Return to Headlines

Tonawanda High School named 25th annual Kenny Awards finalist

2015 Kenny Awards
       Above: Tonawanda students on stage at the 2015 Kenny Awards.
TONAWANDA, NY (Oct. 27, 2017) – Tonawanda High School has landed a spot as one of 10 finalists for the 2018 Kenny Awards.

While the high school’s upcoming performance of “Jekyll & Hyde” is in the infant stages of production, it has already garnered a spotlight for the Kenny Awards’ landmark 25th anniversary in Western New York. Nominations were announced on Oct. 24.

“We’re very excited to be nominated,” noted Daniel Lynch, theatre producer for Tonawanda Middle/High School. “‘Jekyll & Hyde’ is one of the most demanding and challenging musicals we have done in the nine years that I’ve been here, both vocally and dramatically and in set designs and costumes. It will be a very rewarding production for the students who get involved with it.”

The Kenny Awards, presented by Shea’s Performing Arts Center and the Lipke Foundation, recognizes the talent, dedication and efforts of local high school youth in theatre programs.

Judges will be sent to the live performances of the 10 finalists’ musicals to determine the nominations lineup for the awards. For Tonawanda High School, “Jekyll & Hyde” will take place March 15-18, 2018.

“The directors are preparing the material for the musical now, and then it’ll be sent out to students,” Lynch pointed out. “They will be able to audition the week after Thanksgiving.”

The award nominations will be announced in April, with the awards ceremony taking place at Shea’s in Buffalo on May 12.

The school that wins the Outstanding Musical Production award receives a $5,000 grant for its theatre program. In addition, the students who win the Outstanding Leading Actor and Actress awards will be able to compete in the national Jimmy Awards for the title of Best Actor or Best Actress. Those same students will have the opportunity to test out the Broadway waters as part of a series of workshops in New York City.

Tonawanda won the coveted Outstanding Musical Production award in 2015 for its staging of “The Addams Family.” Additional awards previously handed to the school include Outstanding Dramatic Performance, Outstanding Costume Design, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

Tonawanda joins the following nine schools on this year’s list of finalists: Buffalo Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts (“Chicago”); Dunkirk High School (“Little Shop of Horrors”); Eden Jr./Sr. High School (“Catch Me If You Can”); Forestville Central School (“Disney's Beauty & the Beast”); Lewiston Porter High School (“Into the Woods”); Pioneer Central School (“Mary Poppins”); St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”); Starpoint High School (“Mary Poppins”); and West Seneca West High School (“Anything Goes”).

The epic struggle between good and evil comes to life on stage in the musical phenomenon, “Jekyll & Hyde.” Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson and featuring a thrilling score of pop rock hits from multi-Grammy- and Tony-nominated Frank Wildhorn and double-Oscar- and Grammy-winning Leslie Bricusse, “Jekyll & Hyde” has mesmerized audiences the world over.

An evocative tale of two men – one, a doctor, passionate and romantic; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women – one, beautiful and trusting; the other, beautiful and trusting only herself – both women in love with the same man and both unaware of his dark secret. A devoted man of science, Dr. Henry Jekyll is driven to find a chemical breakthrough that can solve some of mankind's most challenging medical dilemmas. Rebuffed by the powers that be, he decides to make himself the subject of his own experimental treatments, accidentally unleashing his inner demons along with the man that the world would come to know as Mr. Hyde.