DSHA is proud to announce the Fine Arts Theatre Department’s fall musical, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, is the recipient of six Jerry Awards. The Jerry Awards program, previously known as the Tommy Awards, encourages, recognizes and honors excellence in high school musical theatre across Southern and Central Wisconsin. This is the seventh consecutive year that DSHA has been honored for its exceptional theatrical productions.
The Little Mermaid was recognized with an award for Outstanding Ensemble, which brought numbers to life and propelled the story forward through its ability to sing, dance, and move onstage as a connected group. Sophomore Ellen Fricker was chosen by the cast and crew to receive the Spirit Award, and will represent DSHA at the Jerry Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 10th. Ellen says she is honored to be recognized by her friends and peers, and insists that it’s easy to be positive when working within the DSHA Theatre Department. “My castmates and I all share the same excitement for the show and joy about theatre, and that makes the show very special,” said Ellen. “Everyone’s equally excited to be working together, so it’s easy to be full of joy during the production.”
A Jerry Award was also received for Outstanding Scenic Design, which was co-crafted by Technical Theatre Director Amanda Marsala and DSHA senior Maggie Nelson. Maggie has also designed sets for the DSHA productions of Stage Door and Mary Poppins, as well as for several Arena Theatre performances. For her, a Jerry Award is the cherry-on-top of the opportunity to actually bring her designs to life.
“If none of these designs had been realized, I wouldn’t have learned anything. I would’ve just been making pretty drawings,” said Maggie. “Bringing them to life, I get to see what works and what doesn’t and how I could design them better, and I take that and learn from it later on.” Maggie’s opportunities to explore her theatrical passions at DSHA will lead her to the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in the fall of 2018, where she will pursue scenic design with a focus in technical theatre.
The Little Mermaid received additional Jerry Awards for Outstanding Costume Design (Darcy Devens), Outstanding Choreography (Christal Wagner), and Outstanding Direction (Rhonda Schmidt). Though these awards are appreciated, Mrs. Schmidt says it is the students who truly made the production outstanding. “The standard of excellence in DSHA theatre was set many years ago, and our students understand the work we all must put in to uphold this legacy,” she said. “Each cast and crew member truly delivered excellence onstage and integrity offstage. As a director, I was blown away.”
DSHA is proud of its exceptional theatrical students and another phenomenal fall production!