• 2017 True West Award: Claudia Carson

    by John Moore | Dec 06, 2017
    True West Awards. Claudia Carson. Photo courtesy Jimmy Awards

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 6: Claudia Carson


    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Claudia Carson loves her job to her core. That job is to help high-students love theatre to their cores. And she’s pretty good at her job.

    There’s far more to it than that. Carson is also a stage manager, choreographer, director and teaching artist. But what really fuels her fire is coordinating two profoundly meaningful student programs for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts: The annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievements in high-school musical theatre, and a year-round, statewide teen playwriting competition.

    “Claudia is just so joyful, so inspirational and so hungry to make an impact with students,” said DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous. “She makes those programs possible with her year-round passion and commitment.”

    Claudia Carson True West BGA 2017The Bobby G Awards, which served 42 high schools and nearly 7,000 students last school year, are Carson’s true labor of love. She manages all operational elements of the wide-ranging, 5-year-old  program, including coordinating in-school workshops, professional adjudications of every production and a big, culminating Tony Awards-style party attended by nearly 2,000 each May at the Buell Theatre.

    Participating high schools have the opportunity to be mentored by DCPA Teaching Artists, and last year 24 schools signed on for 70 workshop classes. Once their school musicals go up, they are judged by a field of professional artists and educators who not only score each show for awards consideration, they provide detailed, constructive feedback that teachers can use to make their programs better.

    The awards ceremony itself is a remarkable celebration of the high-school theatre community. Carson not only directs the slick show, she choreographs sophisticated, original medleys that are performed by all of the male and female leading actor nominees. The two students ultimately named Outstanding Actor and Actress move on to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City, also known as The Jimmys. And Carson chaperones them every step of the way.

    “I think the magic of Claudia coordinating the Bobby G Awards program is that she cares so much about theatre in Colorado, and she cares so much about teachers,” Watrous said. “Claudia is a full-on champion of high-school theatre in Colorado.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    This past year, the DCPA’s fourth High School Playwriting Competition drew 132 one-act submissions from budding writers in 14 Colorado counties. That after Carson sent DCPA Teaching Artists to 46 high schools, where they conducted 138 workshops for more than 2,800 students. Four of the resulting scripts were chosen to be read by professional actors at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit in February, and two were ultimately given fully staged productions through DCPA Education’s summer academy.

    Claudia Carson True West BGA 2016If that weren’t “job enough,” Carson also returned to her roots as a Stage Manager this year for the recent return engagement of Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women. And as a summer Teaching Artist for DCPA Education, she and a group of ambitious teens created an entire original musical from scratch — in just two weeks.

    If that sounds like a lot, you should know this about Carson: It's in her DNA. Her mother, Bev Newcomb-Madden, is a pioneer of  children's theatre in Denver and has directed more plays than any other woman in Colorado theatre history. Her sister, Glenna Kelly, is an accomplished actor who for a long time ran Kaiser-Permanente’s acclaimed Educational Theatre Programs for Colorado. And her daughter, Claire Carson, studied at Denver School of the Arts and SMU, and is now an actor in Dallas. That’s three generations of accomplished Newcomb women — and counting. And brother Jamie Newcomb performed in the DCPA Theatre Company's recent productions of Benediction and All the Way

    Pictured above and right: Claudia Carson with 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actors Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo, and DCPA  Senior Manager of Press and Promotions Heidi Bosk).

    “Claudia is a sensitive, caring and compassionate person, and she really has an innate ability to connect with teenagers,” said DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg. “But at the same time, she is also a quintessential stage manager and mother, which is probably why she is so good at both jobs. Part of being a good mom is being a good stage manager.”

    Carson graduated from Denver East High School and studied journalism at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She came to the Denver Center as a stage manager for all Galleria Theatre shows for a five-year stretch starting in 2003 with the longest-running musical in Colorado theatre history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. She later took charge of the global expansion of the runaway hit Girls Only and then served as Executive Assistant to DCPA President Randy Weeks, who died in 2014. She has also worked as a stage manager at Curious Theatre and the Arvada Center.

    But she seems to have found her sweetest spot working with students.

    “She’s doing what she loves with the people she loves the most,” Ekeberg said. “For someone who has done so many things, that’s a pretty cool culmination of a pretty cool career.”

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.


    True West Claudia Carson 2017

    The four finalists from the DCPA's fourth statewide High School Playwriting Competition had their plays presented as readings at the 12th annual 2017 Colorado New Play Summit, including 'Dear Boy on the Tree,' above, written by Jasmin Hernandez Lozano of Vista Peak Preparatory Academy in Aurora. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS: '30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS'
    The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards (to date)


    Video bonus 1: The 2017 Bobby G Awards




    Video bonus 2 Student playwriting:

  • 2017 Bobby G Awards: Persistence pays off at Valor Christian

    by John Moore | May 25, 2017

    A Bobby G AwardsThe cast of Valor Christian's production of 'Pippin,' which was named Outstanding Musical tonight. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Fourth time is the charm for Outstanding Actress
    Elleon Dobias, who will represent Colorado in New York.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The fifth annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievement in Colorado high-school theatre, were proof positive that persistence pays off. Valor Christian High School Senior Elleon Dobias (pictured at right), who was nominated all three of her underclassman years but had never before won a Bobby G Award, was named Outstanding Actress. And her school won Outstanding Musical for the first time for its production of Pippin.

    Bobby G Awards. Elleon DobiasLakewood High School led all schools by earning four of the evening’s 19 awards for its epic production of Sweeney Todd. In all, a record 12 schools won at least one award, spreading the love wide among the 42 participating high schools. Valor Christian's Pippin earned three. Bobby G Awards will soon be taking up new residence at schools throughout the state, including at Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Niwot high schools.

    The Bobby G Awards are a culmination of a year-long program administered by the Denver Center that emphasizes camaraderie and shared experiences - but there is also much at stake. The students named Outstanding Actor and Actress go on to represent Colorado at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City.

    Bobby G Awards (Pictured at right: The cast of North High School/Strive Prep's production of 'In the Heights', which was nominated for best musical. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Austin Hand of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins was named Outstanding Actor for his performance as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family. Dobias had been nominated as a freshman and sophomore in the "Rising Star" category, for promising underclassmen. Last year she was nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actress, and this year, playing the widow Catherine in Pippin, she won for Outstanding Actress.

    "For this to be my fourth year to be nominated at the Bobby G Awards and to go out on such a high has been a delight, to say the least," said Dobias, who also graduated from high school earlier in the day.

