Blaine students shine in theater competition

Published on Wed, Jun 6, 2012 by Angela Hamilton

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Four Blaine High School students were awarded honorable mention in the 5th Avenue Awards theater competition for their performances in non-singing roles in “Umik!” The Ice-Aged Musical, a play based off of the Innuit tradition.

Charisse DeBelen, Steven Montgomery, Allison Otero, and Errol Teicher were honored in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing Role for their performances as Wayward and Way Lost Penguins.

In addition to honorable mentions, Blaine High School was nominated for Outstanding Lobby Display. The students of Brian Smith’s art class created the display of totem poles depicting the tribal history they researched. Ferndale High School was also nominated and received the award for Outstanding Lobby Display in their production, West Side Story.

Judges viewed 93 productions in the state for this year’s competition, which is like the Tony awards for high school theater. This was Blaine High School’s first year competing.

“We are very blessed to have four of our kids honored,” Shari Akers, music and theater teacher said.

Akers said that the 5th Avenue Awards are all about reaching out to high school theater students – representatives visit the schools and adjudicate their performances based on set criteria. Overall performance, direction, choreography, actor and actress performances, and more, are considered in the respective categories.

“The first year we did the award ceremony was 10 years ago,” 5th Avenue Theatre representative Bridget Summers said. “This year there were 93 different performances competing from 74 schools.”

The ceremony and collective performance for the awards took place at the Seattle 5th Avenue Theatre on Monday, June 4. Participating BHS actors included Charisse deBelen, Allison Otero, Chris Poole, and Errol Teichert.

The event will be televised on the Seattle channel 21; the time and date is to be announced. After it is televised, it will be available at the Seattle channel’s website

“Since we are so far away from Seattle it’s a great way for our kids to experience professional theater which you don’t normally get in a rural school,” Akers said.