The first Shuler Hensley award of the night went to West Forsyth High School for sound design. But after that, there was a lull for the school’s musical production of “Oliver” during the recent Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards.
“I was really getting worried to be honest with you, and then they called out best director and it was me. And I was like … we might actually win this,” said Eric Grey, West’s drama teacher. “Boy the kids just went ballistic ... it’s always great to win the big one.”
In total, the school’s production earned four awards — best direction, technical execution, sound design and the evening’s top honor, overall production.
“I just really am proud,” Grey said. “This is a really big deal for a high school theater.”
West was nominated in a dozen categories and was the only high school in Forsyth to win any awards.
Lambert’s production of “Little Women” received two nominations and South Forsyth received an honorable mention for its production of “Anything Goes.”
In addition to the accolades, West’s cast also performed “Oom Pah Pah” from the musical in front of the crowd last week at the Cobb Energy Centre during the awards ceremony.
This was the second time in three years the school has earned the top prize, having won in 2011 for its production of “Oklahoma.”
Dubbed the Tony Awards for high school students, Grey said the honor was a great reward for his students, who in his estimation “worked really hard.”
“We’ve had a great year,” he said. “This is just Georgia representing the national high school musical theater awards, so to win the state like this puts you on the map.”