Rocky River City Schools News Article

RRHS Drama Department Wins Four Dazzle Awards

5/20/2019, 9:19:50 AM

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The Rocky River High School Drama Department’s spring musical production of Singin’ in the Rain won four regional Dazzle Awards that were presented on Saturday night at the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square.

Rocky River won The Connor Family Best Musical (Tier 1) for the fourth straight year for this year’s performance of Singin’ in the Rain. RRHS previously won the award for Catch Me If You Can, Legally Blonde and Monty Python’s Spamalot.

RRHS also won Dazzle Awards for Best Choreography Execution and Best Costume Design, while senior Owen Stickney won a Dazzle Award for Best Featured Performer for his role as R.F. Simpson.

In addition, RRHS received Dazzle Award nominations for Best Ensemble/Chorus, Best Scenic Design and Best Student Orchestra.

The Dazzle Awards are presented by John and Patricia Chapman and are affiliated with the Broadway League Foundation’s National High School Musical Theater Awards, knows as “The Jimmy Awards”.

The regional program aims to inspire and honor excellence in high school musical theater and to recognize the importance of musical theater and arts in the Northeast Ohio community. A panel of judges attend one production at each participating school, provide educational feedback on the official evaluation form and determine nominees and awards. The Dazzle Awards are modeled after the Tony Awards and awards are handed out in 13 categories. 
This year, as in past years, the Dazzle Awards provided students the opportunity to attend several audition workshops led by local professional artists.  In these workshops, students presented prepared audition pieces and gained valuable feedback as they worked with students from the other 29 participating schools.  Additionally, students were invited to attend master classes with cast and crew members from the Broadway series shows and received vocal and dance training from the casts and crews of Les Miserables, School of Rock, Hello, Dolly!, A Bronx Tale, and Miss Saigon.  Technical theater students also were invited to attend a master class with area professionals who have careers in technical theater. 
The Dazzle Awards also hosted a college open house that included Ohio universities that have various majors in the performing arts.  New to the program this year were technical theater apprenticeships. The selected students got to shadow Dazzle Awards staff members during rehearsals the week of the show. 
The Dazzle Awards staff brought in director Rommy Sandhu, whose Broadway credits include Oklahoma!, A Christmas Carol, On the Town, Annie Get Your Gun, and Mary Poppins, for which he was also the dance captain.  During the week leading up to the Awards on May 18, two students from each school plus any individual nominees were taught opening and closing numbers for the show with Sandhu and Emma Gassett, the New York-based associate choreographer. Students who were nominated for Best Lead Actor/Actress also learned medleys to showcase their individual performances.  The winners of Best Actor/Actress will go to New York City next month to represent Northeast Ohio in the 11th Annual Jimmy Awards. 

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