The most recent musical at LFHS, Urinetown, was one of the best and most successful in school history. It was not only hilarious, but had political undertones and messages that provoked thought. Directed by Mr. Wanninger and Mrs. MacBlane, the cast for Urinetown included a long list of students at the high school who all displayed amazing skill in both acting and singing.
In fact, the musical was so well done that it received three separate nominations from the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards program. Gracie Stockton, a senior, provided background on the awards, “This is a program through Broadway in Chicago. It has been around for about 6 years. It is a well rounded adjudication of any shows that are wanting to participate in the state. We are up for three different awards, which is fantastic.”
The first nomination was for the incredible stage direction conducted by Mr. Wanninger and Mrs. MacBlane. Their tireless effort to make everything run smoothly was all worth it, as this is the first year that LFHS has received this nomination. Much of the huge success that the musical had can be attributed to them and their direction.
The second nomination was for the Grosh Scenic Design Award. Ryan Eleveld, the Set Designer for Urinetown, clarified, “To qualify for this award, our theatre department completed a form to enter this year’s musical into the competition, and after, a judge came and viewed the performance. It was obvious that they enjoyed the set. The set was judged based on how well it supported the production and vision of the performance” For those that may have missed the show, the set consisted of a large, tall, rotatable cube that had all of the elements of each scene on the sides. To transition to another set, the piece just had to be rotated.
The third nomination that LFHS received was that of Best Actress. Gracie Stockton received the nomination for her stunning portrayal of Hope Cladwell, one of the lead roles in the show. “I am up for best actress one of 12 nominees in the state from 74 different shows. On June 15th we go down to the Broadway Playhouse, and we each audition with two different songs. If I win that, the best actor and actress go onto the Jimmy Awards in New York City,” she shared.
There is a ceremony on June 5th that contains a few performances and then the announcement of the award recipients. Ryan Eleveld informed me of what is next in terms of these nominations, “Our school has received four seats to watch the ceremony… our two directors will certainly be in attendance, but I’ve not decided yet whether I will attend, as there are other people who also would like to attend.” Getting to go to this ceremony is prestigious in itself, and the nominations mark a new point in history for LFHS and the theatre program, especially with the Theatre Department elective classes being offered once again next fall. Congratulations to all who received nominations and good luck moving forward with the recognition process.