Several accolades were provided to Maine South students and others as part of the Illinois High School Music Theatre Awards announced by Broadway in Chicago recently.
Maine South students Ava Barruffi (Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family; pictured second from left) and Finley Pullano (Morticia Addams in The Addams Family; pictured third from right) were among 12 actresses named as nominees for best performer in an actress role.
Maine South’s The Addams Family company was named as a nominee for Best Ensemble along with four other schools from across the state. Best Ensemble evaluates how the ensemble both on and off stage is utilized appropriately throughout the entire show, as well as their overall proficiency in the areas of singing, acting, dancing and technical theater efforts off stage.
Maine South drama teacher Carrie Saurer was named as one of five nominees for Best Director for the school’s production of The Addams Family. Best Director evaluates how the director has used all the elements at their disposal to create the strongest production they can with their available resources.
Additionally, the Maine South production of The Addams Family was named as one of five nominees for Best Production. Best Production evaluates the overall excellence of the production and considers many elements and is awarded to a school who produces an outstanding example of a high school musical. As a nominee, Maine South students will perform a number from The Addams Family at the ceremony on May 22.
The 24 high school student-nominees, selected from over 200 student applicants from 71 participating schools in Illinois, have been invited to participate in the Awards Program, which will be held at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place on Monday, May 22. During the ceremony, the nominees will perform two musical numbers from Disney’s Aladdin, which will play at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from May 17 – 28. The students will be taught the musical numbers by a show representative and given the experience to work with a Broadway professional on a Broadway stage. Additionally, an Aladdin representative sits on the panel of judges made up of industry professionals in the city of Chicago to adjudicate and select the top six finalists and eventual Best Performer in an Actor and Best Performer in an Actress Role.
The Best Performer in an Actor Role and the Best Performer in an Actress Role will go on an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to represent the State of Illinois at The Jimmy Awards and participate in a week-long theater intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase on Broadway, where a panel of judges crowns the nation’s top performers.
Past winners have used the honor as a stepping stone for career success with several appearing in Broadway productions. Maine South graduate and former Best Actor selection in 2016 Jack Cahill-Lemme recently appeared in the North American tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical which premiered in Chicago in 2022.