Pratt theatre production group gets five nominations for new Theatre Kansas awards

Ruby Howell
Pratt Tribune
A lobby display from last fall's Pratt High School production of "A New World" created a new hallway entrance.

Every year, Pratt High School students put on a play or musical production for the community. For their hard work, dedication, and talent many cast and crew members receive nominations for the prestigious Jester Awards, presented by Music Theatre Wichita. However, Music Theatre Wichita opted to not host the Jester Awards this year. But never fear, for several deserving Greenbacks will still get a chance to be honored with the newly minted Theatre Kansas awards. 

Theatre Kansas is a small organization that publicizes on social media many productions all over Kansas. PHS Musical/play Director, Arica Malone, said that Theatre Kansas assigned each director of a musical that entered the contest other musicals to judge. She, for instance, had four shows to watch and judge. Malone then scored the shows in multiple categories and those scores were compiled and nominations given to the highest-scoring schools in each category. 

From Pratt, there were five total nominations. Natalie Miller (jr) was nominated for Sound Design. Konli Sterling (8th) and Sadie Green (8th) were nominated for dancing in a Small Emsemble. Bradon Wade (director) was nominated for Sound and Kristen Hodgkinson (director) was nominated for Choreography.

These awards and nominations are based on the performances of last fall’s play Songs for a New World written by Jason Robert Brown. 

The theme of every song was perseverance and grit. It was about having a plan or goal and having that plan disrupted, then deciding how to handle it. It also focused on coming together as a community of people and supporting each other. This play was extremely timely considering the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“These cast members and directors were resilient, tough, supportive, and super talented,” Malone said. “We touched many hearts through the themes of this show and I couldn't be more proud! Every time I relive a part of the show it makes me cry, laugh, mourn, and cheer! It will go down in the history of Pratt High School Theatre as one of the best!”

Winners will be announced on June 11 in a combination virtual/in-person ceremony in Sterling Kansas. They will receive medals and certificates. Malone said that next year’s play is Sister Act, a musical comedy about an aspiring singer, Deloris, who witnesses her boyfriend commit murder and is placed in Witness Protection. She disguises herself as a nun in a convent, where she makes new friends. When the homicidal boyfriend’s gang discovers her whereabouts, they not only have to battle Deloris, but also a gang of feisty nuns. 

Malone said she is excited to have a full crew and audience back in the LMS auditorium for this musical.