Of the 39 schools that entered the High School Theater Awards, two received no nominations today: Sacred Heart School in Yonkers, which did “Damn Yankees,” and Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, which performed “Footloose.”
The loss of some of the categories â€” from 27 last year to 23 this year â€” might be at the root of the problem. There will be no statues given out for duos or production numbers, which made it more likely that someone would be shut out.
I’ve been to both schools â€” I’ve been to 60 musical rehearsals this spring and go to my last one, Mahopac, tomorrow â€” and I’ve talked with kids and directors and choreographers there. They all work hard. It’s a shame that Kennedy and Sacred Heart are left out of the party. Sadly, it’s the nature of this kind of affair. It’s why some directors decided long ago not to put their kids through it. Nyack — a powerhouse program that this year presented “The Phantom of the Opera” — doesn’t enter it. (This year, they were precluded from entering because they were chosen to be one of just six schools to put on the Lloyd Webber musical.)
Pelham used to enter it, but doesn’t anymore. John Orefice, a man I greatly admire, decided that the contest was taking away from the spirit of doing theater. (He gave the greatest acceptance speech at the awards show a few years back, before pulling Pelham from the competition in subsequent years.)
What if some angel stepped forward and turned it into a pure celebration of musicals, where everyone was nominated and everyone — EVERY ONE — walked away with a trophy?
Some weekends this year, there were a dozen shows on the same weekend. If there were a way of seeing bits from other shows, would you sign up for that?