Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards -- Long Center for the Performing Arts

Meet the Nominees for the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards!

Tonight! Tonight! Tonight! Before you come out to see the very first GREATER AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATRE AWARDS tonight, take some time to read and learn about some of the nominees you just might see tonight! And if you don’t have your ticketshurry because they’re going fast!!!

Lily_HowardNAME: Lily Howard
AGE: 17
SCHOOL: James Bowie High School
INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 7 years
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: This is a toughy…but I have to go with the Fall of Saigon. The technical crew did an amazing job with building the gates, helicopter, and all the lighting and sound which made everything feel so real. It was heartbreaking to watch and hear the screams of the people as the helicopter flew away, and know that those events really happened.
3 THINGS I LIKE: My record player, iced coffee, and the Today Show
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Physics, Running, and Negativity.
FAVORITE MOVIE: About Time
FAVORITE BAND: I know it’s not a band….but Elvis Presley
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? My sister, Sarah! She is the whole reason I got into theatre in the first place, and is one of the strongest people I know.
IN TEN YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Hopefully working in the field of Special Education, and starting a family of my own.

Janine_DworinNAME: Janine Dworin
AGE: 16
SCHOOL: McCallum
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: About seven years, give or take.
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: Love the part where Sage Stoakley’s character (Blanche) discovers Twinkie’s.
3 THINGS I LIKE: In no particular order: Puppies, a cup of really good Chai Tea, and Dance Academy (TV show on Netflix. Check. It. Out.).
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Sore throats, rude people, and Mopac during any time of the day.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Five-way tie between Amelie, The Fifth Element, Silence of the Lambs, Joyeux Noël, and Mr. Bean’s Holiday Adventure.
FAVORITE BAND: Oh man. It might be cliché, but I would KILL to see Adele live. Also Alabama Shakes, Cold War Kids, and Vampire Weekend. All that good stuff.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? It really depends on what I’m doing, but as far as musical theatre and acting are concerned: Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thomas, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Elina Garanca, Sutton Foster, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Louis C.K., Dylan Moran, Maggie Smith, Lee Pace, Carrie Brownstein… the list could go on for days. I look to the shows, songs, and people I like in order to be inspired. I try to integrate parts of their work into mine, not to plagiarize, but to look at a scene/song in the way they might approach it. These people inspire me to put more of what I like and what I find funny or moving into my work. In my experience, the audience can tell if you’re having fun on stage, and usually the more you like what you’re doing, they more they’ll like it too.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Hopefully, I’ll be doing what I love. If I’m going to stick to the opera/singing/theatre track, I hope that in ten years something good has come of it. No matter if I’m teaching or performing, or just doing it on the weekends, this isn’t something that I’ll be dropping any time soon.

Nate_StephensonNAME: Nate Stephenson
AGE: 16
SCHOOL: St. Andrews Upper School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: Five years
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: Gaston number
3 THINGS I LIKE: Adrenaline, Mountaineering and Rock Climbing, and Choir.
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: People who are not accepting of the arts, people who are overly bossy, and cockroaches.
FAVORITE MOVIE: “Momento”, “her.” or “Dallas Buyers Club”
FAVORITE BAND: Too difficult of a question to answer. I like anything from Miles Davis to Spoon.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? Constantly inspired by my voice teacher and choral director Michael Rosensteel. He was the first one to convince me and start me on singing in 7th grade. He conviently left his position at the middle school to fill the upper school position, and now I am going into my fifth year working with him. He’s a great teacher for the arts, a great life consultant, and a great friend.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: This question freaks me out, but either performing somewhere (choir, classical voice, or musical theatre) or in a law firm.

Holly_GibsonNAME: Holly Gibson
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Westlake High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: six years
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: sharing the experience with an amazing cast and crew!
3 THINGS I LIKE: singing, cooking, and sparkles
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: lizards, rollercoasters, and scary movies
FAVORITE MOVIE: Beauty and the Beast
FAVORITE BAND: Beyoncé
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? My parents. I am forever grateful for their support.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Hopefully continuing to share my passion with others.

Jessica_O'BrienNAME: Jessica O’Brien
AGE: 17
SCHOOL: Cedar Ridge High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 6
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: In Wheels of A Dream when Coalhouse and Sarah look out “beyond the road” of opportunity limited to them, due to the obstacles set by the early 1900s, and realize that their son will have a better life than have lived as a result of the change affecting America.
3 THINGS I LIKE: Rainy days, hanging out with friends, singing
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Bugs, cats, homework
FAVORITE MOVIE: When Harry Met Sally
FAVORITE BAND: Imagine Dragons
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? My voice teacher Mrs. Ellie Jarrett-Shattles because she is beautiful, successful, and is an honest example of a performer who is constantly pushing themself to be better each and every day, never settling.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Pursuing my Broadway Career and working on my Doctoral Degree.

