HHS Theater Takes Home Four Apollo Awards, Outstanding Musical

By: Natalie Norman-Kehe and Julia Michaelson

For those involved with the theater program at Hershey High School, Sunday, May 22 was a night to remember.

Junior Brenna Beck plays Cinderella in the Spring musical. Beck was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a musical.  (Broadcaster/ Zozan Kucukaydin)
Junior Brenna Beck plays Cinderella in the Spring musical. Beck was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a musical. (Broadcaster/ Zozan Kucukaydin)

The Hershey Theatre hosted the 8th Annual Apollo Awards on May 22, 2016. Hershey High School began the night with eight nominations as well as an honorable mention for Outstanding Play.  At the end of the night, Hershey took home a total of four awards, including Outstanding Musical.

The first award given to a Hershey High School student, was awarded to junior Julia Rippon for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical. She was given this award for her portrayal of Little Red Riding Hood in the Spring Musical, Into the Woods. According to Rippon, when she received the award she was nothing but thrilled.

“It is such and honor and it still doesn’t feel real,” Rippon said.

Sophomore Paige Beck also won an award, this time for Outstanding Student Playwright.  She was awarded this honor for her play, Steven, From Camp.

Immediately after Beck received her award, the entire cast of Into the Woods performed the finale from their show and closed Act I of the ceremony.

Those nominated in the categories Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, each sang a short monologue from their show.  Both nominated in the category, junior Brenna Beck and senior Paxton Zeis each sang a short excerpt from the musical.

After all of the performances from the nominees, Zeis took home the coveted award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical.  “I think that at that moment, all of the challenges that I faced with that one roll, it was all worth it,” said Zeis. When she walked up onto the stage, Zeis remembered a time that she was struggling at a rehearsal and described imagining herself kneeling down on her knees and crying because receiving the award gave her recognition for all of the struggles she faced.

Paxton Zeis receives the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical. She was up against five other actresses from local high schools. (Broadcaster/ Emily Briselli)

At the end of the night, the final award to be handed out was the Apollo award for Outstanding Musical. After much anticipation from all of the schools nominated in the category, as well as members of the audience, HHS Spring Musical, Into the Woods, won. The entire cast erupted with much exhilaration.

Of all of the schools nominated for Apollo Awards, Hershey High School tied with Central Dauphin High School for the most wins. Each school took home four total awards.

The Apollo Awards brought these talented students together. They were all able to show how much talent the students involved with the theater program at the schools nominated have. “I really like how the Apollo awards bring kids together…it just is a really great sense of community,” said Rippon.