Artfully Edmonds: Local high schools honored with Fifth Avenue Theatre nominations

Fifth avenueIt was a Mega-Season for high school theatre troupes in the Edmonds area as hundreds of young thespians and theatre crews were acknowledged for their talent during the nomination process of the “2014 5th Avenue Awards”, honoring high school musical theatre.

In the running for top prize in 15 categories are Edmonds Heights K-12 for its productions “Pippin” and “Shrek”; Lynnwood High School for “Annie Get Your Gun”; and Mountlake Terrace High School for its production, “Sympathy Jones: The New Secret Agent Musical”.

On Monday, June 9 a live webcast awards ceremony will broadcast from the Facebook page of 5th Avenue Theatre. Watch this page for details.

According to The 5th Avenue Theatre, each academic year, “evaluators travel to schools across Washington–from large schools in urban districts, to those in small rural communities. Our mission is always the same: to recognize the work, talent and commitment that students, parents, and faculty devote to their school’s yearly musical productions, and to celebrate the value of high school [musical] theater programs.

“Each year, we look back with pride and amazement at how the program has grown. The first 5th Avenue Awards included 24 productions. This year, our evaluators have seen 121 productions at 94 schools and reached over 12,000 students statewide.

“With The 5th Avenue Awards, we applaud the students, teachers and those who make theater possible in our schools.”

edmonds heightsExclusive Interview with Shileah Corey:

“Artfully Edmonds” recently visited with Shileah Corey, director of the Edmonds Heights K-12 productions “Pippin” and “Shrek” and received these responses to our questions in an exclusive interview:

AE: Shileah, what is your live-theatre background, education, and community involvement?

SC: I have a degree in Music (Voice Performance) and training in theatre and dance from Cornish College of the Arts. I began teaching first at a dance studio in 1994 and then at Edmonds Heights (formerly Cyberschool and then Edmonds Homeschool Resource Center) in 1998 when my own four children enrolled there. Shortly afterward, I developed my summer program, Ballyhoo Theatre.

AE: Would you like to give any history of the Edmonds Heights involvement in the 5th Avenue 2014 awards.

SC: We’ve been involved with the 5th Avenue Awards since their second year – the 2003/2004 school year. I can’t remember how I first heard about it, but I knew that it would be something that would help develop us as a program. The comments and suggestions from our evaluators over the years have helped us to know, specifically, what we can do to improve the quality of the work we are doing. It’s been valuable information and feedback over the years.

AE: How do you help manage going-on-stage jitters for emerging thespians?

SC: Honestly, we don’t have much of an issue with that. The students feel prepared and ready by the time they perform, and I would say there is an air of energy and excitement…tinged with just a little nervousness. Mostly, they just want to get out there and do the best that they can! I usually go back before opening night and just remind them to do what they’ve been trained to do and to have fun while doing it. There is a lot of joy on that stage, and they all support one another in very true and meaningful ways.

AE: What was it like for you — and what was it like for your students knowing that the 5th Avenue evaluators were in the audience?

SC: The students know that evaluators will be there, but they don’t know which shows they’ll be attending. Our emphasis is on providing the strongest performance possible on any given day and not on who is in the audience. For me, it can be a little nerve-racking sometimes knowing we’re being evaluated, but it’s also really exciting. We just want to make sure that whoever is there to see our shows comes away entertained, no matter who they are.

AE: What happens after June 9, as far as the competition, the awards ceremony, the students’ summer?

SC: We’ll attend the awards ceremony on June 9, and we have four opportunities to perform on stage, which is very exciting. We’ll be presenting a short group number from Pippin as part of our Outstanding Musical nomination, Alia Thomaier will be performing in the Outstanding Leading Actress medley, and Tyler Good will be performing in the Outstanding Leading Actor medley. In addition students will be performing in the opening All-School production number; and students from every participating production around the state all perform together!!

We love the awards ceremony. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate the joy we have for what we do with theatre kids, parents and educators from around the state. There are over 2,000 theatre nerds in the same place and the energy is amazing and beautiful.

It’s a highlight of the year for us to be there and to appreciate and cheer for all of the other schools.

This summer will be very full! In June I’m taking 7 students from EHK-12 to the Thespian National Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. We’ll spend a week with theatre kids from all over the United States, taking workshops and watching performances. Some of my students will audition for colleges there and two will be presenting pieces they qualified with at the regional and State level. I also have many students that will continue working on their theatre education by participating in summer intensive programs in theatre and dance (some are even out of state) and many will participate in my summer theatre program. Over half of my students will participate in some kind of continuing arts education over the summer. I highly encourage them to work with other people and other programs whenever they can.

And, yes, I was also the director of “Shrek.” “Shrek” and “Pippin” were very different shows and the process was really different for the two of them.

For “Shrek” there was a lot of emphasis early on in the dancing, mainly because our choreographer (Gabriel Corey) was only available at the beginning of our rehearsal process because he was in a show at the 5th Avenue. Most of the book work and music was added after all the dances had been completed. The most difficult aspect of Shrek was adding in the technical elements – we had the most extensive set we’ve ever had, and there were 400 costume pieces that had to be designed and built. It was difficult, but very exciting and the result was very rewarding for everyone.

