Park Hill Theatre Takes Center Stage with 25 Nominations


Jesse Berlin and Anna Turnbull

Students and teachers involved with the fall musical “Newsies” and the spring play “Clue: On Stage” lit up in excitement this week when Park Hill theatre received six Blue Star Award nominations and 19 Cappie Award nominations for the season’s two productions.

The Blue Star Awards “recognize achievement and excellence in musical theatre among Kansas City area high school students,” according to their website. Park Hill’s nominations are all for “Newsies:”

  • Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role – Maddox Bane as Jack Kelly
  • Outstanding Actress in an Ensemble Role – Paige Harberts as Tommy Boy
  • Outstanding Ensemble
  • Outstanding Orchestra
  • Outstanding Lighting Design
  • Outstanding Scenic Design and Construction

The winners will be announced at the Blue Star Awards Ceremony on May 23 at Starlight Theatre. The free event starts at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public, but attendees should RSVP here.

“I’m just so proud of our whole entire cast,” said Bane, who, as a Lead Actor nominee, will be performing a musical medley with the other Lead Actor and Lead Actress nominees at the ceremony. “I want to thank all the directors, Mrs. Sandau, Dr. C, Mrs. H—everyone who just has helped make this production amazing.”

The Cappie Awards are presented by the Cappies organization, which, according to their website, “trains high school theatre and journalism students” to be student critics and write reviews on other high school productions. Then, “at the end of the year,” the student critics get together and decide who among their peer performers and technicians should be recognized for awards.” Park Hill’s nominations are for both “Newsies” and “Clue: On Stage:”

  • Musical: “Newsies”
  • Song: “Once and For All” from “Newsies”
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Maddox Bane from “Newsies”
  • Lead Actress in a Musical: Ashtin Umstattd from “Newsies”
  • Supporting Actor in a Musical: Cameron Harrell from “Newsies”
  • Supporting Actress in a Musical: Ella Sedlock from “Newsies”
  • Male Dancer: Chase Mussman from “Newsies”
  • Female Dancer: Taryn Johnson from “Newsies”
  • Stage Management: Kaz Brandt from “Newsies”
  • Stage Crew: Anna Verhoff from “Newsies”
  • Props: Amy Goldsbury and Cooper Sturm from “Newsies”
  • Hair and Makeup: Alice Stubbs and Jaila Waddles from “Newsies”
  • Marketing and Publicity: Jesse Berlin, Trinity Christofferson and Caitlin Crosby from “Newsies”
  • Supporting Actor in a Play: Maddox Bane from “Clue: On Stage”
  • Creativity: Kaz Brandt from “Clue: On Stage”
  • Lighting: Max Demski and Dana Labart from “Clue: On Stage”
  • Female Cappie Critic: Caitlin Crosby
  • Male Cappie Critic: Cooper Sturm
  • Cappie Critic Team: Park Hill High School – Caitlin Crosby, Cooper Sturm, Kaz Brandt, Trinity Christofferson, Ashtin Umstattd, Lauren Louk, Luke Malony, Justine Suba, Reinart Realina

The winners will be announced at the Kansas City Cappies Gala on May 25 at Oak Grove High School. The event is $10 in advance, $15 at the door and starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit here.

“I think that all the nominations are exciting and well-deserved,” said “Newsies” and “Clue: On Stage” director Jennifer Jarman Sandau, “and I’m very happy and proud of our students.