    Moments after the ceremony ended, the newly named Outstanding Actors already were exchanging phone numbers with previous recipients. "This is a family you've entered into," said last year's Outstanding Actor, Curtis Salinger. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Bobby G Awards. Austin Hand.As Colorado’s winners, Dobias and Hand (pictured right) will be joined next month by other regional honorees for "The Jimmys," as they are known in New York City. That’s 10 days of intensive training with some of Broadway's leading actors, choreographers and directors, all leading up to a fully staged, one-night performance at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre.

    Nominees for the Bobby G Awards are determined by scoring from a team of professional adjudicators. Unlike other awards categories, the Outstanding Actor and Actress winners are determined by two equally scored criteria: First, the students are judged for their actual performances in their respective school musicals. The five students with the highest scores then go before a professional panel for a private, scored audition.

    This year, a record 42 schools participated in the statewide Bobby G Awards program, up from 30 two years ago. Valor Christian, a private school with an enrollment of 879, is located on a 35-acre campus in Highlands Ranch. When she was a freshman, Dobias said, only 10 kids tried out for the school play at Valor Christian More than 60 auditioned for Pippin, she said.

    Bobby G AwardsColorado native Gene Gillette, who is a member of the national touring production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, opening Tuesday at the very same Ellie Caulkins Opera House, presented two awards.

    (Pictured at right: Gene Gillette with former Outstanding Actor Curtis Salinger and Outstanding Actresses Abby Noble and Charlotte Movizzo.)

    Gillette encouraged the high-school kids in their pursuits, saying professional success takes discipline, a strong belief in yourself and a strong sense of wonder.

    Denver First Lady and prominent area singer and actor Mary Louise Lee, who runs a nonprofit called Bringing Back the Arts, presented two awards. Lee, who made her professional debut at the Denver Center when she was 18, riffed from the signature song from The Wiz, "Believe in Yourself." The students were also greeted by DCPA CEO Janice Sinden and Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg.

    Among the heartfelt and comic acceptance speeches was Will Warner, who was named Outstanding Supporting Actor for his work as Beadle Bamford in Lakewood High School's Sweeney Todd. "I would like to thank the women in my life," Warner said ... "Because they told me I had to."

    (Story continues after the video.)

    Video: 2017 Bobby G Awards in 60 Seconds


    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. More video and photos to come.


    Of note to the local theatre community was longtime BDT Stage performer Shelly Cox-Robie's nomination as a fifth-year director at Boulder High School. She directed Rent, with her son playing Angel. Two of her actors were nominated as Outstanding Actor (Jesse Shafroth) and Actress (Asha Romeo). Boulder won for both Outstanding Chorus and Orchestra.

    Students and educators were honored in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, technical production and overall production excellence. All participating schools received one personal master class session with a DCPA Education theatre teacher. Winners of the Outstanding Supporting Actor, Actress and Rising Star (Outstanding Underclassman) awards also earn a full year of free classes at the Denver Center. "Theatre is alive in Colorado," said Education Director Allison Watrous. “The DCPA is proud to be a part of your journey.”

    A Bobby G AwardsWhile the Bobby G Awards culminate each year with Thursday's awards ceremony, which is modeled after the Tony Awards, the year-long focus of the program is to both celebrate and educate. The participating schools receive detailed feedback on their musical productions from the adjudicators. The 10 nominated Outstanding Actors and Actresses are invited to the Denver Center two weeks before the awards to prepare a medley together in community and friendship, which they then perform at the ceremony on the Ellie Caulkins stage.

    Each of the five nominated Outstanding Productions performed a musical number during the ceremony, each drawing thunderous appreciation from an enthusiastic Ellie Caulkins  crowd estimated at 1,800.

    The Bobby G Awards were founded in 2013 by the late DCPA President Randy Weeks. They are named after late producer Robert Garner, who established Denver as a top destination for touring Broadway shows.

    The Master of ceremonies was again Greg Moody, longtime known as Colorado's Critic-At-Large for CBS-4.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    THE 2016-17 BOBBY G AWARDS

    Hair and Makeup

    Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Make-up Design

    Cierra Denning and Izze Sajdak
    The Scarlet Pimpernel
    , Chaparral High School

    Other nominees:

    • Devan Green, Fiddler on the Roof, Brighton High School
    • Katie Kostenik, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
    • Lydia Cole, Averi Davis, Emma Smith and Hannah Tester, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
    • Maya Julien, Christina Larez and Simone Rodriguez, In the Heights, North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School


    Costumes

    Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design

    Camille Gionet, Kaila Govan and Alyssa Mader
    Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School

    Other nominees:
    • Joe Kennedy and Anne Murphy, Aida, Fairview High School
    • Mollie Beck and Rebecca Spafford,The Addams Family, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Jen Bleem, Lauryn Starke, Cynthia Vega and Ramses Vega, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
    • Mona Lucero, Simone Rodriguez and Sarah Davies-Schley, In the Heights, North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School


    Lighting


    Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

    Ethan Thomas and T.J. Thomas
    The Little Mermaid,
    Ralston Valley High School

    Other nominees:
    • Demian Detweiler and Scott Nelson, Pippin, Aspen High School
    • Brian Morgans, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
    • Jude Franco, Dennis Gilsdorf and Nich Gilsdorf, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
    • Karley Durate, Anthony Heredia, Joylene Quintana and Travis Roth, Tarzan, Westminster High School


    Scenic

    Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design
    Hannah Freeman and Tom Ward
    Pippin,
    Aspen High School

    Other nominees:

    • Katya Hirsch and Chris Sweeney, Rent, Boulder High School
    • Clare Buntrock, Rachel Barckholtz, Taylor Dykstra and Jace Smykil, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
    • Josh Belk and Starr Samkus, Starlight Express, Palmer Ridge High School
    • Tori Byam and Liam Southwick, Beauty and the Beast, Durango High School


    Choreography

    Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
    Angie Dryer
    Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School

    Other nominees:

    • Lindsey Solano, Fiddler on the Roof, Brighton High School
    • Caitlin Parets, Guys and Dolls, Loveland High School
    • Evan DeBord, Tammy Johnson, Cydney Kutcipal and Rachel Miller, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
    • John DeYoung and Jamie Geary, Pippin, Valor Christian High School


    Musical Direction

    Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction
    Marty Magehee, Rick Paswaters and Jenny Timmons
    Pippin, Valor Christian High School

    Other nominees:

    • Duncan Cooper, Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
    • Mary Bateman, Rent, Boulder High School
    • Steve Hinman and Luke Tredinnick, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
    • Bryce Melaragno and Debbie Miller, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School


    Chorus

    Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
    Rent

    Boulder High School

    Other nominees:

    • Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
    • Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
    • Pippin, Valor Christian High School
    • The Pirates of Penzance, Wheat Ridge High School


    Orchestra

    Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra

    Rent

    Boulder High School

    Other nominees:

    • Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
    • Fiddler on the Roof, Brighton High School
    • The Producers, Denver School of the Arts
    • Aida, Fairview High School


    Supporting Actress

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
    McKinley Mueller
    Grandma Addams, The Addams Family
    Glenwood Springs High School

    Other nominees:

    • Stella Martin as Andrea, Once on This Island, Conifer High School
    • Anna Rosenthal as Grandma Addams, The Addams Family, Heritage High School
    • Alexa Hand as Sydney, It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman, Resurrection Christian School
    • Libby Lukens as Jan, Grease, Steamboat Springs High School


    Supporting Actor

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
    Will Warner
    Beadle Bamford
    Sweeney Todd

    Lakewood High School

    Other nominees:

    • Will Coleman as Lumiere, Beauty and the Beast, Arvada West High School
    • Brandon Michael as Herr Schultz, Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
    • Adrian Clark as Farleigh, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
    • Luccio Dellepiane, Harold Bride, Titanic, Cherry Creek High School


    Rising Star

    Rising Star

    Joe Robinson
    Dewhurst
    The Scarlet Pimpernel

    Chaparral High School

    Other nominees:

    • Ana Lemus as Serena, Legally Blonde, D’Evelyn High School
    • Luke McKenzie as Theo, Pippin, George Washington High School
    • Sam Feng as Oz Guard, The Wizard of Oz, Lutheran High School
    • Ellie Hill as La Fou, Beauty and the Beast, Regis Jesuit High School

    Leading Actress

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

    Elleon Dobias
    Catherine
    Pippin

    Valor Christian High School

    • Asha Romeo as Joanne Jefferson, Rent, Boulder High School
    • Grace Nolte as Marguerite St. Just, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
    • Cameron Marter as Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
    • Chantal King as Witch, Into the Woods, Niwot High School


    Leading Actor

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Austin Hand
    Gomez Addams
    The Addams Family

    Fossil Ridge High School

    Other nominees:

    • Jesse Shafroth as Mark Cohen, Rent, Boulder High School
    • Chandler Carter as Chauvelin, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
    • Trey Kochevar as Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
    • Gable Kinsman as Pippin, Pippin,Valor Christian High School


    Direction

    Outstanding Achievement in Direction
    Tami LoSasso and Yovana Milosevic
    Sweeney Todd

    Lakewood High School

    Other nominees:

    • Shelly Cox-Robie, Rent, Boulder High School
    • Kate McRaith, The Addams Family, Glenwood Springs High School
    • Katie Marshall, Children of Eden, Mountain View High School
    • Lindsey Hutcheon and Kurt Muenstermann, Pippin,Valor Christian High School


    Overall Production

    Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
    Pippin

    Valor Christian High Schoo
    l

    Other nominees:

    • Rent, Boulder High School
    • The Scarlet Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
    • Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
    • In the Heights, North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School

    Valor


    Valor Christian High School's production of 'Pippin.'



    Video: A look back at the 2016 Bobby G Awards



    More video and photos from Thursday's awards ceremony will be posted next week.

    2017 SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS:

    • Achievement in Orchestra: Tim Costello, Cabaret, Bear Creek High School
    • Achievement in Scenic Design: Danielle Waldman, The Producers, Denver School of the Arts
    • Achievement in Technical Direction: Chris Brown, Into the Woods, Niwot High School
    • Special Achievement for a Premiere Production in Colorado: cast and crew of Starlight Express, Palmer Ridge High School
    Previous 2017 Bobby G Awards coverage
    Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress finalists
    Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor finalists
    2016-17 Bobby G Award finalists are announced

    Video: Montage welcoming all 42 participating schools:

    Watch our welcoming video introducing all 42 schools participating in the 2016-17 Bobby G Awards. Video shot by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

  • Video, photos: 2017 Hattitude's 12th 'crowning' achievement

    by John Moore | May 09, 2017

    Video coverage of the 2017 Women with Hattitude luncheon by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Just push play.


    Hattitude is an annual multicultural celebration of women that supports gender equality in the American theatre.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The 12th annual  DCPA Women with Hattitude luncheon was held Thursday, May 8, in support of the DCPA Theatre Company's mission to level that playing field for women playwrights and directors.

    The  Women’s Voices Fund is a national model that enables the Theatre Company to commission, workshop and produce new plays by women. Now valued at more than $1.3 million, the Women’s Voices Fund is one of the largest funds of any kind devoted to creating new works for the American theatre. Thursday's luncheon raised more than $80,000 for the cause.

    "The Denver Center is promoting women’s voices all across the country and beyond," said DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden. "Gender equality in the American theatre is so important, and what a wonderful opportunity the DCPA has to shine such a bright light on it."

    Story continues below the photo gallery:


    Our 2017 Women with Hattitude photo gallery:


    2017 Hattitude Photos from the 2017 Hattitude luncheon. To see more, press the forward arrow on the image above. Photos can be downloaded for free. Photos by Amanda Tipton and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    This season, the DCPA Theatre Company presented world premieres by playwrights Tira Palmquist (Two Degrees) and Lauren Gunderson (The Book of Will), and half of its directors were women. DCPA Education's  annual statewide youth playwriting competition produced 10 semifinalist plays this year - and eight of them were written or co-written young women. In July, Jasmin A. Hernandez Lozano's The Boy on the Tree will get a full production in the Conservatory Theatre.

    Studies have shown that while women make up nearly 60 percent of all live theatregoing audiences nationwide, only about 25 percent of all plays and musicals staged in America are written by women. In its first 12 years, the Women’s Voices Fund made it possible for the DCPA Theatre Company to produce 31 plays by women, commission 20 female playwrights and hire 23 female directors. Further, the Fund also has contributed to 11 world premiere plays by women.

    "The DCPA Theatre Company is a distinctive and distinguished leader in the movement to ensure that women’s voices are heard throughout the nation both onstage and behind the scenes," said Associate Artistic Director Nataki Garrett

     Story continues below the photo:

    Hattitude Abby Noble, Janice Sinden, Charlotte Movizzo
    Pictured above, from left: Charlotte Movizzo, DCPA CEO Janice Sinden and Abby Noble. Photo by John More for the DCPA NewsCenter.



    The Hattitude party always culminates with a whimsical fashion show – each of the 65 tables nominates one woman (or man!) to walk down a runway and show off their hats. This year, University of Northern Colorado musical-theatre students Abby Noble and Charlotte Movizzo led the parade while singing “All That Jazz,” from the upcoming touring musical Chicago (coming to Denver Nov. 28-Dec. 3).

