in the overall production category; Greg Shaw in the Direction of Show category; Addy Campbell and McKenna Shaw, both in the leading actress category; Gabe Anderson in the supporting actor category; PHS Theatre’s production of “Aida” in the stage crew category and ensemble/chorus category; "The God's Love Nubia" in the production number category; Cooper Neil in the orchestra direction category; Susan Laushman in the vocal direction category; Maggie and Mollie Stephens in the artistic guest category; Hazel Harper in the technical achievement category; Chuck Boyles and Greg Shaw in the scenic design category; Elisabeth Brown in the sound design category; and Kyle Newby and Kole Perez in the design guest category.

Music Theatre Wichita is “one of the premier theatre groups in the Midwest,” said PHS Theatre Director Shaw, who has been involved in PHS Theatre for several years. “It’s great for the kids, great for our program, and great to be recognized at a high level.”

This is the fifth year PHS has been nominated, Shaw said, and the school has consistently taken home awards at the annual ceremony, although it is “absolutely” an honor just to be nominated. “I don’t worry about the wins as much as the nominations,” Shaw said.

PHS productions nominated for Jester Awards in the past have included “Shrek,” “Seussical,” “Band Geeks,” “Addams Family,” and “Little Mermaid.”

This year’s nominations, which include school faculty members as well as students, are “certainly a testament to the people who work on the program but also the kids,” said Shaw, adding that the only reason the school’s productions get noticed is because the students are able to pull them off.

On May 5, PHS Theatre will perform excerpts from “Aida” at the 18th Annual Jester Awards Ceremony at the Century II in Wichita. PHS Theatre’s production is one of ten nominated for outstanding overall production. The other nominees will also perform production excerpts at the May 5 awards ceremony. Entertainment will additionally be provided by The Trust Company of Kansas Music Theatre Wichita Teen Choir.

Honorees will be announced during the May 5 awards ceremony in 24 categories. Scholarship awards will also be presented to three students including the lead male and female honorees as well as a technical theatre recipient. PHS junior McKenna Shaw, nominated this year for the leading actress award, is also a past recipient of the leading actress award and scholarship.

Tickets for the Wichita awards ceremony can be purchased in advance for $10 each online, or for $15 at the door on the day of the show.