Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cobb Energy Centre Foundation Announces 2nd Annual Shuler Hensley Award Participants for 2010

High School Participation Increases Over 150% As Schools From Throughout The Region Seek To Participate In Second Annual Shuler Hensley Awards

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Foundation is delighted to announce that this year’s annual Shuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre will include 39 high schools from 11 counties, representing 12 school districts as well as private schools in the Greater Atlanta area. This year’s growth in participants represents an over 150% increase over 2009. The program debuted in April of 2009 with 15 participating high schools from five metro Atlanta counties. The Shuler Hensley Awards, part of the Foundation’s ARTSBRIDGE program, honor musical theatre excellence at the high school level. “We are thrilled with the growth in the number of participating schools in the Shuler Hensley awards program that includes such a variety of shows and dozens of enthused schools spanning the entire metro Atlanta region.” commented Michael Taormina CFE, managing director of the Cobb Energy Centre.

During the 2009 - 2010 school year, a team of 23 Atlanta-based arts professionals are evaluating participating productions and their scores are being tabulated by the local accounting firm of Frazier & Deeter, LLC. Winners will be announced at a Tony Awards-style ceremony held Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The event will feature numbers from the nominated shows, as well as award presentations for the performers, directors, choreographers, orchestras and designers, who have defined excellence throughout 2009 - 2010.

“The evening is really about so much more than awards,” comments Mark Kent, director of education and community outreach for the Foundation. “This is the night for high school arts programs to step into the limelight and celebrate. Under one roof we have arts professionals and schools from all over the region who have come together to see great theater and build their community. Everyone wins this evening.”

Guest presenters for the evening will feature prominent artists and a few surprise guests who will not only help hand out the awards, but also deliver several thousand dollars in scholarship awards. In June, the students receiving the awards in the Leading Actor and Leading Actress categories will travel to New York City to compete at the National High School Musical Awards.

Please refer to the attached list of participating high schools who have registered to participate in the 2010 competition.

The Cobb Energy Centre awards are named for Marietta native, Shuler Hensley. Shuler’s outstanding work has included: his performance as Jud in the revival of Oklahoma!, for which he received the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Award; the country-rock and blues musical The Great American Trailer Park Musical in 2004-2005; and in May 2006 he opened in the Disney musical Tarzan in the role of Kerchak. Hensley is currently playing the role of Frankenstein’s monster in the stage musical of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, which opened on Broadway in November 2007. His distinctive work as the lovable creature earned him nominations for both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award in 2008.

Tickets for The Shuler Hensley Awards Ceremony are now on sale.

For general information on the Shuler Hensley Awards program, call (770) 916.2808.

About Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Foundation
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is charged with securing financial resources for the Centre and acting as a fiduciary of those resources. Funds raised by the Foundation support capital needs of the Centre; establish an endowment to provide ongoing support of the Centre; and underwrite the Foundation’s signature education initiative, ARTSBRIDGE. Additional information about the foundation and ways to contribute is available at

About ARTSBRIDGE Education Program
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Foundation launched its educational outreach program, ARTSBRIDGE, with the Centre’s opening in fall of 2007. Through a combination of field trip programs, artists-in-schools, master classes, and a special collaboration with KSU, the ARTSBRIDGE program offers uniquely powerful arts education tools to educators throughout the metropolitan Atlanta region. The Shuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre were added in 2009. In total, to date, ARTSBRIDGE programs have served over 100,000 teachers and students from across the region.

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