Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake South, Prairie Ridge high schools earn theater award nominations

Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake South, Prairie Ridge high schools earn total of 5 nods

Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge high schools have earned a combined five nominations from Broadway in the Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards.

“It is an honor to be highly regarded in the arts community in Illinois and to be recognized for our continuing contribution to high school theater excellence in our state,” Cary-Grove director Rob Boncosky said.

Cary-Grove earned three nominations for best production, best actor for Justin O’Brien’s role and best actress for Alyssa DiRaimondo’s role in their production of “Seussical.”

Crystal Lake South’s production of “Peter Pan” earned a nomination for best scenic design.

Prairie Ridge also was nominated for best scenic design for its production of “In the Heights.”

“It is significant that three of our four high schools’ musicals were nominated in at least one category of IHSMTA when one considers the scope of this competition. I would seriously doubt that many districts, if any, could make that claim,” Crystal Lake South theater director Ben Stoner said.

Dozens of students, cast members and parent volunteers sacrificed their time to make the shows possible.

“I love that when parents and students sit out in the audience and watch our shows they feel a connection beyond just their relationship with the performers, or even the plot of the show,” Prairie Ridge choir teacher David Jensen said.

This year, 80 high school musicals throughout the state of Illinois participated in the awards. Winners will be announced Monday in Chicago.

“If I were to win the title of best actor, that would mean I did my job portraying my role, and I would get to share it with our amazing cast,” said O’Brien, a recent Cary-Grove graduate.

Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge have been nominated for the first time.

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