Big Fish gets 22 Jerry Award nominations

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The MHS Theatre production "Big Fish" was nominated for 22 Jerry Awards, the Overture Center in Madison announced recently.

The Jerry Awards encourage, recognize and honor excellence in high school musical theater from around the state. Winners will be announced later this month. The Jerry Awards Show will be held on June 10 at the Overture Center.

"Big Fish" was nominated for outstanding musical, outstanding ensemble, outstanding orchestra and outstanding overall design. Other members of the cast and crew who were nominated included:

Outstanding lead performance: Leo Rossmiller (Edward Bloom), Phoebe Miller (Sandra Bloom), Michael Chiaverini (Will Bloom)

Outstanding supporting performance: Seamus Fleischman (Amos Calloway), Kayley Hellenbrand (Josephine Bloom), Anders Burck (Karl), Isabel Garlough-Shah (The Witch), Emily Udomtanapon (Girl in the Water), Isabel Roden (Jenny Hill)

Outstanding young performance: Linus Ballard (Young Will)

Outstanding direction: Brian Cowning and Kendra Norton Dando

Outstanding musical direction: Justin Wilder

Outstanding choreography: Sara Bartlett

Outstanding stage management: Tess Lincecum and Ella Roach

Outstanding scenic design: Zane Enloe

Outstanding lighting design: Kaden Mettel, Aidan McLeod, Mateo Silver

Outstanding costume design: Kris Richgels

Outstanding sound design: Claire Buenfil

The musical was performed May 3-5 at the Performing Arts Center.

"While we are never performing to receive awards, the recognition of hard work is appreciated,'' said Dando, who was recognized for outstanding direction for "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" in 2016. "I'm incredibly proud of our students for their dedication to this production, their commitment to each other, and their energy and heart. I'm also so grateful for the adult team that worked on this show -- it is truly a pleasure to collaborate with these people.''

Dando said the adjudicators were impressed at how our students understood the depth of the story they were telling.

"The show required high school performers to truly dig deep to understand the complexities of issues of love, devotion, family, and loss with maturity and age,'' one reviewer commented. "They succeeded and gave a brilliant, complex emotional performance that exuded sincerity and and humanity."

The awards are named after local philanthropist and arts supporter W. Jerome Frautschi. He is a fifth-generation Madisonian who, along with his wife, Pleasant Rowland, pledged $50 million in 1997 to build the Overture Center. He pledged another $50 million two years later. He has donated $205 million for the Center -- the largest single gift to the arts in American history to date.

The awards were previously named for local Broadway star Tom Wopat.

To learn more, please visit the Jerry Awards website.