Theater students receive award nominations

Carol Kornworcel, News Editor

Six theater students have been nominated to participate in the Broadway Star of the Future showcase for their performances in their spring musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”  

Broadway Star of the Future is Tampa Bay’s awards program in part with the National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards. The Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress or Actor is awarded to two grand prize winners who can participate in different theatrical styles.  

“I am enormously proud of all of the nominees,” theater teacher and troupe leader Dan Franke said. “I feel an even greater sense of accomplishment for the kids, knowing some of the challenges they had to face and overcome. These girls and guys are not just talented. They are dedicated, focused and tenacious on the stage, and that is a testament to their desire to do all they can to make sure that their castmates shine.”  

Sophomore Cameron Summitt, who played the character Man in Chair, and senior Nathan Patterson, who played the character of Aldolpho, were nominated for lead actor roles in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” This is their first nominations for this showcase.  

“I am so honored to have gotten nominated,” Patterson said. “It truly reflects the character of all of those part of the Plant Theatre Company who welcomed me with open arms and helped me improve every single day in order to be the very best Aldolpho I could be.”  

The two nominees for lead actress roles are sophomore Toni Keene, for her role of The Drowsy Chaperone, and Logan Franke, for her role of Janet Van De Graaf. This is Keene’s first nomination and Franke’s second.   

“Being nominated is really an honor,” Keene said. “It’s something I have been wanting to work for since freshman year, even though I really didn’t know what it was. It was really great to be able to work with people who have been nominated and have made it to the Jimmy’s which is the higherup contest. It’s great to follow into Logan Franke and Maggie Musco’s footsteps, and its really great to be able to experience this.”  

The two supporting performer nominations went to juniors Jason Calzon, for his role of George, and Niki Peacock, for ensemble.   

“It feels really exciting that I stood out to people and proud that someone appreciated the time it took to form a character,” Peacock said. “I was surprised to be nominated because I’m not much of a singer but glad my acting and dancing made up for it.  My hope is to prove I deserve this award and work harder in everything moving forward.”  

This is Franke’s second nomination this year for this award, and she was awarded an Outstanding Actress Top 5 Finalist last year. She was nominated twice this year for her performances of Velma in Chicago and Janet Van Der Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone’. 

“Both times, complete shock, extreme happiness and just the most butterfly-like feeling in my stomach,” Franke said. “It’s always been like that. Especially hearing about my fellow cast mates who have also received nominations, I was elated, I’m so incredibly proud of them and how hard they worked to achieve this amazing opportunity, and I’m so excited to have them along with me for the ride.