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Enumclaw High’s ‘Titanic’ production receives nod for 5th Avenue awards

Enumclaw High School’s “Titanic” garnered seven nominations in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s seventh annual High School Musical Theatre Awards.

A high school version of the Tony Awards, this program allows drama students from across Washington to meet, celebrate and honor musical theater productions presented during the 2008-09 school year. These awards are designed to shine the spotlight on high school musical theater programs and offer drama students the same recognition that accomplished high school athletes have received for decades.

“We’re very excited,” said EHS drama teacher Darrell Miller, who will take a group of students to the Seattle theater for the ceremony. He said he and Enumclaw choir teacher Paul Scott find, “The awards are truly a celebration of theater and not about winning a trophy. It is like getting to the bonus land in Mario World. Wonderful, but not the sole objective. Our purpose is to teach, to entertain, to put on a good show.”

Since its inception the program has grown in size and scope from 31 productions and 3,100 students in 2003 to 82 productions and 8,200 students participating this year. This year, 159 nominations were given to 54 schools in various categories and 87 students will receive honorable mentions.

During the school year, The 5th Avenue sent a team of theater professionals to evaluate each school’s production. Nominations are made in 21 categories, from overall musical production to lobby display.

Enumclaw High, under the leadership of Miller, was nominated in the following areas, all from its spring musical “Titanic:” Outstanding Hair and Make Up Design; Outstanding Lobby Display; Outstanding Program Design; Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Group - Ida and Isidor Straus (Kameron Jacobs and Meghan Iunker); Outstanding Direction – honorable mention; Outstanding Scenic Design – honorable mention; and Outstanding Costume Design – honorable mention.

In EHS’s first year, the school received two honorable mentions for “Bye Bye Birdie.” In its second year, EHS received two nominations and an honorable mention for “Chicago.” Last year, the school received three nominations and one honorable mention for “Superman.”

The 5th Avenue Awards will take place at 7 p.m. June 8 at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Nominated students and schools will perform numbers from their shows and get a taste of what it’s like to perform in front of a packed house. Dozens of high-profile elected officials and arts and media personalities will present awards and show their support for school arts programs. An estimated 2,200 high school students are expected to attend, along with their families and friends. Tickets are available by contacting the drama departments of the nominated schools. Tickets for the awards ceremony are $27.50 for adults, $16.50 for students and are available through participating schools.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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