Sage_StoakleyNAME: Sage Stoakley
AGE: 16
SCHOOL: McCallum Fine Arts Academy
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 6
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: The song: Your’e Going Back To Jail! It stoll the audiences hearts every night, and it was a blast to sing!
3 THINGS I LIKE: Singing, teaching, and sleeping
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: rude people, tritones, and brusselsprouts
FAVORITE MOVIE: 21 Jumpstreet
FAVORITE BAND: I dont have one. I only listen to showtunes…
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? Most of my inspiration comes from my mentors at school! I am so blessed to have theatre and choir teachers who inspire me everyday and who are also successful musicians themselves!
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: On Broadway…hopefully

Elizabeth_WilkinsNAME: Lizzie Wilkins
AGE: 17
SCHOOL: L.C. Anderson High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: Probably at least 10. My first time singing alone on stage was when I was 3 years old.
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: In just about every musical, there are huge chorus numbers, which happen to be my favorites. This year, during the song “The Weekly Volcano Press,” our big chorus number, I was not on stage. About five or six others were not either. Every time the cast started performing this number, we would all sing backstage and act as if we ourselves were right up there with them. I loved this moment because we were all so connected to the story and emotionally involved, so it became a kind of tradition for us for each performance.
3 THINGS I LIKE: Singing, songwriting, and reading.
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: When people bite their silverware, running, and slackers.
FAVORITE MOVIE: The Last Song
FAVORITE BAND: Maroon 5
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? My family. My dad because he’s the hardest worker that I know, my mom because she is exactly what I want to be when I grow up, my sister because she knows how to love and care for people to an extent that I can only dream of, and my brother because he faces the difficulty of being mildly Autistic everyday, and doesn’t let anything or anyone stop him from trying and being himself.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: A famous singer songwriter, author, talk show host, a wife and mother, and basically anything else I’m passionate about. I will have won the hearts of America by this time, and will be working on winning the hearts of the world.

Olivia_KnightNAME: Olivia Kight
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Westlake High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 5
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: The dance breaks in “America
3 THINGS I LIKE: eating dancing, and boys with facial hair
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: worms, ketchup, and running
FAVORITE MOVIE: A Knight’s Tale
FAVORITE BAND: Walk the Moon
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? Cathy Cluck, for being a strong and independent woman who loves her job and greets every day with a smile.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: teaching 5th graders or an elementary school counselor.

Abigail_SchmidtNAME: Abby Schmidt
AGE: 17
SCHOOL: Dripping Springs High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 5
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: My soap opera-style fight with Sir Harry!
3 THINGS I LIKE: ice cream, rain, shopping
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: mustard, traffic, wide-ruled paper
FAVORITE MOVIE: Little Miss Sunshine
FAVORITE BAND: The Killers
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? My mom, because she juggles a million things at once and still finds time to be friendly to everyone.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Starting my career as a doctor.

Lena_OwensNAME: Lena Owens
AGE: 17 years old
SCHOOL: Cedar Ridge High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: Three
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: ‘The Night that Goldman Spoke’; the music and setting for the number are incredibly empowering. I had a great time performing it with my cast mates.
3 THINGS I LIKE: Human Rights, good Food, and Travelling
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Ignorance, bugs, and lack of caffeine
FAVORITE MOVIE: The Proposal
FAVORITE BAND: Local Natives
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? Raven-Symone; she did not fit the typical look of Hollywood and still has successful career. She also sent positive life lessons through her show ‘That’s So Raven’.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Performing in the Ensemble—or possibly as the lead—of a Broadway show.

View More: http://racheldownsphotography.pass.us/madeline-todd-senior-portraitsNAME: Madeline Todd
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Cedar Park High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 6
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: My favorite moment in Guys and Dolls was when my character, Arvide Abernathy, reminds Sarah Brown that though she didn’t imagine Sky Masterson as the man she would marry, if she loves him that’s all that matters.
3 THINGS I LIKE: Three things I really enjoy are writing, spending quality time with friends and family, and nature.
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: I don’t like mathematics (at all) , I hate crying, and horror movies.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Monty Python and the Holy Grail is most likely my favorite movie of all time.
FAVORITE BAND: Flyleaf
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? Jesus. As Lord there is no one more fit to be my inspiration. He gives me strength a wonderful home and love. He inspires me with His love.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Editing in the film industry, wherever that has taken me.