    The DCPA also hosts the annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievements in Colorado high-school theatre. Noble and Movizzo are two recent winners of the Bobby G Awards' Outstanding Actress competition.

    As a young artist hoping to graduate into a more equitable world, Noble clearly understands the need, the benefit and the fun of an afternoon like Hattitude. "The fact that I get to come here and see all of these incredibly inspiring women fighting for women's voices in the theatre is just absolutely incredible," Noble said.

    Sinden called Mivozzo and Noble "two incredible examples of how we at the DCPA are really growing the pipeline of future leaders in the theatre." 

    Michael Halling and Sean Palmer, two stars from the DCPA Theatre Company's The Secret Garden, performed the duet "Lily's Eyes." That show continues in the Stage Theatre through May 30.

    The Hattitude tradition began in 2005. It grew out of the Theatre Company’s presentation of Regina Taylor's Crowns. Her musical play explores black history and identity, using an exquisite variety of hats to tell the shared history and rituals of African-American women, ranging in era from slavery to current fashion.

    Crowns deals with what it meant for a woman to have her head covered, and the statement that it makes,” said international dance legend Cleo Parker Robinson. “In the African tradition, when we wear head wraps, it’s almost a regal thing.”

    More information on the Women’s Voices Fund

    Robinson was part of the DCPA's African-American Task Force that created Hattitude in 2005.  “It was very important for us to include all multicultural communities,” said Robinson. The annual Hattitude luncheon, she added, was the perfect opportunity for women of all backgrounds to come together, share lunch and tell stories, while also raising money for the Women’s Voices Fund.

    “This was one way to get out the African-American community. And you know - we sisters love to wear hats,” Robinson said. “Our hats make a cultural statement, and they make an age statement. It about her attitude - and her hattitude.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Hattitude April JonesHattitude was hosted this year by CBS-4 anchors Jim Benneman and Britt Moreno. The Event Chair was longtime Denver attorney, entrepreneur and community leader April Jones (pictured right). Denver First Lady (and powerhouse performer) Mary Louise Lee was among the many dignitaries in attendance.

    The Platinum Sponsors of Hattitude were Denver Center Alliance; Macy's; and Kristin and Jim Bender. The Gold Sponsors were Mariel, Ray and Denise Bellucci; Jack and Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons; and Margot and Allan Frank. The Media Sponsor was Reign Magazine.

    "In addition to more than 130 individual donors, Women With Hattitude attendees continue to provide vital support to the Women's Voices Fund," Jones said.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

  • Video: Bobby G Awards winners sing Denver Outlaws anthem

    by John Moore | Jul 26, 2016


    a-bobby-g-awards-denver-outlaws-600Charlotte Movizzo and Curtis Salinger, Colorado's 2016 Bobby G Awards winners, were invited to sing the National Anthem at the Denver Outlaws' professional lacrosse victory over the Atlanta Blaze on July 16. It also happened to be "Star Wars Night" at Mile High Stadium, hence the appearance of stormtroopers. The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in high-school musical theatre. Salinger and Movizzo were named Outstanding Actor and Actress. The rehearsal pianist and anthem arranger was Martha Yordy.

    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk with interviews by DCA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Anthem footage provided by the Denver Outlaws.   

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Video: Colorado's Bobby G Awards reps win scholarships in New York 
    Bobby G Award winners' Road to the Jimmy Awards
    Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at 2016 Bobby G Awards
    Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Video: Outstanding Musical nominee performances
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'


    a-bobby-g-awards-denver-outlaws-600l



    Photo gallery: 2016 Bobby G Awards, after Denver


    2016 Bobby G Awards: After DenverThis gallery follows our Colorado representatives since winning at the 2016 Bobby G Awards. To see more, press the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • Bobby G Award winners' Road to the Jimmy Awards

    by John Moore | Jun 19, 2016

    This YouTube playlist will be updated all week with more dispatches from Charlotte Movizzo and Curtis Salinger for BroadwayWorld. Bookmark it here.


    Today, Denver’s representatives for the 2016 National High School Musical Theatre Awards – “The Jimmys” – arrived in New York and immediately began their eight-day immersion into workshops and rehearsals, all leading up to their appearance on Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre stage on June 27.

    Charlotte Movizzo of Ponderosa High School and Curtis Salinger of Durango High School were chosen to represent Colorado at the DCPA’s recent Bobby G Awards, which celebrate Outstanding Achievement in high-school theatre.

    We spoke with each of them on their way to the Great White Way:

    Meet Charlotte Movizzo:

    1 PerspectivesHow has your life changed since the night of the Bobby G Awards ceremony? I have had some incredible opportunities. I was invited to sing to perform before the DCPA board, and at the Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament, which raised more than $91,000 for the advancement of musical theatre for Colorado high-school students. Both events showed me what incredible people there are supporting the program, and high-school theatre. Otherwise, I have been very busy practicing and preparing music for New York.

    2 PerspectivesTell us about your family connection to the local theatre community. My mother performed at the former Country Dinner Playhouse alongside some big names in the local and Broadway theatre communities. Having a mom with a background in the performing arts has influenced me since Day 1. I grew up singing showtunes in the car, and performing for anyone who would listen. My mom has made sure that I have had every opportunity to grow in the arts, from driving me theatre camps to staying up until midnight listening to me sing the same two measures over and over. She is my vocal coach and acting coach, and she has done everything she can to teach me her knowledge of the performing-arts world. The two of us often can be found doing tap combinations while washing the dishes, and attempting to harmonize to Annie Get Your Gun in the car.

    3 PerspectivesWhat’s the one thing you are looking forward to most in New York? Having the opportunity to work with the amazing teachers and professors there, as well as meeting other high-school students from around the country who share my passion. The theatre world is a very supportive place, so I can’t wait to see what relationships I form there.

    4 PerspectivesHow do programs like the Bobby G Awards and the Jimmy Awards help the reputation and respect of your high-school theatre program? This experience will help the theatre program at Ponderosa make a name for itself within the school, as well as within the community. The Bobby G Awards have allowed our theatre program to say that we have people going to the equivalent of “state” or, “nationals” - titles usually claimed by the sports teams.

    5 PerspectivesSierra-BoggessWho do you most hope to encounter on the streets of New York? Sierra Boggess, star of School of Rock. is a guest speaker at the Jimmy Awards. Not only is she a Denver girl, but she is so incredibly versatile and talented. She has been a huge inspiration to me. I saw her perform in The Little Mermaid at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House before it went to Broadway, and I have been dying to see her perform ever since.

