Palace Theater in Waterbury hosts an award ceremony for high school theater programs throughout Connecticut. This year was the celebration of the twentieth anniversary. Seven Angels, the organization that hosts the event, reviewed over 150 performances that featured over 1,000 students. The awards last three days and celebrate over 90 programs.
Woodland Regional High School earned thirteen nominations for their play, Clue, and their musical, The Spongebob Musical.
Clue was nominated for four awards: Alyssa Gillies playing Mrs. Peacock for The Most Comic Actress in a Play; Claire Cummings playing Wadsworth for A Standout Performance in an Ensemble Production; Julianna Fernandez, Hannah Semrow, Rebecca Bertier, and William Ames for Best Stage Management; and the run crew for Best Run Crew.
“There’s a lot that goes on behind the curtain — figuratively and literally — that keeps the show in order,” said Semrow. “It’s nice to have that work acknowledged.”
The Spongebob Musical was nominated for nine awards, including Best Contemporary Musical. The cast made up five of the nominations: Alyssa Gillies playing Mr. Krabs for The Best Featured Actress in a Musical; Evan Moore playing Sheldon J. Plankton for Best Featured Actor in a Musical; Claire Cummings as Spongebob for Best Leading Performance by an Actress in a Contemporary Musical; Isabella Peralta as Sandy for The Best Supporting Performance by an Actress in a Musical; and Alyssa Gillies and Runiyah Albino as Mr. Krabs and Pearl for Best Performance by a Couple or Dynamic Duo in a Musical. The crew made up the other four nominations: Logan Johnson and Carissa Evon for best lighting design and/or execution; Mikaylah Guntrie for best costume design and/or execution; and Illiana Rosenblum, Mia Swabski, William Ames, and Rebecca Bertier for best scenic design and/or execution.
“I think Spongebob did very well. We deserved the nominations; however, I do believe Clue was misrepresented,” said Moore. “The Plankton nomination is enough for me to be very proud, but my performance as Mr. Green wasn’t recognized as much as I wanted it to be and he was pushed too far into the closet. I am glad, however, that my ability to gritty was seen by the Halo’s judges.”
This season, numerous schools put on Clue. On the second day of Halo awards alone, three schools were there representing their performance of the murder mystery.
Although the Woodland students did not expect to come out victorious in regards to their play, they still had faith in Spongebob.
At the third award category, The Best Featured Actress in a Musical, the actors and crew sat tightly, holding hands listening to all the nominees. When every actress was announced, the Halo judge announced that two Halos would be given out for the category due to a tie.
The first winner was not a Woodland student and everyone began to lose a little bit of hope, but there was still one more chance.
“Woodland Regional High School’s Alyssa Gillies as Mr. Krabs in the Spongebob Musical.”
The Woodland kids were ecstatic.
“I slipped them a $20,” joked Gillies.
As a senior, Gillies is happy to end her high school career with this recognition. Mr. Krabs was a fun, ecstatic, money-loving character that Gillies played perfectly, according to her peers.
“Alyssa definitely deserves everything she got. She’s an amazing actress and especially for it being her last year at Woodland, it makes it that much better,” said Moore. “If we had to win one award for woodland, I’m glad Alyssa was the one to get it.”
Unfortunately, Woodland did not take home any other awards, but are incredibly proud of the one they did. Ready to take on next year, the theater department is ready to announce their fall play very soon.