Clear Springs High School dominated the Tommy Tune Awards this year, winning nine awards for its production of Urinetown: Best Musical, Best Leading Actress (Emily Lewis), Best Supporting Actor( Stephen Louis), Best Direction, Best Musical Direction, Best Ensemble/Chorus, Best Crew & Technical Execution, Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design.
Theatre Under the Stars, which sponsors the Tommy Tune Awards, announced the 2014 winners this week at the Hobby Center to a crowd of more than 2,500 people. Nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune made a special appearance to present the night's top honor.
Other standouts of high school musical theater included: G. W. Carver Magnet High School which won four awards with its production of In The Heights - Best Leading Actor (Nyles Washington), Best Supporting Actress (Amber Scott), Best Choreography, and Best Orchestra.
The Best Featured Performer award went to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts' production of Avenue Q, School Edition (Kyle Legacion and Emily Scott as the Boy/Girl Bears) and the Best Costume Design went to Klein Oak High School for its production of Guys and Dolls
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TUTS President John Breckenridge, said "Each year the level of talent we see in the local high schools just gets better and better. The students from across our city are producing some truly amazing pieces of theatre, and TUTS could not be more proud to host these awards." After reviewing and evaluating the 44 participating Houston-area high school productions during the 2013-14 school year, a team of 33 Houston-based theatre professionals selected the winners.
Co-hosts for the award ceremony included Jim Bernhard, who has written several original productions that have debuted at TUTS and authored the theatrical history Stars in Your Eyes, and Sarah Pepper, the morning host of The Hot Show on HOT 95.7 FM. This year's special guest presenter was actress Beth Broderick, most widely known for her work in "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch".
TUTS presented ten scholarships to outstanding participating students of the Tommy Tune Awards: Tanith Albright, Chyanne Cristensen, Katherine Fester, Madeline Garvis, Mary Kate Goss, Samantha McHenry, Tori Robertson, Amber Scott and Hayley Talkington. The prestigious Ruth Denny Award, with an increased stipend, went to Sean Hardin.
As Best Leading Actor and Actress, Lewis and Washington will go on to compete, all expenses paid by TUTS, at the national level for the Jimmy Award at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City, presented on Broadway on June 30. Sponsors for the 2014 Tommy Tune Awards include The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Marsha and David Taylor. Additional support for the Tommy Tune Awards scholarship fund was provided by Amy and Rob Pierce.