Nottingham's Meadowbrook Harlequins Take Home CNY Arts Awards

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CNY Arts recently presented scholarships and awards to local youths at its 2014 Michael Harms Theater Festival. Over 150 students and adults from five high schools and two community theater groups from New York State’s Central and Southern Tier regions gathered at Cayuga Community College in Auburn on April 12th for the annual event.

Nottingham High School took home the Award of Excellence in the HS Division for their production of Chicago.   The Redhouse Summer Intensive Scholarship was awarded to Nottingham’s Jasper Schep as well.  Other awards and recognition in the form of Certificates of Achievement went to:
  • Honorable Mention for Individual Performance in a Musical: Ella Neville (Nottingham High School)
  • Outstanding Scene Work: Cell Block Tango (Nottingham High School)
  • Excellence in Costume Design: Ranya Shannon & Gretchen Horst (Nottingham High School)
  • Technical Excellence in Lighting & Stage Management: Chicago (Nottingham High School)
  • Excellence in Choreography: Chicago (Nottingham High School)
  • Excellence in Musical Performance: Ariel Bryant (Nottingham High School)
The Michael Harms Theater festival was created by CNY Arts (then the Cultural Resources Council) in 1976 to foster greater interest in theater work by students and teachers in secondary schools. The program has gained wide recognition as a theater experience of great educational value as well as creative fun. Students participate in skill-building workshops such as Dance Auditioning, Improvisation, the Meisner Acting Technique, Lighting, Scenic Painting, and Special Effects Stage Makeup.

This celebration of youths in theater is a combination of musical and dramatic theater performances, feedback, and professionally-led workshops for both young performers and behind the scenes artists and crew. The festival is supported in large part by the Harms family in honor of their late son, Michael. “This festival has such great energy—because it brings together kids from across five counties who share a love of theater, to learn together from a variety of professionals with real-world experience in theater arts.” said CNY Arts Executive Director Stephen Butler.

Eight theater professionals, including Auburn Public Theater Director Carey Eidel, Broadway dancer Bradley Benjamin, Kevin Shumway, SU adjunct drama instructor, and others, led students in eight different theater workshops in acting, dance, scene painting, lighting, and stage makeup. Participating student groups were Auburn High School, Dana West Jr-Sr High, The Media Unit, Nottingham High School, Oswego Children's Theater, Sherburne-Earlville High School, and Whitney Point High School.