Bartlett, Arlington student actors among winners in Orpheum HSMTA

“Pippin,” performed here by the Panther Playhouse at Bartlett High School, earned the student actors multiple award nominations. At the Orpheum’s May 23 High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Panther Playhouse won Outstanding Overall Production. Photo by Scott Steele.





The Orpheum Theatre Group has announced the recipients of the 10th Annual High School Musical Theatre Awards on May 23. Students and supporters from 35 participating schools across three states gathered in celebration of their peers performing on the Orpheum stage and in support roles behind the scenes. The evening was a culmination of a year-long program bringing students from all over the Mid-South together for an intensive week of team building, collaboration and celebration of musical theater.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, 28 alumni of the program returned to perform and present awards. Two new annual awards were instituted: The Inspiring Teacher Award and The Jalen (Spirit of the High School Musical Theatre Awards).

Nominated by current students and alumni through submitted essays and letters of recommendation, the inaugural Inspiring Teacher Award was awarded to Kell Christie of Houston High School.

In April, the Orpheum Theatre Group lost a beloved member of the Orpheum Education programs and a regular participant in the High School Musical Theatre Awards, Jalen Nickerson. To honor his memory, The Jalen is awarded to the student who had a positive attitude throughout the process, encouraged the group and had a true spirit of camaraderie. This year’s recipient was Jacob Dinkins of South Gibson County High School.

The 10th Annual Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards are sponsored in part by Dean HD, Sedgwick, Memphis Audio, and Ticketmaster. The marquee for this event was sponsored by Farris Bobango PLC.

The Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards are part of The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (the Jimmy Awards), which includes 43 programs from across the country. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Lead Actress and Lead Actor winner from each of these competitions to New York City for a week-long theater intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase on Broadway. The 11th annual Jimmy Awards will be on June 24 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway, the current home of Disney’s “The Lion King.”

The Orpheum Theatre Group congratulates the following award recipients.

Arlington High School

  • Outstanding Production Materials for “Little Shop of Horrors”
  • Outstanding Set for “Little Shop of Horrors”
  • Outstanding Featured Actor, Davis Cornelius as Skip Snip et al in “Little Shop of Horrors”
  • Outstanding Lead Actress, Caroline Morath as Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors”

Bartlett High School

  • Outstanding Direction by a Teacher, Kirie Walz for “Pippin”
  • Outstanding Overall Production for “Pippin”

Briarcrest Christian School

  • Outstanding Music Direction, Tammy Holt for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
  • Student Technical Achievement Award, William Hornbostel for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

Chester County High School

  • Outstanding Large Ensemble for The Newsies in “Newsies”

Christian Brothers High School

  • The Bravo Award, Nathan Morton as Oliver in “Oliver!”

Collierville High School

  • Student Stage Management Award, Jordan Gwaltney for “Mary Poppins”
  • The Bravo Award, Lizzie Luter as Jane Banks in “Mary Poppins”
  • The Bravo Award, Owen Walsh as Michael Banks in “Mary Poppins”

Germantown High School

  • Outstanding Lead Actor, Rodney McKinner as Eddie in “Sister Act”

Harding Academy

  • The Bravo Award, Elena Parkhurst as Young Fiona in “Shrek”

Hernando High School

  • Outstanding Chorus for “Pippin”
  • Outstanding Dance Execution for “Pippin”
  • Outstanding Technical Achievement for “Pippin”
  • The Bravo Award, Max Taylor as Theo in “Pippin”
  • Outstanding Featured Dancer, Brady Pillstrom & Mikayla House as Dream Pippin and Dream Catherine in “Pippin”

Houston High School

  • The Inspiring Teacher Award, Kell Christie

Hutchison School

  • Outstanding Lighting for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

Jackson Christian School

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor, Hal Carter as Smee in “Peter Pan”

Madison-Ridgeland Academy

  • Outstanding Artistic Element: Cinderella’s horse and carriage in “Cinderella”
  • Outstanding Costumes for “Cinderella”

Memphis University School

  • Outstanding Production Number for “Mama Look Sharp” in “1776”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress, Bella Littleton as John Dickinson in “1776”

New Albany High School

  • Outstanding Small Ensemble for The Bird Girls in “Seussical”
  • Outstanding Hair and Makeup for “Seussical”

Northpoint Christian School

  • The Bravo Award, Ryleigh Haddock as Toto in “The Wizard of Oz”

St. Agnes Academy

  • The Bravo Award, Elliot Shah as Fletcher in “Freaky Friday”
  • Outstanding Featured Actress, Liv Shallow as Dr. Ehrin in “Freaky Friday”

St. Benedict at Auburndale High School

  • Student Creative Achievement Award, Madison Mayhall for “The Addams Family”

St. Mary’s Episcopal School

  • Outstanding Front of House for “White Christmas”

South Gibson County High School

  • The Jalen Award (the Spirit of the High School Musical Theatre Awards), Jacob Dinkins

Tipton-Rosemark Academy

  • Outstanding Choreography for “Crazy for You”

White Station High School

  • Outstanding Student Orchestra for “Urinetown”

Wynne High School

  • People’s Choice Award for “Mary Poppins”