It’s the biggest night in theater... or at least in Charlotte-region high school-level musical theater. The third annual Blumey Awards are this Sunday, and South Pointe High School has been nominated for eight awards, the second most of any high school in the region.
The Blumey Awards are run by Blumenthal Performing Arts and sponsored by Wells Fargo and any high school in the Charlotte region is eligible to participate. This year, almost 40 schools competed and judges attended performances of their musicals to evaluate them in 12 categories. Six finalists were picked for each category.
Only Northwest School of the Arts, a magnet school in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district, had nominations in more categories.
James Chrismon, the drama teacher at South Pointe High School, said he was “floored” when he saw how many nominations South Pointe’s production of “Tarzan” had garnered, because he and his students were just in it for the experience.
“I wanted to instill in them that we’re just putting our best foot out there,” he said.
South Pointe has not participated in the Blumey Awards before, but the students really wanted to see how they stacked up to the other area programs, Chrismon said. And it was an opportunity to “celebrate the work” being done across the Charlotte region.
From the very beginning, several members of the cast said the experience was “magical.”
“From the first music rehearsal, it sounded awesome,” said Ammon Strong, a junior who played the role of Tarzan.
In all, 35 students participated, either in the cast or on the crew, which is fewer than usual. This extra selectivity meant more bonding and a greater sense of purpose, said senior Maddie Brannon.
“There was a group effort,” Brannon said. “All of us doing everything together every single day really connected us.”
In addition to listening for their names to be called if they are Blumey winners, the South Pointe students will be performing as part of the show, which is a black tie event. Because they are one the “Best Musical” nominees, they get to perform a group number, which was one of the favorites in the show.
Additionally, senior Jordan Davis, a best supporting actor nominee, will perform in a group number and two other students, Strong and Lauren Ramsey, will perform alongside students from all the other nominated schools in the show’s opening and closing numbers.
No matter who the awards go to, the students said they’re just happy to be a part of the show.
“Together, we started it and together, we will finish it at the Blumeys,” Davis said.