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IllinoisHSMusicalTheatreAwards  Celebrating excellence in high school musical theatre throughout Illinois! #BICihsmta


"It was because of this show, and theatre in general, that I have become the person I am today, and it was truly inspiring to see the spark in the cast members’ eyes when they took their bows for the first time; I never forgot my first bow…and I know that they’ll never forget theirs." – Michalah Troutt, Sebastian, “The Little Mermaid” at West Frankfort High School #BICihsmta

“After every show, we would talk to all of the children and they never failed to put a smile on my face, in their Cinderella ball gown and ask to dance. The major thing that I have taken away from this experience is that happiness can come from anything. Whether it is connecting with a character, meeting a Cinderella after a show, or making new friends, Musical Theater just makes everyone happy. For me, I will always remember the difference of being in the pit than from being on stage. It made me more confident in myself, and in my musicianship. – Jonah Klima, Prince Topher, “Cinderella” at Joliet West High School #BICihstma

“Before In The Heights I was scared to perform and I never knew I could belt my heart out and put so much emotion into a song. Vanessa taught me so much. She taught me confidence, heart break, strength, and how to really truly embrace myself, “In The Heights” for me was such an eye opening experience and helped my passion for musical theatre grow even stronger.” – Sareena Volkman, Vanessa, “In The Heights” at @taftdrama . #BICihsmta

"I was incredibly lucky to perform alongside one of my best friends this year, Hannah
Ahrens who played Milly. It was an honor performing with her every night- I grew as a performer because of it. My fellow brides and brothers, were all extremely talented. Every person brought something new and interesting to their performances, and it was wonderful to watch every night. My favorite part of the show however was watching
the students that I had previously assistant directed at my former middle school. Watching them perform reminded me of how much I love theater and sharing that love with others." – Jack Hradecky, Adam Pontipee, “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” at Hononegah Community High School #BICihsmta

"Family is one of the most important relationships in the world, which leaves us theater kids to decide what that means to us. Not only do we have families to go home to, but we also have families that we see everyday, whether that be during class or rehearsal. The Addams Family has taught me that no matter what, family remains and will always remain the constant force keeping you going throughout your entire life."- Karisma Kohli, Morticia Addams, “The Addams Family” at @mefinearts #BICihsmta

“The role of Curtis posed many fun challenges for me as a young actor. Playing a character that was so important to the storyline, but didn’t involve a lot of stage time, I had to find ways of keeping my energy up between scenes so that I could create the tension the next time I walked on stage. I did this by staying with my henchman backstage and making sure to have a strong moment before I entered the stage, so I could stay in the moment.” – Spencer Avery, Bolingbrook High School, Curtis, “Sister Act” at Bolingbrook High School #BICihsmta

“For my performance to be a type of outlet was reassuring that I could perform for the
rest of my life. Never tire of the buzz before the first show, the gasp of the audience when the
spotlight first comes up on your character, and you are able to take on the role of an animated
person and bring them to life in the minds of all those who came to be inspired.” – Sarah Moore, Ariel, “The Little Mermaid” at @ccmusicals #BICihsmta

“This musical was actual way more meaningful to me than any other musical I have ever been in. “Bye Bye Birdie” will forever have a place in my heart as the show that opened my eyes to a new form of communication, and allowed me to become who I was even in the face of adversity.” – Bradley Morris, Harry MacAfee, “Bye Bye Birdie” @btt61010 #BICihsmta

“My proudest accomplishment from musical this year was not belting out “Fools Fall In Love” or remembering all the tap steps in “Blue Suede Shoes”; my proudest accomplishment is that I could confidently tell you the names of every single cast, crew, and pit member that was involved in this show. I truly believe every person I meet can teach me something and I love talking to the other cast and crew members about their connection with the show and how they make it run seamlessly every night. The greatest feeling, however, is when all of us worked together to create a beautiful show about the power of love and we reaped the reward of our effort every night through the smiles on the audience members’ faces as they stood and clapped and laughed with us.” – Madeline Barbeau, Natalie, “All Shook Up” at @benetacademy #BICihsmta

“I wasn’t sure about myself coming into the show, I was nervous and particularly scared of meeting the cast. After all I was a brand new student. But I was met with kindness. I found friendship where I had expected to be alienated. And I found joy where I expected disdain. Bert and I became closer and closer throughout the production. I became more open, and kind. I took his teachings to heart, and showed it through my performance. I loved this role, not only for the chance to play such a warm character, but for the impact that it had on my own.” – Kenyon Mandrala, Bert, “Mary Poppins” at Delavan High School #BICihsmta

“Everyone can learn something from Into the Woods; understanding the morals of the show helped us to develop our characters and perform the show to the best of our ability. The woods represent our lives; we all want to get something out of life, but what’s important is how we go about getting it. We will make mistakes, and we will face “giant” problems and misfortunes, but there’s always “a glimmer” of hope, no matter what happens. Understanding this, our cast gained a deeper comprehension of our characters and, to some extent, ourselves.- Claire Corell, The Baker’s Wife, “Into The Woods” at Plainfield East High School #BICihsmta

“Every time I was on the stage as Eddie, I did the best I could to truly be him, to make the audience laugh at him, while simultaneously rooting for him too. His awkwardness and unconfident nature reminds me of how I used to be back in my Sophomore and Junior year. Needless to say, it was not difficult to put myself in Eddie’s shoes.” – Christopher Tinoco, Eddie Souther, “Sister Act” at Bolingbrook High School #BICihsmta

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