By Lorrie Ham
The Mound Westonka High School Theatre Department had much to celebrate in the 2016-2017 school year. The celebrations began with awards presented to students for their participation in the fall musical and spring play and ended with the groundbreaking earlier this month for the new Westonka Performing Arts Center.
Theatre Department Awards
New this year, the MWHS Theatre Department recognized individual students for their work in the school’s two stage productions.
“We had our first-ever Theatre Department Awards this year so we could also recognize individuals who we, as directors, felt deserved recognition and also to showcase awards for our spring play,” said assistant director Meagan Lenz. These awards included:
- Outstanding Performance by an Actor – sophomore Joey Colianni, Jr. (Major General Stanley, “The Pirates of Penzance”)
- Outstanding Performance by an Actress – junior Piper Bruce (Mabel , “The Pirates of Penzance”) and sophomore Tia Meyer (Darlene, “The Diviners”)
- Outstanding Talent Development Award – sophomore Nick Drilling
- Shining Star Award – senior Tori McCann
- Rookie of the Year Award – eighth-grader John Wombacher
- Director’s Award – senior Charley Hagen
- Veteran Award – senior Nathan Leif
SpotLight Musical Theater Awards
The 2016 MWHS fall musical production of “The Pirates of Penzance” earned various accolades. Notably, the cast and crew were honored to receive recognition for their performance by the Hennepin Theater Trust’s SpotLight Musical Theater Program. The company received the award for Outstanding Vocal Performance by an Ensemble. The production also earned honorable mention awards for Acting Performance by an Ensemble, Overall Technical Team, A/V Board Operators and Student Orchestra.
Individually, junior Piper Bruce as Mabel and sophomore Emma Jordahl as Ruth each earned awards for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role. Sophomore Joey Colianni II earned Honorable Mention for Performance in a Leading Role as Major General Stanley.
Other members of the company included seniors Charley Hagen, Natey Leif, Henri Lind, Megan Martin, Max Taggart and Erika Whaley; juniors Shelby Cooper and Johanna Klug; sophomores Sarah Brammer, Nick Drilling, Camryn Ess, Tia Meyer and Gunnar Patton; ninth-graders Elmo Fernandez-Armstrong, Emma Giles, Conner Jones and Grace Prchal; and eighth-graders Zach Houston, Josh Nkhata, Eve Mikkelson and Ben Ortaleza.
Members of the pit orchestra included seniors Adam Fish and Ailleene Joy Mendoza; juniors Erin Ross, Anna Worden and Jack Zimmerman; sophomores Alex Kline, Megan Larson, Allen Soley and Navin Thakurdial; and ninth-grader Kobie Kirtz.
Steven Meerdink directed the production, assisted by Lenz. Chris Paulson served as vocal director, while Gretchen Chilson directed the pit orchestra. Jamie Harms was the costume designer.