Presented as the Shuler Hensley Awards—also known as the “Shuler Awards” or “The Shulers” and named for the Atlanta-born star of the stage and screen—winners and nominees are recognized as the best of the state’s high school musical theater students and schools.
Related story: Shuler Awards to be presented May 14
Related story: Musical theater students honored at 2019 Shuler Awards
Fashioned after Broadway’s Tony Awards, this year’s Shuler Award winners span 14 public and private schools from 11 counties across the Peach State from a pool of nominees across 30 public and private schools from 15 counties. This year’s winners include:
Overall Production – North Hall High School (Hall County), "The Wedding Singer"
Direction – Stephen Hansen, Greenbrier H.S. (Columbia County), "Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Music Direction – Presley Dale and Jesse Hanks, Buford High School (Gwinnett County), "Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Orchestra – Vicorie Brown, Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts (Clayton Co.), "Little Shop of Horrors" (Brown was also a 2019 nominee for the school's performance of "Hunchback of Notre Dame")
Best Performance by a Leading Actress – Kathryn Smith as Bonnie Parker, Denmark High School (Forsyth County), "Bonnie and Clyde"
Best Performance by a Leading Actor – Charlie Webb as Clyde Barrow, Denmark High School (Forsyth County), "Bonnie and Clyde"
Best Performance by a Supporting Actress – Natalie Wolff as Ms. Honey, Walton High School (Cobb County), "Matilda"
Best Performance by a Supporting Actor – Finn McGinnis as Nathan Detroit, Prince Avenue Christian School (Oconee County), "Guys and Dolls"
Best Performance by a Featured Performer – Isaiah Valbrun as Pinnochio, Hiram High School (Paulding County), "Shrek"
Choreography – Jeremy Mezoff, Lakeside High School (DeKalb County), "Mary Poppins"
Ensemble – Walton High School (Cobb County), "Matilda"
Technical Execution – Austin Barge (Technical Director) and Jessica Smith (Stage Manager), Flowery Branch High School (Hall County), "Mamma Mia!"
Dighting Design – Lucy Barry and Phil Vossieg, Rabun Gap Nacoochee School (Rabun County), "The Robber Bridegroom"
Sound – Christian Deutemeyer, North Hall High School (Hall County), "The Wedding Singer" (Deutemeyer won a 2019 Shuler for sound for performances of "Peter Pan")
Scenic Design – Sadie Pijanowski, Denmark High School (Forsyth County), "Bonnie and Clyde"
Costumes – India Galyean, Calhoun High School (Gordon County), "Pippin"
Showstopper – Pope High School in Marietta (Cobb County) in "Footloose" for "Let's Hear It for the Boys"
Shuler Spotlight Award – Harrison High School in Kennesaw (Cobb County) "Once Upon A Mattress" for "Shy"
“We wish current events made it possible for all 75 schools to complete their performances for competition, and we appreciate everyone’s support in honoring the hard work of nearly 10,000 students in this year’s Shuler Awards,” said Jennifer Dobbs, executive director of ArtsBridge Foundation.
There were 67 Shuler Award candidate productions evaluated by adjudicators from a pool of 60 volunteers who are Georgia-based arts professionals. The accounting firm Bennett Thrasher tabulated the results from adjudication forms completed and submitted through March 15.
“We acknowledge with regret that an array of circumstances – mostly timing of cancelled performances from March 12 through March 15– caused a handful of schools to sadly lose their eligibility to compete,” Dobbs added. “Though they were regrettably out of this year’s competition, in April we announced these eight schools will receive an automatic entry into the 2021 Shuler Awards competition given their students’ demonstrated perseverance and good sportspersonship in times of incredible change.”
The invitation for an automatic entry guarantees the eight schools will have a place among the 2020-2021 Shuler Awards competitors, allowing them to forgo an application process that usually requires a formal online entry on a designated date each August.
The complete list of winners and nominees: ArtsBridgeGA.org/2020-shuler-award-nominations