DHS fall musical earns rewards
For its first attempt at theater awards, De Soto High School has received two nominations from the Kansas City Starlight Theatre.
High school choir director Mary Etta Copeland said the school was nominated for two Blue Star Program awards for outstanding scenic design, tier 1 for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and Outstanding Ensemble Group.
"This is the first time we've ever participated," she said. "We're very elated. It's wonderful each student will be presented a medallion prior to the main ceremony."
The musical was performed last fall at the high school.
With the school's participation in the program, six adjudicators came on different nights to watch the musical.
Thirty-seven schools throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area participated in the Blue Star Program this year.
Copeland credited Ben Bartlett, theater instructor for the scene designs for the show. Bartlett's wife, Emily, also served as one of its directors.
In addition to the award nomination, five student leads in the musical -- seniors Lucas Walker, Ross Stone, Heather Kline and juniors Leslie Hodges and Ross Brown -- will have the opportunity to perform during the awards ceremony. Three of the students are seniors and plan to study performance or music in college.
Brown, a junior home-schooled student, said participating in the Blue Star program helped improve the students' performance.
"We were reminded they were going to be there before each night," he said. "It made us put on a good show just because we were conscious of that."
Brown said "Joseph" was his first play.
"I was more nervous just about performing it than worrying about whether or not we were going to get an award," he said.
Brown also participated in the school's "Little Shop of Horrors" this spring and plans to get involved in theater next year.
"It's fun to do," he said. "I like playing and writing music. It's fun to act, especially when there's goofy parts."
Brown said he was surprised what he learned while participating in "Joseph" last fall.
"I learned how to dance and choreograph -- something I wouldn't usually do," he said. "The work it takes to get it all looking good -- I guess I learned I liked doing it a lot more than I thought."