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Strong on stage: High school musical theater in Forsyth
All five schools represented at awards show
Forsyth Central- Guys and Dolls
Forsyth Central High's "Guys and Dolls." - photo by For the Forsyth County News

At a glance

Forsyth County students in the STAR Council
* Mikayla Mummaw, Forsyth Central
* Sara Pekrul, North Forsyth
* Andrew Yarbro, Lambert

Forsyth County students in the 2015 Shuler Student Ensemble
* Katelyn McCormack, Forsyth Central
* Connor Wood, Forsyth Central
* Hannah Manikowski, North Forsyth
* Kiarra Donnelly, Lambert
* Noel Isaacson, Lambert (Broadway Dreams Performance Scholarship recipient)
* Hannah Baughn, South Forsyth
* Jordan Duke, West Forsyth

Shuler Awards nominations in Forsyth County
* Brody Grant, performance by a leading actor, Frank Abignale Jr. in “Catch Me If You Can,” North Forsyth
* Nick Eibler, performance by a leading actor, Jimmy Winter in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Haley Clark, performance by a leading actress, Billie Bendix in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Cody Marshall, performance by a supporting actor, Cookie McGee in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Colette Caspari, performance by a supporting actress, Estonia Dulworth in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Peyton Smith, performance by a featured performer, Eileen Evergreen in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* West Forsyth, overall production, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
* West Forsyth, ensemble, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
* Eric Gray, direction, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Eric Gray, music direction, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Kayla Fornek and Ryan Vander Linde, choreography, “Catch Me If You Can,” North Forsyth
* Eric Gray, scenic design, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Eric Gray, costumes, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Thomas Cheeseman, lighting design, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Alex Skelton, sound, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth
* Eric Gray, technical execution, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” West Forsyth

FORSYTH COUNTY -- Students from each of Forsyth County’s five public high schools have been chosen to participate in one of two groups involved with an upcoming Tony-style award ceremony for musical theater students throughout Georgia.

ArtsBridge Foundation, the arts education outreach arm of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, recently announced the 20 members of its 2015 STAR, or Students Take a Role, Council and the 71 performers from 36 schools who will comprise the 2015 Shuler Student Ensemble.

Both groups will play leading roles in the seventh annual Shuler Hensley Awards on April 23.

Throughout the school year, 50 high school plays across the state were adjudicated. Nominees in 17 categories, including best production, actor and actress, were announced recently to be awarded during the ceremony in April.

Directors can also nominate a student for the council and two for the ensemble cast.

This is the first year all of Forsyth’s high schools will be represented at the event, according to Natalie Barrow, director of the award show and of arts education and community outreach for ArtsBridge. North Forsyth and Forsyth Central are the new participants.

“It’s great how much they’re all diving into the arts,” Barrow said.

The STAR Council gives students interested in theater behind the scenes a professional and educational experience in stage and television production.

Each member is assigned to shadow someone on the award show’s production team. They also are invited to participate in several exclusive, behind-the-scenes events throughout the performing arts center’s season.

“Working with the cast and production crew of the Shuler Awards has opened doors to many new experiences and opportunities for me,” said Andrew Yarbro, a student at Lambert High and a STAR Council member.

“I have been able to work and learn from professional artists and technicians, which has given me knowledge that I can take back and apply to my school’s musical productions.”

The Shuler Student Ensemble will perform the opening and finale production numbers during the show. It will be taught by a team that includes a professional director, choreographer, music director and the event’s namesake, Shuler Hensley.

Hensley won the 2002 Tony Away for best actor in a musical for his performance as Jud in “Oklahoma!” on Broadway.

The Georgia native works with the students throughout the award show week, giving master classes and performing.

“For six years, I have observed firsthand how one moment on stage can change a child’s life,” he said. “I have remained in contact with many students who have participated in the program over the years.

“All of them emphasize how important the experience was to their development as future artists and arts supporters.”

The Shuler Awards will be held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, with a red carpet event beginning at 6:30 p.m. and curtain at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available to the public for $22 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 653-8000.