Theater students honored at MACY awards

Local high school theater students performed and were honored last week at this year's Childress MACY Awards ceremony — the first since beloved co-founder Lee Childress died in September.

The MACYs, or the Music and Arts Commendations for Youth, are the longest-running awards program for high school theater in the country.

For just the second year, Costa Mesa High School performed on stage Saturday at Segerstrom Hall. Newport Harbor High School also performed, and both schools won overall awards for their musicals.

Costa Mesa's "Smile" won a Starlight Award, which is described as recognition for a school that "showcases itself by going beyond its modest size by bringing to life the story through wonderfully crafted characters and classic musical storytelling."

Newport Harbor's "Pajama Party" won a Classical Masterpiece Award, which is described as recognition for a "production that is beautifully crafted and performed. A show that uses the medium of classic musical theater to craft a real work of art."

Here are the Newport-Mesa and Irvine Outstanding Achievement and Highest Achievement award-winners:

Costa Mesa High School, for the show "Smile"

Outstanding Achievement: Adriana Rodriguez, Maya Lee-Lopez and Selena Arreola

Highest Achievement: Hayley Smith

Newport Harbor High School, for "Pajama Party"

Outstanding Achievement: Alexis Stary

Highest Achievement: Hannah Whitfield

Estancia High School, for "Guys and Dolls"

Outstanding Achievement: Abigail Garcia, Axel Lomas, Connor Pearce, Danielle Ridge, Hayden Swift

Irvine High School, for "Wizard of Oz"

Outstanding Achievement: Eric DePalma, Hannah Espinili

University High School, for "Annie Get Your Gun"

Outstanding Achievement: Beylul Ephrem, Brooke Dickson

Woodbridge High School, for "Oklahoma"

Outstanding Achievement: Hans Kelsen, Liam Rose, Shane Iverson

Highest Achievement: Austin Rae, Nicole Gentile

Highest Achievement awards are given to performers "in recognition of a level of skill and professionalism well above the norm for high school theater."

— Jill Cowan

Twitter: @jillcowan

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