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Godspeed Totem Pole

On May 20 schools from around the area gathered together for the Tony’s of high school musicals.

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While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones

While getting her hair done by Claire Alfree (12), Kelsi Parson (11) ponders about Sunday’s performance.

Sydney Jones, Staff

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Totem Pole Playhouse Awards were started back in 2014 and closely mimic the Tony Awards for Broadway shows.

 

“Out of three counties, the schools that want to participate in it can have judges come and watch their musicals,” Claire Alfree (12) stated. “Then they get judged based off of different awards, such as Best Actress and Best Ensemble Number.”

 

Five schools/people are nominated for each of these awards, ranging from Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Leading Role, to Outstanding Musical Chorus. James Buchanan High School’s show, Titanic, was nominated for nine of the awards.

 

“I got nominated for Best Leading Actress,” Alfree said. “Dean [King] got nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Jackie Wagaman and Logan [Williams] got nominated for Best Ensemble Male and Female. We got nominated for Best Ensemble Number, Best Chorus, Best Musical, and Best Duet.”

 

Titanic has big shoes to fill from the performance two years ago, Jekyll and Hyde.

 

“We won ten awards for Jekyll and Hyde,” Alfree stated.

 

Back in 2016, Alfree was awarded Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role, for her character Lucy Harris, the same award that she was nominated for this year, playing Kate McGowan.

 

“Honestly, I was really surprised,” Alfree said. “You’re up against seniors and I was only a sophomore at the time, so I was definitely in shock, but I’m proud, and I worked really hard for it.”

Alfree and the other castmates have high hopes for this year’s awards.

 

“I would love if we got every single award, but I don’t want to go in there saying we will,” Alfree said,  “No matter what though, we are going to come home with something, and we’re going to make our school proud.”

 

Dean King (10), who played Barrett in the show, was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role and Best Male Solo. He won the award, for his performance of Barrett’s Song.

 

“I was super shocked. I honestly thought that Ben, who played Shrek, in Shrek the Musical [Waynesboro], was going to win because he has such a beautiful voice,” said King.  
“I was super excited when I won that award.”

 

James Buchanan also won two other awards Sunday evening.

 

“The Titanic musical as a whole also won the award for Best Ensemble, and then Abby Horst won the Jean Stapleton Award,” King said.

 

Even though they may be nice, the musical and Totem Pole are not all about the awards, but about the people.

 

“You get really close with all of the cast members and whenever the show’s over, that first two weeks, you start to miss it a lot,” Alfree stated. “Totem Pole is that one opportunity to have everyone back together again.”

 

The cast had a chance to do it all one last time and Totem Pole will be an experience for them to remember forever.

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