    Last words: I am so honored to have been allowed this enormous opportunity. I already have learned so much in a very short amount of time, and I know I have so much more learning ahead of me.

    READ MORE ABOUT CHARLOTTE AND THE OTHER NOMINEES

     Bobby G Awards Road to the Jimmy Awards Montage

    Clockwise from top: Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo shortly after winning their Bobby G Awards on May 26 at the Buell Theatre; Charlotte performs before the DCPA Board, Charlotte and Curtis appear on Fox's 'Daybreak' with Chris Parente; Charlotte and Curtis on their first day at the Jimmy Awards in New York; Curtis turned 16 on June 18, and he found the perfect place to mark the rite of passage on Denver's 16th Street mall.

    Meet Curtis Salinger:

    1 PerspectivesHow has your life changed since the night of the Bobby G Awards ceremony? My life has been surreal. I still don't believe I won. Walking around town is a mess of congratulations and word has spread through a front-page newspaper story in my hometown of Durango. It's an indescribable feeling when someone you don't know congratulates you on the street for winning this award. It's also been a mad dash preparing material and forms and packing for a theatre camp to then leave right away for New York.

    2 PerspectivesTell us about your interesting family connection to the Bobby G Awards. My brother, Evatt, won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Actor last year. He was the one who really inspired me to continue and pursue theatre, and I've been watching him on stage for as long as I can remember. Watching him have so much fun and get so much support was something that really gave me the ‘oomph’ it took to join in, and I'm so glad I did. Our family was so, so excited and blown away when he won. For me, it became my dream. I'm so fortunate that this dream came true.

    3 PerspectivesWhat’s the one thing you are looking forward to most in New York? While watching the show On Your Feet! is going to be very exciting, I'm looking forward to meeting the other actors and the professionals the most. I love making new friends and learning new things, and there's no better place to do that than with the nation's best. I'm also really looking forward to singing the opening and closing numbers with the guest artists because it will be a chance to sing with this enormous group of absolutely amazing peers and professionals all doing what they love. I think that'll just be flat-out awesome.

    4 PerspectivesHow do programs like the Bobby G Awards and the Jimmy Awards help the reputation and respect of your high-school theatre program? I think my winning the award gives my school fresh perspective when it comes to the arts. Sports offers the opportunity to compete in tournaments and make the playoffs and there's a goal of winning first place. And that is impressive. However, with theatre, a show usually opens and closes - and that's it. This award tells students they can take their art further and get recognition for their talent. The Bobby G Awards gives you the chance to extend the experience – to Denver and New York. And, no two of the four Outstanding Actors have come from the same school. And they happen to be brothers - and one of them happens to be me! One of the Outstanding Actresses came from our school, and last year our show was named Outstanding Musical at the Bobby G Awards and the Colorado Thespian Conference. This is a huge success from our school. It will help our community and our school board recognize that we have some amazing talent in Durango and theatre is something that should not get looked over.

    5 Perspectivesleslie-odom-jrWho do you most hope to encounter on the streets of New York? Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. … OK, basically the entire cast of Hamilton. I am thrilled that Zachary Levi is hosting the Jimmy Awards in New York, because I've seen his TV show Chuck and I loved it. I used him in a TED-x talk I gave about promoting theatre in the schools because he was a childhood actor. He's someone I really look up to, and it will be awesome to have him host.

    Last words: The mom of a kid I'd worked with in a show last year came up to me on the street and congratulated me on winning. She told me her son looked up to me, and that I was setting a really good example for the younger kids. That was one of the most rewarding things that's ever happened to me. I have a goal to help promote theatre – especially for guys - and to hear that was amazing. That was something I’ll never forget.

    READ MORE ABOUT CURTIS AND THE OTHER NOMINEES

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at 2016 Bobby G Awards
    Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Video: Outstanding Musical nominee performances
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'

    Check out the 2016 Nominated Performers' Medley:


    The 2016 Bobby G Awards, which celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school theatre, were held May 26 at the Buell Theatre. Each of the 10 nominated Outstanding Actors and Actresses took part in an original medleys before the crowd of 1,700. They were joined by last year's winners, Emma Buchanan and Evatt Salinger of Durango High School. The featured students are:

    Garrett Charles, Arvada West High School
    Abbie Cheney, Glenwood Springs High School
    Keala Fraioli, Steamboat Springs High School
    Michael Kosko, Denver School of the Arts
    Danny Miller, Arvada West High School
    Charlotte Movizzo, Ponderosa High School
    Jacob Pearce, Fairview High School
    Curtis Salinger, Durango High School
    Sienna Sewell, Fairview High School
    Savannah Wood, Mountain View High School

    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk
  • Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at the 2016 Bobby G Awards

    by John Moore | Jun 08, 2016

    Acceptance speeches and interview comments before and after the 2016 Bobby G Awards. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Before newly graduated Ponderosa High School senior Charlotte Movizzo discovered the theatre, she said, “I was the quietest person you will ever meet. I was very shy.”

    How shy?

    “I was afraid to order at Qdoba,” she said. “It was terrifying.”

    Jimmy Miller Bobby G Awards But when Movizzo found the theatre, she found a second home. “I felt I could break out of my shell,” she said.

    Movizzo left any remaining fragments of her broken shell on the Buell Theatre stage last month when she was named Outstanding Actress at the 2016 Bobby G Awards, which honor achievements in Colorado high-school theatre. As the newly named Outstanding Actress and Actor, Movizzo and 15-year-old Durango High School sophomore Curtis Salinger earned a trip next week to New York City, where they will be immersed for 10 days of theatre training with Broadway professionals before performing in the Minskoff Theatre at the national Jimmy Awards.

    That’s how fast your life can change because of the Bobby G Awards, which were begun by late DCPA President Randy Weeks four years ago and named in honor of his late mentor, Denver theatre producer Robert Garner.

    When she heard her name called, Movizzo said, there were no words. “I almost started crying,” she said.

    Winning was nice, but the best part of her Bobby G Awards experience, she said, was working together with her nine fellow nominees for a week on a specially created medley they performed at the ceremony. “Working with all of the nominees has been amazing because they are all so talented,” she said. They became so close and supportive, she said, they formed a private Facebook group.

    But the Bobby G Awards are not all about churning out the next generation of Broadway performers. 2014 Outstanding Actor Conner Kingsley matriculated to Tulane University, where he had the cred to star as Jack in the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods as just a freshman. But his heart soon led him toward a Management Environmental Studies degree and, hopefully, next into law school. Kingsley said performing in high-school school theatre and the Bobby G Awards experience prepped him well for that transition.

