Thespians honored during awards ceremony
A few Basehor-Linwood High School theater students were stars among stars last week.
Talented teens from 44 high schools in the Kansas City area flocked to Starlight Theatre last Thursday for the Blue Star Awards, which recognizes the area's rising stars in musical theater.
The BLHS theater students have been excited for the awards since the fall when they found out they would have the opportunity to participate in the program for the first time. While they knew they would join the ranks with larger schools, BLHS theater director Rebecca Knowles said her students held their own.
"The schools that had more nominations got more awards," she said. "Overall it didn't seem like a landslide for one show in particular."
One BLHS student, Andrea Adcox, now a recent graduate, was nominated for Best Featured Performer for her role as Miss Stacy, the school teacher, in the department's production of "Anne of Green Gables" performed last November. Knowles said she found out about the nomination during the last week of April and while the formal announcement of nominees wasn't supposed to be until May 2, she couldn't wait to tell Adcox.
"I told her because I jumped the gun since I was so excited," Knowles said. "But she was away on her senior trip on the 2nd, so it worked out anyway."
To select nominees for each award, three judges attend each school's musical and evaluate the performers, giving each one written feedback on things to work on. Knowles said they received the comments about three weeks after the performance. Adcox said Knowles commented that the judges did not give her any negative comments on her performance.
"I was very, very shocked," Adcox said about receiving the nomination. "I just felt kind of good they didn't have anything bad to say. I didn't think I would have gotten it."
Six nominations were given in each category and the winners announced at the ceremony delivered a small speech when they went up to the stage to accept their award. Different actors, actresses, artistic directors and others involved in theater in the Kansas City area presented the nominees and awards. While Adcox did not win, she said the experience was more than worthwhile.
On top of the thrill of the nomination, Adcox, along with her cast mates Noah Adcox, Nicole Theno, Moriah Manford and Kristin Taylor were selected by Knowles to perform in the opening number of the ceremony. The group attended three rehearsals with about 150 students then opened the show with the song and dance number, "There's No Business Like Show Business."
The students nominated for the Best Actor and Best Actress category each sang a medley of songs from their productions and each school nominated for Outstanding Overall Production also performed a number with some donning full costumes.
"It surprised me how well students that were under 18 performed," Adcox said. "They owned the stage."
"You could see what others were doing to get them nominated and what you might want to put in your show," Knowles said. "It was really a great learning experience."
Adcox will attend Johnson County Community College in the fall and while she will not be able to share her talent at BLHS any longer, she plans to continue her theater career by participating in productions at the college and as a music teacher.
"It made my last year a lot more fun than I thought it would be," she said.
The success of BLHS's first year in the Blue Star Awards has sparked enthusiasm in the students as well as the parents, Knowles said, and they are ready to begin next year's season.
"It was even better than I expected," she said. "It was a great experience for the kids and the parents are excited and wanting the help out with the shows. It's been a tremendous boost for the theater department."