Laguna students get musical theater accolades

Laguna Beach High School participated in the 43rd annual MACY awards May 25 at Segerstrom Hall in the Center for the Arts.

It was the first time the show went on without co-founder Lee Childress, who started the program with her husband in 1969. Childress died last year at 95.

The MACY — Music and Arts Commendations for Youth — awards recognize high school musical theater from throughout Orange County. Forty-two schools participate.

Laguna's production of "Hello Dolly" earned the Spirit of the MACY award, which is given in recognition of "a marvelous show and cast, in a small theater venue, but performed with great love, skill and culminating with spectacular performances by everyone involved," according to an email from a MACY awards spokeswoman.

Students Haley Castuera and Karina Parker earned Outstanding Achievement awards for their performances in "Hello Dolly." Makenna Zur Schmiede won a Highest Achievement award and was a Best Actress finalist.

Students Clair Howell and Elias Cerdas won Outstanding Achievement for their performance in the school's production of "Grease." Castuera and Parker won Highest Achievement awards. Castuera was also a Best Actress finalist for her role.

The Highest Achievement award is given to performers "in recognition of a level of skill and professionalism well above the norm for high school theater," the spokeswoman said.

—Alicia Lopez

Twitter: @ALopezCityEd

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