    “That has really helped me to talk openly in front of people, and taught me how to share my ideas and opinions easily,” he said.

    In the lobby before the Bobby G Awards, it was clear this unique annual gathering is all about celebrating both theatre and camaraderie.

    Bobby G Awards Luccio Dellepiane “For my kids, high-school theatre is their life for four years, and the school musical becomes the epicenter of their entire year,” said Cherry Creek High School Drama Teacher Jimmy Miller, whose How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was nominated for eight Bobby G Awards. “But what my kids really enjoy about these awards is being around other high-school kids and sharing the energy, and sharing the love.”

    Another example of how much can change in a year was made plain when Cherry Creek student Luccio Dellepiane (pictured above) stepped onto the Buell Theatre stage as J. Pierpont Finch alongside his How to Succeed castmates to perform a medley from the show.

    Last year, Dellepiane was singled out as the Bobby G Awards’ Rising Star, an award that honors outstanding work by an underclassman for his work as The Herald in Creek’s Cinderella. This year, Dellepiane starred in the leading role of How to Succeed. Star risen.

    “That was really crazy,” said Dellepiane, who like many others, was surrounded by proud family and friends in the Buell lobby before the awards. “That was the greatest honor I have ever received.”

    Our 2016 Bobby G Awards photo gallery:

    2016 Bobby G Awards

    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    One of the fringe benefits of winning the Rising Star Award is a year of free classes offered by the DCPA’s Education Department, and Dellepiane took full advantage by signing up for four summer classes ranging from improv comedy to audition tips.

    “I know I grew as a performer because of it,” he said. “It gave me confidence to go further.”

    The Bobby G Awards’ Outstanding Musical Award went to Mountain View High School’s tap-dance extravaganza, Anything Goes. Mountain View is a medium-sized school of 1,200 located in Loveland, about 45 miles north of Denver. 

    “It’s humbling,” leading actor Owen Whitham said of the honor. “We come from a smaller town and we pour our heart and soul into our work. Being recognized for that is something we never even thought of.” 

    The cast’s performance of the title song drew thunderous response from the Buell crowd of about 1,700.

    “Shockingly, only five of us had ever tapped before,” said cast member Kira Minter, who said the students went through a two-week tap-dancing boot camp before rehearsals even started. Their efforts paid off at the Bobby G Awards.

    “I think this program is amazing,” Minter said. “It’s one of those experiences that changes your life. Performing on a real, professional stage is a great opportunity, especially for kids who are new to theatre. It’s a chance for them to say, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is what I love to do.’ ”

    Denver School of the Arts was nominated for seven Bobby G Awards for its daring production of Spring Awakening, one of the first in the nation by any high school troupe. DSA is one of only two schools in the nation that have been invited to perform at the upcoming International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Neb. Actor Keely Kritz said performing Spring Awakening at the upcoming conference “is the fulfillment of a big dream.”

    Spring Awakening is a modern retelling of young 1880s German teens growing up in the complete absence of real information about sexuality or the human body.

    Bobby G Awards Mountain View High School
    Mountain View High School's cast of 'Anything Goes.' Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    “It was freeing to be able to do this show,” said cast member Beau Wilcox. “It’s great to be able to say, ‘This is our school, and we are going to take on a tough subject, and we are going to do a good job with it.”

    Added castmate Jimmy Bruenger: “We like to do shows that are impactful and share a human experience - and what a perfect show to that,” he said. “This is a show about growing up, and we’ve all done that in the past seven years.”

    Still, for many, the enduring moment of the 2016 Bobby G Awards was watching as Curtis Salinger of Durango High School was named Outstanding Actor one year after his brother, Evatt, won the same honor. And it was Evatt who had the honor of handing the trophy to his younger brother, who turns just 16 next week. Curtis called it a Zoolander moment. But he was was most happy for his parents.

    “We have amazing parents, and they have raised us well,” Curtis said. “I know I speak for Evatt when I say we are eternally grateful to them and for the opportunities they have given us.” 

    One of the giddiest attendees this year was 2014 Outstanding Actress Abby Noble, who was happy to be taking her seat in the Buell Theatre audience before the show. “I just ate at McDonalds, because I don’t have to sing,” she said with a smile as wide as her face.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

     

    MORE QUOTES FROM THE BOBBY G AWARDS:

    2014 Outstanding Actress Abby Noble: “Theatre definitely helps me in every aspect of my life. Especially when it comes to working with other people at the work place. I am a tour guide at my school, and theatre has really helped with the presentational aspect of the job, abs being able to stand under pressure with a smile on your face and be genuine.”

    Shelly Cox-Robie, director of Boulder High School’s Beauty and the Beast and a 250-year performer at BDT Stage in Boulder: “I am so happy for these kids. We have to fight for funding and fight for any recognition for these kids, who work countless hours for months to make these shows.”

    Ronni Gallup, nominated for the third time at Cherry Creek High School and choreographer of Phamaly Theatre Company’s upcoming Evita: “It is so important that we give these kids a taste of what the real business is. I’m hard on them. I push them and I challenge them, year after year. And I think they are the better for it" 

    2015 Outstanding Actress Emma Buchanan: "Being back at the Bobby G Awards makes me nostalgic being back here at the Buell Theatre. You can feel the excitement of the event and how important it is for so many kids in the state."


    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
  • Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds

    by John Moore | Jun 01, 2016


    In the first of our series of videos covering the 2016 Bobby G Awards, we present you with this 60-second recap, focusing on the Colorado actors who are advancing to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, otherwise known as The Jimmys, later this month in New York City. The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in high-school theatre. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'


    Bobby G Awards

    Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo. Photo by Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • Photos: The 2016 Bobby G Awards

    by John Moore | May 29, 2016
    2016 Bobby G Awards
    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. To download any photo for free, in a variety of sizes, click on the photo. You will be taken to our Denver Center Flickr account, where you will click on the download arrow at the bottom right of the image. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.



    Bobby G AwardsHere is a gallery of our best photos from the fourth annual Bobby G Awards held Thursday, May 26 at the Buell Theatre. The Bobby G Awards, named after late Denver theatre producer Robert Garner, honor outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school theatre.The gallery includes photos from the day-long rehearsal at the Buell on Wednesday, May 25.

    Read our complete report on the 2016 Bobby G Awards


    Bobby G Awards DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg with New York-bound Outstanding Actor and Acrtress Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo. Photo by Emily Lozow.DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg with New York-bound Outstanding Actress and Actor Charlotte Movizzo and Curtis Salinger. Photo by Emily Lozow.


