Weekly Feature

2018-11-08 / Education

Cheektowaga schools nominated for Kenny Awards

Cleveland Hill High School and John F. Kennedy High School are among 10 finalists for the Kenny Awards this year.

Students at Cleveland Hill have been nominated for their upcoming production of “Newsies,” while “The Wizard of Oz” will be performed by John F. Kennedy students.

Other high schools chosen as finalists for this year’s Kenny Awards are the Buffalo Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts, Cuba-Rushford Middle/High School, Nardin Academy, Niagara Wheatfield High School, St. Mary’s High School, Sweet Home High School, Tonawanda High School and West Seneca West High School.

Presented each year by the Shea’s Performing Arts Center and the Lipke Foundation, the Kenny Awards recognize the talent and efforts of high school students in theater programs across Western New York. One high school receives a top award of Outstanding Musical Production, along with grant funding for its theater program. This year’s top prize will be $10,000, double the amount awarded in previous years.

The Kenny Awards also feature a variety of other awards including Outstanding Leading Actor and Actress, which send two students on an all-expenses-paid, weeklong trip to New York City to participate in The Jimmy Awards in June. The trip includes rehearsals with Broadway actors and musicians, performances, opportunities to win college scholarships, and a debut performance on a Broadway stage.

Judges will be attending live performances of finalists for the Kenny Awards in the coming months. The nominations lineup for the awards will then be announced in April, and awards will be presented at a ceremony scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, 646 Main St., Buffalo.

During last year’s Kenny Awards, Tonawanda High School junior Emily Kuhn won Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Lucy Harris in “Jekyll & Hyde.” The school has also previously won Outstanding Musical Production for its presentation of “The Addams Family” in 2015.

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