Camille and Connor pose in the center of the 2024 nominees for Lead Performance. They are all wearing black formal wear.

A Night to Remember for Colorado High School Theatre

All award winners at the 2024 Bobby G Awards pose onstage for a photo at the end of the event.

2024 Bobby G Award winners. Photo by McLeod9 Creative

On May 17, the Buell Theatre was packed to the gills with students and educators, plus their family and friends from across the state of Colorado. The lobby doors opened and flooded the space with activity for a special red carpet, welcoming high school theatre programs to the annual Bobby G High School Musical Theatre Awards.

A group of dancers pose during 'All That Jazz.' They have one leg extended back and their arms out in a bracing motion.

The cast of Chicago: Teen Edition, Cherry Creek High School. 2024 Bobby G Awards. Photo by McLeod9 Creative

The Bobby G Awards recognizes Colorado students and educators in performance, design, direction, choreography, stage management, musical direction, orchestration, technical production, and overall production excellence. The awards ceremony serves as an opportunity for the DCPA to honor Colorado musical theatre programs and for students to celebrate and support each other.

This year, the event was hosted by 2022 Lead Performance winner Madison Manning. As master of ceremonies, she introduced presenters and performances throughout the evening. Each of the five nominated schools in the Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical category took the stage for a song, followed by a medley sung by the ten Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role nominees.

After receiving 13 total nominations, Castle View High School’s production of Frozen took home five awards. A partnership of the Educational Theatre Association, Music Theatre International and Disney Theatrical Group presented “The United States of Frozen” contest, which allowed one winning school in each state the rights to produce Disney’s Frozen.

Olaf, Kristoff, Anna, Elsa, and Hans stand together, holding hands as they sing Let It Go onstage. A chorus in white stands behind them.

The cast of Frozen, Castle View High School. 2024 Bobby G Awards. Photo by McLeod9 Creative

Winning the competition meant a lot of self-imposed pressure to do it justice. “Castle View Theater Company holds some of the most supportive, creative, and passionate students I’ve ever worked with,” student Leah Taylor said. “This was a huge opportunity for our school and we as a company couldn’t be more excited to perform with each other.”

Taylor was nominated for her leading performance in Frozen alongside her costar, Ashton Showers. Jake Larson from Arvada West High School, Logan Richardson from CIVA Charter High School, Tate Dewhurst from Denver North High School, Charlotte Hearn from Denver School of the Arts, Hannah Schnorr from Fossil Ridge High School, and Nathan Adams from Vista PEAK Preparatory joined them as nominees for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role.

Camille, Caleb, Gabi, and Connor pose for a photo together, smiling. They are all in black formal wear.

Camille Nugent, Caleb Kezeor, Gabi Karl, and Connor O’Brian, 2023 & 2024 Lead Performer Winners. 2024 Bobby G Awards. Photo by McLeod9 Creative

Gabi Karl from ThunderRidge High School and Caleb Kezeor from Woodland Park High School took home the honors in the Leading Role category. Next, they will attend the National High School Musical Theatre Awards on Broadway, also called The Jimmy Awards. After spending a week in workshops with Broadway professionals, nominees from across the country will perform for a chance to win the highly anticipated competition.

The Jimmy Awards have kickstarted many performers’ careers: Reneé Rapp who starred in the recent Mean Girls movie musical; Andrew Barth Feldman who starred opposite Jennifer Lawrence in the Netflix movie No Hard Feelings, and dozens of Broadway stars including Eva Noblezada, Casey Likes, and Justin Cooley.

Karl is thrilled to represent Colorado at the Jimmy Awards. “Performing is always such an amazing experience to me,” she explained. “Once I’m on stage, I sink into my character and let my muscle memory and love for theatre do the work.” Karl’s award-winning performance as Janis in ThunderRidge’s production of Mean Girls: High School Edition was bolstered by a stellar cast and creative team. After receiving eight nominations, the school won three awards, including the coveted Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical.

Sherrie and Drew stand together, gesturing to their hands. They're about to sing Don't Stop Believin'.

The cast of Rock of Ages, Denver North High School. 2024 Bobby G Awards. Photo by McLeod9 Creative

Woodland Park High School also had an exciting Bobby G Awards, especially for its first year participating in the program. Not only did Kezeor win for his performance as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but the school was also nominated in Scenic Design – an award that ultimately went to Fossil Ridge’s Into the Woods. Theatre is a bit of a family affair for the Kezeors as Kelly Kezeor, Caleb’s mom, was on the team of three that created the Hunchback set.

It was an exciting evening for hundreds of students and educators, and the DCPA is proud to recognize the amazing work of these programs and the importance of arts education. A list of all nominees and winners at the 2024 Bobby G Awards can be found at Registration for next year’s awards will open in the fall.