    Here is a fun time-lapse video covering the day-long Bobby G Awards rehearsal the day before the ceremony, including performances by Fairview, Arvada West, Denver School of the Arts, Mountain View and Cherry Creek. Video shot by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk on May 25 in the Buell Theatre.

    The traditional post-Bobby G Awards celebration photo on the Buell Stage by John Moore for the DCPA.
    Everyone who was part of a winning production was invited onto the Buell Theatre stage for the traditional  post-Bobby G Awards celebration photo by John Moore for the DCPA.


    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High
    Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game
    Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'

    Bobby G Awards Mountain View High School. Anything Goes. Mountain View High School celebrates the announcement that its 'Anything Goes' had won the 2016 Bobby G Award for Outstanding Musical. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

  • Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists

    by John Moore | May 24, 2016

    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The fourth annual awards and performance take place Thursday, May 26, at the Buell Theatre. Today we introduce you to the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actress.  The winner will advance to represent Colorado at the national Jimmy Awards in New York City.  

    Glenwood Springs

    ABBIE CHENEY

    Reno Sweeney, Anything Goes
    Glenwood Springs High School
    Class of 2017 

    • College plans: Pursuing a performing-arts degree
    • Your Director: Kate McRaith 
    • First role: Oh, man. The first role I played was a cabbage in my elementary school play. I stuffed some green burlap with newspaper and sang “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” by Aretha Franklin and did the can-can. I was pretty proud about that one! 
    • Bobby G Awards 2016 quoteWhy do you perform? I feel at home and powerful on stage. I am my best self, love the people I have met and love the audience-performer relationship. There is so much love put into a show and a character - that is what I find so amazing. 
    • Ideal scene partner: I would love to perform with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is playing Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton on Broadway. I think any part of that would be amazing. It is such an original piece of work that has changed the way I see rap music and American history. 
    • Fun moment when something went wrong: When I was in 7th grade, I played Ms. Hannigan in Annie. Ms. Hannigan is a little raunchy, so I was wearing these tall heels. Of course, I fell. It was very embarrassing. But the character is supposed to be a little tipsy through the entire show, so I played it off in that way.
    • What did it mean for you to be cast in this role?  So much. When I started to educate myself on the show and its characters, I connected with Reno immediately. She not only is sexy, beautiful and has amazing songs, she has a dynamic about her that makes her such a deep character.  
    • Favorite moment from your show: Anything involving the full cast. I always feel so loved and appreciated by them, and a rehearsal can change any of my bad days. It was times like the after-show dinners at Village Inn, and the full-cast rehearsals that I remember most. I love my theater family. 
    • How does it feel to be nominated? So humbling. I am thankful for all the adults and students who help and encourage me. I am stunned at the support of my community and friends. I feel so loved.  
    • What would you say to a younger student who might be nervous or unsure about participating in the performing arts? The performing arts have truly changed my life. I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of doing. As far as nerves, I always say that when you are on stage, it is your job to have a great time and do your best. I always have to tell myself that I am in control of where I spend my energy, so if you put all that energy toward knocking the audience out of their seats, then you are golden.
    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities? I always found that it was so important to have extracurricular opportunities. But after this, I value it even more. It is essential that not only programs are present, but students have opportunities to shine within them. 
    • Last word: Thank you to Mom, Dad, Papa, and all the friends back home who have supported me whole heartedly. You know who you are, and I hope you know I am so thankful for you. 
     



    Steamboat Springs

    KEALA FRAIOLI

    Elle Woods, Legally Blonde, The Musical
    Steamboat Springs High School
    Class of 2017

    • Postgraduate plans: Performing at Disney World
    • Your Director: Jamie Oberhansly
    • First role: I was cast in first grade as Ngana in South Pacific!
    • Bobby G Awards 2016 quoteWhy do you perform? It’s what I love, and I always feel at home when I am onstage.
    • Ideal scene partner: I would love to act with Lily James because I love Cinderella, and the remake she was in was amazing.
    • Favorite moment from your show: This show was definitely packed full of some great memories but for sure closing night was the best with everyone just leaving everything out on the stage and the energy was so high. My vocal chords were so shot, so I would be backstage pantomiming everything. It got to the point where people just stopped asking me questions so they didn't have a butchered, full body-sign language response!
    • Fun moment when something went wrong: I broke a snap on my dress that I change into on stage during dress rehearsal. And then, come opening night, we forgot to fix it. I just crossed the fabric over itself hoping nobody would see the pink dress underneath before I changed.
    • What did it mean for you to be cast in this role? It was such a humbling experience. I couldn't have asked for a better cast and crew to help me with my first leading role.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? This is the most amazing feeling in the world. I couldn't be more on cloud nine!
    • What would you say to a younger student who might be nervous or unsure about participating in the performing arts? Go for it, and if it doesn't work out, then  find something new. And if it does work out, get ready for the most incredible experience ever!
    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities? We are so fortunate to have such an amazing director. Even though we may not get funding from the school, we always find a way to keep the arts alive in our community.
    • Last word: A big thanks to anyone who has helped put on the Bobby G Awards. This truly is a great opportunity for everyone who is fortunate enough to participate in it.


    Ponderosa

    CHARLOTTE MOVIZZO

    Charity Hope Valentine, Sweet Charity
    Ponderosa High School
    Class of 2016

    • College plans: University of Northern Colorado
    • Your Director: Kelly Cole 
    • First role: I was The Aristocats for a Christian Youth Theatre summer-camp production in 5th grade. I played the role of Abigail the Goose.
    • Bobby G Awards 2016 quoteWhy do you perform? Because it is my passion. I enjoy the process of becoming another character, and escaping my own life for a little while. 
    • Ideal scene partner: It would probably be Eddie Redmayne. I think he is an amazing performer, and he puts so much passion into all of his work. I would learn a lot from him. 
    • Favorite moment from your show: When I was in the elevator with Oscar. It was a hilarious scene, and it took everything I had not to break character.
    • Fun moment when something went wrong: I had several quick-changes throughout this show. One of the most difficult was one where I had to get out of a dress and character shoes, and into a blouse, skirt and go-go boots - in about 30 seconds. One night, for some reason, my dress zipper got stuck, and I couldn't get out of it. We struggled with the zipper for all of 30 seconds until we had to literally rip the dress to get it off. When I went to put the skirt on, that zipper wouldn't work, either. At that point, my scene partner had been improvising for a good minute. I decided I needed to enter, so I walked on holding my blouse closed with one hand, and holding my skirt up with the other! 
    • What did it mean for you to be cast in this role? It was very exciting to get to play a role that not only fit my vocal range, but had the stage time of an ingénue, and the personality of a character. Charity is quirky and sweet - and was a blast to play. 
    • How does it feel to be nominated? I am so honored to have the opportunity to represent my school at this event. 
    • What would you say to a younger student who might be nervous or unsure about participating in the performing arts? The performing-arts community is an extremely accepting and supportive group of people. There are so many different roles, both backstage and onstage that you are sure to find something you enjoy. 
    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities? Much of the education that occurs in high school happens in extracurricular activities. Within the arts, there are opportunities for leadership, cooperation and problem-solving that provide great learning experiences.