For “Pippin” our early focus was always on the storytelling elements in the acting, music, and dance. We did extensive table work for the show, and added in the (much lighter) technical elements as we went along. The process of working on this show was one of the most rewarding of my life, and my students were present and on board from the very beginning, and were a huge part of the developmental of the show. This was truly an “ensemble” effort in every sense of the word.

AE: Well, certainly My Edmonds News congratulates you for the nominations that you have received; and Artfully Edmonds wishes you a great musical theatre summer with your students. Thank you for participating in this interview.
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Schools in the My Neighborhood News Network have received nominations in the following categories for the June 9th completion:

Outstanding Overall Musical
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Pippin”

Outstanding Direction
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Pippin”

Outstanding Music Direction
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Pippin”

Plus, Honorable Mention for Edmonds Heights K-12 “Shrek: The Musical”

Outstanding Choreograph
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Shrek: The Musical”
Plus, Honorable Mention for Edmonds Heights K-12 “Pippin”

Outstanding Orchestra
Plus, Honorable Mention for Lynnwood High for “Annie Get Your Gun”

Outstanding Scenic Design
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Shrek: The Musical”

Outstanding Costume Design
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Shrek: The Musical”

Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design
Honorable Mention for Edmonds Heights K-12 “Shrek: The Musical
Mountlake Terrace High School for “Sympathy Jones: The New Secret Agent Musical”

Outstanding Stage Crew
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Shrek: The Musical”

Outstanding Performance – Actress
Alia Thomaier as Princess Fiona in “Shrek: The Musical”
Outstanding Performance – Actress inn Featured Ensemble Role

Mariah Lotz as Gingy, the Sugar Plum Fairy Edmonds Heights K-12 “Shrek”

Outstanding Performance – Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role
Tyler Good as Pinocchio, Edmonds Heights K-12 “Shrek”

Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
Edmonds Heights K-12 for “Pippin”
Plus Honorable Mention for Edmonds Heights K-12 “Shrek: The Musical”

~ ~ ~Arts Festival Foundation jPeg

2014 Edmonds Art Festival

Frances Anderson Cultural Center
700 Main St.

Are YOU coming to the festival kick-off . . . It’s . . .The pARTy !!

One of THE most exciting events for Edmonds-area art lovers and festival enthusiasts is the annual Edmonds Art Festival. But first there’s the kick-off pARTy!

“The pARTY”, to be held Wednesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. will be a magnificent celebration of The Arts in Edmonds, and will open the 2014 Edmonds Art Festival.

Tickets for “The pARTY” are available online now until June 6 at the official website of The Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation. The $55 per person ticket includes:

• a $25 donation
• preview of the Edmonds Arts festival Juried galleries
• light savories and sweets, wine and specialty drinks from local eateries
• automatic inclusion in the drawing for art from our local art masters

Then, after the kick-off party, plan to attend the full weekend festival!

June 13/14 ~ 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
June 15 ~ 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Full details of the weekend festival are covered at the festival’s website. For more information, call 425-745-1079. And, you can expect more exciting specifics in next week’s “Artfully Edmonds” column.
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gallery northArtist Reception

Gallery North
401 Main Street
Sunday, June 8 ~ 1-4 p.m.

“Up in the Northwest/Down in the Baja” will be the focal point of Gallery North’s reception celebrating the work of Jolyn Wells-Moran. The gallery cooperative invites you to attend this reception and their showing at this month’s June 19th Third Thursday Art Walk.
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Purple ECAEdmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)
410 4th Ave. N.

Season Ticket Holder Reminder:
New-Subscriber Full Season Subscription Reservations are now being taken for the upcoming 2014-2015 season of exciting ECA events.

Attention grabbing headliners includes more than 25 exciting, memorable, stand-up-and-cheer performances by such greats as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ((Nov. 6); “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with David Benoit (Dec. 1); Jesse Cook, guitarist (Feb. 6); and One Night of Queen (Apr. 9) ~ And a four-program Family Series for $32 that includes, among others: “Hobey Ford’s Migration” performed by internationally known puppeteer Hobey Ford; The “Kamikaze Fireflies” a troupe of fire-eating contortionists.
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Photo courtesy Lynnwood High School.
Photo courtesy Lynnwood High School.

[Lynnwood High School Music Concert
Thursday, June 5 ~ 7 pm
Free Event!

Featured in Lynnwood Today
This popular local instrumental band studies under the baton of music educator, Phil Onishi.
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2014 Mamma MiaSno-King Chorale

Saturday, June 7 ~ 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Mamma Mia – A Concert Version of a Broadway Musical

From the playbill: People all around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make MAMMA MIA! This is the ultimate feel-good show! 
The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.

You won’t want to miss this entertaining show. You may pre-order your tickets through the website of the chorale or at the ECA Box Office.
– – –

How to obtain tickets for these ECA events or to order your 2014-2015 Season tickets: Call the ECA Box Office at 425-275-9595, go online at The ECA invites you to visit the ECA Box Office in person at 410 Fourth Avenue North.
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— By Emily Hill

Emily ~ Square jPegEmily Hill is an author and long-time resident of Edmonds. She is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or venue featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at

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