Submitted by Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications
McKinney ISD will be in the spotlight when the curtain rises on the Dallas Summer Musicals (DSM) 1st Annual High School Musical Theatre Awards (HSMTA) this Saturday, May 5, at the Music Hall at Fair Park. In the tradition of Broadway’s Tony Awards, the show will feature musical numbers and award presentations in 14 performance and production categories. McKinney Boyd High School and McKinney High School have received a combined 11 award nominations, and six McKinney ISD high school students will appear onstage in featured and ensemble performances.
Thirty area high schools entered the DSM HSMTA competition this year, presenting a wide range of stage productions — everything from “Beauty and the Beast” to “Zombie Prom” — all hoping to turn the judges’ heads. McKinney Boyd’s “Phantom of the Opera” garnered 10 nominations including nods to Michael Williams in the Best Leading Actor category and Riley McRae for Best Leading Actress. Rachel Johnson and Stephanie Quintana received a nomination in the Best Choreography/Musical Staging category for their part in McKinney High School’s production of “Finian’s Rainbow.”
The complete list of McKinney ISD nominations:
McKinney Boyd High School
Best Featured Performer – Max Hodde
Best Scenic Design
Best Lighting Design
Best Costume Design
Best Crew & Technical Execution
Best Supporting Actress – Kayla Perkins
Best Leading Actor – Michael Williams
Best Leading Actress – Riley McRae
McKinney High School
Best Choreography/Musical Staging – Rachel Johnson & Stephanie Quintana
McKinney Boyd High School Theatre Director Vicki Kirkley said taking on a production as large as “Phantom of the Opera,” and doing it justice, felt like a huge accomplishment. “Prior to the announcement [of the nominations], I believed that we created a quality production that was as close to professional level as I could achieve at a high school,” she said.
“When the nominations were announced, I felt that the McKinney Boyd Broadway Broncos were being recognized on a larger scale, outside of our community, and that all of our hard work was paying off. We have sacrificed a lot to create something special here in Boyd’s Theatre Program, and this shows that it is working,” Kirkley said.
Denise Tooch, Theatre Director at McKinney High School said that she is extremely proud of Best Choreography/Musical Staging nominees Johnson and Quintana. “They took on the monumental task of creating an essential part of a musical and never stopped believing that they could accomplish it successfully,” she said.
“Both Rachel and Stephanie are highly skilled dancers, but creating choreography for their peers, with such a range of skill levels, required an extraordinary amount of trial and error, patience and repetition,” said Tooch. “They had to understand the flavor of the show and what steps and sequences would fit in with the time period, character personalities and song styles in order to choreograph successfully. They absorbed my directing and character concepts in order to translate technical dance steps into the genre and style that the production called for.”
Tooch credited Johnson and Quintana for providing inspiration throughout the production process. “I truly believe the show was the success it was due in large part to the leadership of Rachel and Stephanie. I am so thankful that DSM HSMTA recognized their efforts and rewarded them with this nomination.”
Outstanding student performers will showcase their talents during the award show. Williams and McRae will sing a selection from “Phantom of the Opera” in a featured medley with other nominees; Max Hodde and Emma Prendergast of McKinney Boyd will appear with McKinney High’s Phillip Slay and Rachel Johnson in the big finale featuring students from each nominated school.
With 11 nominations and Saturday just around the corner, anticipation is high for the theatre departments of McKinney Boyd and McKinney High School. One never knows how award shows will turn out. But, one thing is certain — when the stage lights go on at the Music Hall at Fair Park this weekend, McKinney ISD will shine.