     


    Fairview

    SIENNA SEWELL

    Sarah Brown, Guys & Dolls

    Fairview High School
    Class of 2016

    • College plans: Studying Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis
    • Your Directors: Janice Vlachos and Lanny Boyer
    • First role: Baby Judy Garland at age 4 at Riverside Theatre Works in Boston
    • Bobby G Awards 2016 quoteWhy do you perform? It allows me to create other characters and step into their shoes for a moment.
    • Ideal scene partner: Johnny Depp. He always stretches the boundaries of his abilities and the characters he plays.  I swear, he can play anything. He is just an amazing actor.
    • Favorite moment from your show: The Havana Scene. The fight has such high energy because there are so many moments happening all over the stage. I get a bit tipsy in the scene and start climbing the tables and fighting off other people.  
    • When life throws you lemons: We moved when I was entering 5th grade. I had a theatre home and was just feeling really good about myself and my friends when my parents told me we were moving to Colorado.  y mom assured me she would find another theatre group for me to be involved in. She kept to her word, but it was still difficult to make the move.  We moved to Boulder, where there were lots of opportunities to be involved in the arts, and Fairview was probably strongest in its music and theatre programs. Academically, too, which was important to me.  I found my way again, and it has been the better than I could have ever dreamed.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? I'm in shock, and thrilled, and incredibly humbled by the recognition. I'm equally excited that our show was nominated for Outstanding Musical. We had such a united energy as a cast, and I'm glad it was recognized.
    • What would you say to a younger student who might be nervous or unsure about participating in the performing arts? Just try it. The arts will change your life. And remember, no one starts out knowing how to be spectacular on stage.  It is a learning process, and you are supposed to be unsure at first. For then, there is only room for improvement.
    • Last word: I am eternally grateful to my teachers at Fairview for their guidance and support.  They have pushed me to be my very best, and have held my hand the whole way. I am also blessed with a family who love the performing arts as much as I do, and have always been my greatest fans.  I’m off to college next year to pursue my love of science, but I know I will be somehow be involved in the performing arts as well. I understand that for me to be a whole person, I need to nourish both sides of my brain and soul.  It will be an incredible journey - even though I'm a bit nervous.

     


    Mountain View

    SAVANNAH WOOD

    Reno Sweeney, Anything Goes
    Mountain View High School
    Class of 2016

    • College plans: Attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York
    • Your Director: Katie Marshall
    • First role: I was five years old and in kindergarten. It was just a small play written by my teacher, but I loved it nonetheless. The next was in my sophomore year of high school, when I was 15 and I was cast in the ensemble of Shrek the Musical.
    • Bobby G Awards 2016 quoteWhy do you perform? Because it is what I love to do, and it allows me to be myself. I am allowed to be unique, and I am accepted for being different. When I become another character, I become a better version of myself, and it inspires me every time I am on stage or reading a script. Performing is my home.
    • Ideal scene partner: I would love to be in a scene with Sutton Foster because she inspires me, and her work is so diverse. She engulfs herself in so many different roles that I think acting with her would not only be an amazing time but also a great experience.
    • Favorite moment from your show: I had actually been nervous about Opening Night from the very first rehearsal. But when the time came, the nerves were gone. Instead, I remember being backstage waiting for places to be called, and I could hardly contain my excitement. I was standing behind the curtain waiting for the music to begin and the energy I felt was exponential. Then the lights came up, the curtains opened and I heard the roaring thunder of a sold-out auditorium. Even now I can’t explain the feeling it gave me. I couldn’t stop thinking about how excited I was for people to see the hard work we all had put into this. I wasn’t just excited for myself, but for my castmates as well. They had all worked so hard and it was finally everyone’s time to shine. The energy and the applause, the smiles and the laughter really fed the show that night. It was such an unexplainably impacting show. I never wanted it to end.
    • Fun moment when something went wrong: Once during “Friendship,” Moonface and I got carried away in the improv dialogue in the song and we missed a vocal cue from the pit. But we just hopped right back on time with each other and finished out the song like it had never happened. The crowd didn’t notice, but we did.
    • What did it mean for you to be cast in this role? I was speechless. I had dreamed of playing Reno, but I never believed it would come true. I was so humbled to play her, and I worked so hard to carry out the role.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? I was sitting around with my fellow castmates that day, waiting for the results to be posted. When I heard the news I lost all control of my sanity. I screamed; I jumped; I ran to hug my directors. That turned into joyous laughter and eventually tears began to form in my eyes because I was just so excited to be presented this incredible opportunity.
    • What would you say to a younger student who might be nervous or unsure about participating in the performing arts? I was honestly terrified to join the performing arts, but I decided to just go for it, and I have never once regretted it. My biggest advice is that it’s OK to be yourself and, in fact, participating in the performing arts is actually a great way to get over any fears you might have. The performing arts are a great place to find yourself, be goofy, be silly, love loud and live passionately. I promise you will never regret it as long as you try. Our biggest regrets are not the things we did do, but the things we didn’t do.
    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities? This experience has taught me how important the performing arts are to the students in schools and carrying out the arts in our communities. Through our musical, we were able to meet many new members of the community through small performances we would do in senior centers and middle schools. Our show gave us something to strive for. For many of us, it turned out to be our saving grace. It is the one thing I look forward to doing every day.
    • Last word: I just want to say how grateful I am that I get to experience the Bobby G Awards and that I am part of this incredible community.

     



    Previous 2016 Outstanding Musical Nominee profiles:
    Cherry Creek High School
    Fairview High School
    Mountain View High School

    Denver School of the Arts
    Arvada West High School



    Bobby G Awards
    : Ticket information

  • Thursday, May 26
  • Buell Theatre 
  • 7 p.m.
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


  • Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    2016 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete listBobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School Video: Outstanding Actor Nominee Performances Video: Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Video: A look at Durango's Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Andre' Rodriguez's stirring Bobby G Awards speech
    Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
    Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
    Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards: Complete list of nominations 
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ABOUT THE EDITOR
John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.