Speakeysie News Desk
Record 70 Volunteer Adjudicators Begin Work Assessing Competing Schools from 22 Counties while
Organizers Prepare for April 20 Broadcast of 15th Annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards
ATLANTA – Nov. 15, 2022 –ArtsBridge Foundation today announced the statewide list of high schools that will participate in the 15th Annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards (GHSMTA) for the 2022-23 school year.
The Shuler Awards or The Shulers—named for the Marietta-born stage and screen star Shuler Hensley—will be celebrated on April 20 and broadcast live from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The evening includes fun purple-carpet arrivals, live performances by nominees, and awards presented in 18 different categories. Scholarship recipients will also be announced.
Registration Day for this year’s competition opened in August and yielded the list of participating schools from 22 Georgia counties. Fulton County leads the entries with 10 competing schools, with Gwinnett entering six schools and Cobb and Forsyth Counties each with four schools. See the next page for a full list of schools.
“While about half of the Shuler Awards competitors represent Metro Atlanta high schools, it’s exciting to see participating schools spanning the Peach state, including five counties competing for the first time,” said Elizabeth Lenhart, director of arts education for ArtsBridge Foundation.
ArtsBridge Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Dobbs cited several changes made last year that positively impacted the 2022-23 Shuler Awards competition and ArtsBridge Foundation’s commitment to its mission, vision, and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (I.D.E.A.) initiative.
“Reducing the total entrant schools from 75 to 50 last year empowered our small but nimble nonprofit team to give more attention and feedback to each competing school,” said Dobbs. “This change, combined with securing a record 70 volunteer adjudicators—up 20 this year—greatly expands the volunteer heart of this statewide student program. More adjudicators create more feedback for the students and advocacy for the schools.
“Continuing our steps to strengthen our commitment to our objectives within all aspects of our arts education programming and forge safe and healthy environments for all the students we serve, all participating students, directors and adjudicators sign an acknowledgment of their commitment to our I.D.E.A. policy and shared values,” Dobbs added.
Since 2009, the Shuler Awards program has engaged over 60,000 students from 142 schools and 38 counties/school systems. Registrations for 50 schools were completed in a record 10 minutes for the 2022-23 season, with two schools also securing competition berths from past COVID-related changes.
In the months ahead, the 70 volunteer adjudicators will fan out across Georgia to attend live performances by hopeful high school theatre students and departments that will be judged in 17 categories with nominees announced in March. The April 20Shuler Awards event replicates the national Tony Awards®ceremony and is broadcast live and statewide via Georgia Public Broadcasting.
The main objectives of the Shuler Awards are to increase awareness, advocacy, and support for Georgia’s arts education programs, to develop and foster growing talent by providing learning and performance opportunities, and to cultivate/nurture productive relationships among Georgia’s promising thespians and educators.
GHSMTA categories include direction, music direction, orchestra, lighting, scenic design, choreography, ensemble, costumes, overall production, Shuler Showstopper and best performances by a leading actress and actor, supporting performers and a featured performer. In 2021 ArtsBridge added the Spotlight Award.
“Starting last year, we combined previous categories of supporting actress and supporting actor into an expanded, non-gendered performance category named supporting performer,” saidLenhart. “This category recognizes and celebrates students of any gender who performed supporting roles in their school’s production.
“This was a popular change – among the first of its kind nationwide – as we once again jointly award the two highest-scoring students as 2022-23 recipients for the supporting performer award, a change that greatly serves Georgia high school musical theatre students who identify across the entire gender spectrum,” Lenhart added.
The Shuler Awards leading actress and actor winners will travel to New York City as Georgia’s entrants for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards program named The Jimmy Awards®and participate in the awards show at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway on June 26, with merit scholarships and professional opportunities up for grabs, organized by Broadway League. Shuler Awards candidate productions are evaluated by a group of 70 volunteer adjudicators who are Georgia-based arts professionals. The accounting firm Bennett Thrasher will tabulate the results for the 2023 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees. More information is available online via ArtsBridgeGA.org/programs/Shuler-Awards.
ArtsBridge Foundation provides quality arts education and community programs that engage, motivate, inspire, and elevate the next generation of artists and arts supporters. ArtsBridge provides arts education opportunities to K-12 students through programs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, including field trips, professional development, masterclasses, and the annual Shuler Awards. Since 2007, ArtsBridge has served more than 412,000 students and educators from 70 Georgia counties, plus students from five bordering states. ArtsBridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more visit ArtsBridgeGA.org.
As of Oct. 26, the public and private high schools participating in the 2022-23 Shuler Awards include:
Adairsville High School in Adairsville, Ga. (Bartow Co.)
Alan C. Pope High School in Marietta, Ga. (Cobb Co.)
Allatoona High School in Acworth, Ga. (Cobb Co.)
**Baldwin High School in Milledgeville, Ga. (Baldwin Co.)
Calhoun High School in Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)
Cambridge High School in Milton, Ga, (Fulton Co.)
Chamblee High School in Chamblee, Ga. (DeKalb Co.)
Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek (Fulton Co.)
Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)
**Dalton High School in Dalton, Ga. (Whitfield Co.)
Decatur High School in Decatur, Ga. (DeKalb Co.)
Denmark High School in Alpharetta, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)
East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. (Paulding Co.)
Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)
Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)
Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross (Gwinnett Co)
Greenbrier High School in Evans, Ga. (Columbia Co.)
Grovetown High School in Grovetown, Ga. (Columbia Co.)
Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga. (Rockdale Co.)
Heritage High School in Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.)
Hiram High School in Hiram, Ga. (Paulding Co.)
**Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Ga.
Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Ga. (Fulton Co.)
Johnson High School in Gainesville, Ga. (Hall Co.)
Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw (Cobb Co.)
King’s Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta (Fulton Co.)
Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Ga. (Hall Co.)
Lambert High School in Suwanee, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)
Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, Ga. (Fulton Co.)
Lanier High School in Sugar Hill, Ga. (Gwinnett Co.)
Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts, Jonesboro, Ga. (Clayton)
Midtown High School in Atlanta (Fulton Co.)
Milton High School in Milton, Ga. (Fulton Co.)
Morgan County High School in Madison, Ga. (Morgan Co.)
Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville (Gwinnett)
North Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)
North Hall High School in Gainesville, Ga. (Hall Co.)
North Springs High School in Atlanta (Fulton Co.)
**Pepperell High School in Lindale, Ga. (Floyd Co.)
Prince Avenue Christian School in Bogart, Ga. (Oconee Co.)
Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, Ga. (Gwinnett)
Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap (Rabun Co.)
**Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Ga. (Walker Co.)
Ringgold High School in Ringgold, Ga. (Catoosa Co.)
Roswell High School in Roswell, Ga. (Fulton Co.)
Sonoraville High School in Calhoun, Ga. (Gordon Co.)
South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga. (Forsyth Co.)
St. Pius X Catholic High School in Chamblee, Ga. (DeKalb)
Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville, Ga. (Fayette Co.)
**Thomas High School in Fayetteville, Ga. (Fayette Co.)
West Forsyth High School in Cumming, Ga. (Fulton Co.)
Whitefield Academy in Mableton, Ga. (Cobb Co.)