Weekly Feature



2018-11-07 / Local News

Tonawanda High School a repeat finalist for Kenny Awards


Tonawanda High School students from the cast and crew of “Jekyll & Hyde,” which won for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role at the 2018 Kenny Awards, attend the awards ceremony at the Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. The high school has been nominated as a finalist for the top award of Outstanding Musical Production for the 2019 awards, which will be presented in May. Tonawanda High School students from the cast and crew of “Jekyll & Hyde,” which won for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role at the 2018 Kenny Awards, attend the awards ceremony at the Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. The high school has been nominated as a finalist for the top award of Outstanding Musical Production for the 2019 awards, which will be presented in May. For the second consecutive year, Tonawanda High School has been nominated as one of 10 finalists for the Kenny Awards, this year for its upcoming production of “Mamma Mia!”

Daniel Lynch, theater producer for the high school, said the cast, crew and directors of the production “could not be more excited” to be nominated and to present a show that has been on his wish list for years.

“I can’t wait to see the students bring it to life,” he said. “It’s an energetic show that the cast and crew can have fun with and the audience will enjoy. Also, who doesn’t enjoy a little ABBA music?”

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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