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Arts & entertainment

High school theater achievements noted with awards presentation

New York is next stop for Valor performer honored for acting skill

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The fifth annual Bobby G Awards, which recognize Colorado high schools’ winning musical theater productions, designated Valor Christian High School senior Elleon Dobias as outstanding actress in a competition between 42 Colorado High Schools — and Valor’s production of “Pippin” was named outstanding musical, according to Denver Center for the Performing Arts journalist John Moore.

With 19 awards given out to schools across the state, Lakewood High School led with a total of four for its production of “Sweeney Todd.”

The awards honor the late Robert Garner, who created Denver Center Attractions in 1979 — the series of touring Broadway shows that stream through the busy Denver Center each year. The Broadway presenter was engaged by the late Donald Sewall, who founded the Denver Center for Performing Arts.

Lakewood High School led the total of 19 state awards with four for its production of “Sweeney Todd.”

Austin Hand of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins was named outstanding actor for his performance as Gomez Addams in “The Addams Family.”

The awards result from a yearlong process involving a team of professional adjudicators who attend performances at schools. The top five scoring individual students then audition for a professional panel.

Dobias and Hand will go to New York next month for “The Jimmys,” which are national high school theater awards. After 10 days of intensive training with professional actors, they will perform in a fully staged one-night performance at the Minsky Theatre, according to Moore.

Dobias said that in her freshman year, only 10 tried out for the private school’s first production, and this year more than 60 auditioned.

Actor Gene Gillette, a former Denver resident, in town touring in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” presented two awards.

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