Hanford production takes top honor at drama awards

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJune 12, 2013 

Hanford High drama students walked away with top honors from the 5th Avenue Theatre's High School Music Awards this week in Seattle.

The school's production of The Drowsy Chaperone won best overall musical.

"Woo-hoo!" Hanford High director Matt Leggett shouted with joy Wednesday morning. "We are all very excited by the awards we received, especially the outstanding overall production award."

Hanford High also won the outstanding performance by a chorus for Chaperone.

Pasco High drama also made an impressive showing at the ceremony. Actor Franklin Castellanos tied for best actor in a lead role for his performance in In the Heights and Daniel Haug won best supporting actor for his role in the same production.

Leggett said that when The Drowsy Chaperone was announced as best overall musical, his students piled onto the stage, jumping up and falling down, lifting each other in joyous celebration.

"Sara Staven, the stage manager, gave a gracious speech and then, even though the ceremony was over, the students, parents and staff, including me, stormed the stage and celebrated for about 20 minutes nonstop with confetti and streamers," Leggett said.

He credited Deb Donahoe and Peggy Painter for the show's success.

"They are to be congratulated for inspiring these wonderful students and leading them to excellence," Leggett said. "The show was fantastic and they proved it by knocking everyone's socks off when they did their production number at the 5th Avenue Awards ceremony."

Though Hanford has numerous awards at the annual high school musical awards, this is the first time one of its productions has taken the overall prize.

The Drowsy Chaperone's backstage manager, student Andrew Leggett, said, "As a first time backstage manager I was happy and proud to be part of this award-winning musical."

Richland High was nominated in a couple of categories but didn't win any this year.

"I am so, so proud of how well the schools on the east side of the state did," said Ellicia Elliott, Richland High's drama director. "Five out of the eight shows nominated for outstanding overall production were from the east side of the state. And Hanford won! It was just fantastic having the programs from Richland, Pasco, Zillah, Sunnyside, Yakima and Spokane cheering each other on."

Here's a list of other Mid-Columbia schools and students who picked up awards:

w Gavin O'Leary of Sunnyside High School won best actor in a featured ensemble role for Just So.

w Grandview High's production of West Side Story, Hanford High's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Sunnyside High's productions of Just So and Annie received awards for their shows' educational impacts.

w Student achievement awards went to Taylor Colson of Grandview High, Tyler Grandgeorge of Hanford High and Jonathan Tavira-Alcaraz of Sunnyside High.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service