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Starr’s Mill, Milton, Pebblebrook, Tri-Cities win multiple honors at Shuler Hensley high school musical awards

By Howard Pousner

The 15 winners of  the Shuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre, announced during a glossy Tuesday night ceremony at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, were fairly evenly distributed among seven metro schools.

Starr’s Mill High School won the night with four awards, but Milton and Pebblebrook high schools were right behind with three prizes. Tri-Cities High School won two, with Woodward Academy, Atlanta International School, and Riverwood International Charter School claiming one each.

Milton scored the night’s biggest prize, best overall production, for “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and David Spearman of Starr’s Mill snared the best direction honor for “Zombie Prom.”

Evan Greenberg of Riverwood International Charter took lead acting honors for his portrayal of William Barfee in “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and Brittany Dankwa of Tri-Cities was named lead actress for her Celie in “The Color Purple.”

Greenberg and Dankwa will participate in the 4th Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards in late June in New York, competing with performers from across the U.S. for “Jimmy Awards” acting honors as well as for merit scholarships and professional opportunities at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre this summer.

Five scholarships and a grant also were awarded at the fourth annual Shuler Awards, named for the Marietta-born Broadway actor currently starring in the Alliance Theatre’s “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County”:

  • Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Foundation presented the Morrell Memorial Scholarship to Bailey Reeves of Calhoun High; and the Doris Corrie Russell Scholarship for Dance to Erin Deebel of the Walker School.
  • The Broadway Dreams Foundation presented the Summer Intensive Program Scholarship to Nicole Carpenter of Johns Creek High; the Technical Scholarship to Amber Laudicina of Salem High; and the Theatre of the Stars Musical Theatre Scholarship to John Fiscian of Parkview High.
  • The Scenic Design Grant provided by the Jubilee Cultural Arts Alliance was awarded to McIntosh High School.

Forty two high schools from 12 counties as well as metro private schools participated in the Hensley Awards, an initiative of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Foundation’s Artsbridge education program.

More information: 770-916-2800,

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