Curtains Closed.

Curtains+Closed.

Bryn Quigley

Presented to those who had participated in Denmark’s theatre production of Curtains were the Shuler Awards for excellence in drama. On April 22nd, in addition to rewarding assisting students, the production of the musical was recognized for its quality.

Their overall production methods were mentioned with honors, due to all members coming together in harmony. The stage crew was just as influential as any actor, with Maria Miller and Emily Riedinger awarded the title of Best in Costume Design for keeping their pals looking sharp. Additionally, three other titles were granted, all honorable mentions: Kehya Adari for Sound, Manuele Guimaraes and Kirk Grizzle for Technical Execution, and Kailey Moster and Zachary Feeney for Choreography.

Zach Feeney was the assistant choreographer for the production of Curtains, so he had the responsibility of planning out a couple of numbers for the show. Feeney has been trained in dance since the age of seven, so utilizing his knowledge to help his colleagues was a way to let that practice shine. Not to mention the rewarding recognition for his effort in the honorable Shuler mention that he received, “I’m so excited about it!” Feeney said, “We put in so much hard work for this show, especially with the dancing. The Denmark Theatre Department’s forte has never been dancing, so everyone worked super hard to make sure the dancing was up to par with our singing and acting.” They were able to rise to the occasion and dance spectacularly. Partially, with the help of Zach Feeney, “It’s always so wonderful to have your hard work be recognized and celebrated. It’s really an amazing feeling.”

Judges promised a future where performers could continue to grace the stage with prizes presented at the Shuler Award Show. Julia Wolff received the Broadway Dreams Scholarship, while Sam Yousuf received the James Carlos Family Musical Theatre Performance Scholarship. On his award, Yousuf said, “I feel really blessed especially since I’m going into an arts field, it’s really important to come out debt-free and the scholarship gets me steps towards that.” He became interested in pursuing a career in the arts back in middle school with the help of his friends, who took the stage in a production of the Lion King. “They were up there with each other having fun and doing what they loved to do, while also expressing themselves in an environment where they felt comfortable and loved,” Their performance inspired Yousuf to take a journey in the world of theatre himself. This year, after involvement with numerous productions throughout the past five years, he decided to move his passion toward the future. “I went through an audition process, auditioning for about twenty-five schools, and have now decided to pursue a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in musical theatre at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.” He is seeking a higher level of education to hone his craft; the scholarship he received at the Shuler awards will help him get to the next level.

After the success of the production Curtains, the Denmark Performing Arts program presented The Addams Family, where newer members greeted the spotlight, and they recently finished presenting Les Misérables, where the seniors said goodbye to the stage. However, it’s most likely just farewell to their high school haunt, as many of the talented students are making theatre a permanent part of their lives.