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Theater department receives state recognition at Jester Awards

Photo by: Erin Kata Photography (@erinkataphotography)
Full cast of the Little Mermaid on the Jesters stage.

Story by Darius Tinsley, Reporter

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PHS was one of the 41 musical theatre productions from 41 Kansas High School theatre programs to have participated at the Jester awards on May 6.

PHS left with five awards and two scholarships. Not only were the actors celebrated but also the stage crew, production, design, vocal direction, orchestra direction and direction of show, totaling 17 nominations for PHS.

There are three scholarships given out by the Jesters. One scholarship goes to a female performer, one to a male performer and another is given out for overall technical achievement.

Sophomore McKenna Shaw was the recipient of the female scholarship for overall performance.

This year,  the committee split the technical achievement scholarship between two students. Junior Hazel Harper was the recipient of one of those scholarships.  Both scholarships are worth $2500, with Harper’s being $1250.

Photo by: Andra Stefanoni, contributed
The performing arts instructors pose for a picture at Jesters. From left to right: choir director Susan Laushman, theater director Greg Shaw, technical director Charles Boyles and band director Cooper Neil.

Shaw feels honored to not only have received Outstanding Leading Actress but just the nomination, seeing as 40 to 50 girls were in the running for the award.

“I was absolutely elated. They usually don’t give the scholarship to anyone who isn’t a senior — at least not that we know of, so it was completely unexpected,” Shaw said. “Being nominated this early means a lot to me and really goes to show that my hard work is paying off.”

Shaw has now received three Jester Awards, between her roles as Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Gertrude in Seussical and Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family.

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Theater department receives state recognition at Jester Awards