Amanda_CripeNAME: Amanda Cripe
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Dripping Springs High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 6
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: probably Song of Love because that’s when Winnifred really wins the affection of the kingdom and gets everyone on her side, in my opinion
3 THINGS I LIKE: food, reading, and people
3 THINGS I DISLIKE:
FAVORITE MOVIE: Titanic
FAVORITE BAND: Bastille
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? I know it’s going to sound really cliché but my theatre teacher, Rachael Koske, inspires me. She is such an amazing person, she’s been through so much and no matter what happens she is always there to support, help, and push you to be a better actor and person. She is probably the most genuine person I have ever met and I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to know and work with her. I don’t tell her enough but she’s just plain awesome.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Happy with wherever my dreams take me

Molly_BurrisNAME: Molly Burris
AGE: 16
SCHOOL: Round Rock High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 5
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: It’s a tie between when the audience first sees Lord Farquaad, and the entire scene with the dragon.
3 THINGS I LIKE: Cats, pizza, and performing
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Vegetables, country music, and sunburns
FAVORITE MOVIE: Beauty And The Beast
FAVORITE BAND: Is it okay if I say a singer instead? Jason Mraz.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? I get inspired by anyone who is willing to do whatever it takes for what they love. If someone will risk everything to be happy, that inspires me.
IN 10 YEARS I HOPE TO BE: Hopefully performing somewhere, I love to sing; act, and dance, and I will do whatever it takes to make a career out of it.

Olson_KellyNAME: Olson Kelly
AGE: 17
SCHOOL: Vandegrift High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 10 (4 in High School)
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: Probably “Honey Bun”. Who DOESN’T like performing in a coconut bra and grass skirt? The song was so fun to do- even though it had it’s set of challenges! (I had a Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction one show-it was tragic.)
3 THINGS I LIKE: Broadway Shows, Sushi, & Breakfast Tacos
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Cats, when I don’t have salsa for my breakfast taco, being barefoot.
FAVORITE MOVIE: 21 Jump Street
FAVORITE BAND: Well, I listen to A LOT of show tunes :). But besides that I’m a huge fan of Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, and Vampire Weekend.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? There are so many people out there who inspire me. I’d say that mostly my friends and family are the people who inspire me, not only as a performer, but as a person too!
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Hopefully on Broadway winning a Tony!

Martha_ClarkNAME: Martha Ruby Clark
AGE: 16
SCHOOL: Vandegrift High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 11 Years
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: My favorite moment from South Pacific is Billis’ entrance into “Honey Bun”. I love hearing the audience laughing when he finally appears in all his coconut-bra glory.
3 THINGS I LIKE: New York City, Coffee, and Art Museums
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Bugs, Roller Coasters, and Math
FAVORITE MOVIE: Pride and Prejudice (The 2008 version with Keira Knightly)
FAVORITE BAND: Lucius
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? I’m inspired by the people I work with, they are all incredibly talented and embolden me to be the best I can be.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: On Broadway, with the rest of the nominees!

Ronan_MelomoNAME: Ronan Melomo
AGE: 17
SCHOOL: Liberal Arts and Science Academy
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 11
FAVORITE MOMENT IN MY MUSICAL: Basically any moment Juan Benitez was killing it onstage as Mayzie
3 THINGS I LIKE: Food, Sleep, Explosions
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Turnips, Tyler Perry Movies, Yellow Starburst
FAVORITE MOVIE: Far and Away
FAVORITE BAND: Yeezus
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? Kanye West has been one of the biggest inspirations in my life. Many people just see him as a big headed rapper, but the amount of hard work, failure, and struggle he went through to achieve his dream, and the way he never gave up, even when he was living with his mother making beats for local nobodies, shows that you really can achieve your dreams with hard work.
IN 10 YEARS I’M GOING TO BE: Very poor living in New York, but hopefully happily working as an actor.

NAME: VVictoria_Brownictoria Brown
AGE: 16
SCHOOL: Vandegrift High School
YEARS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THEATRE: 8 years.
Favorite moment in the musical: The “Wash That Man” number!
3 THINGS I LIKE: Sushi, Broadway Music, and Singing.
3 THINGS I DISLIKE: Heights, Clowns, and Spiders.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Wizard of Oz
FAVORITE BAND: Queen
WHO INSPIRED YOU AND WHY? My dance teacher, Darren Gibson. He is an amazing performer, teacher, and person, and he’s taught me so many important lessons.
IN 10 YEARS I’LL BE: Finished with my BFA degree in Musical Theatre and pursing my dream in New York City!

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