The ArtsBridge Foundation announced the 75 Georgia high schools chosen to compete in the 12th annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Among them were the following Cobb County schools — Harrison High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School, Mount Paran Christian School and North Cobb Christian School, all in Kennesaw; Pope High School, Walton High School and Wheeler High School, all in Marietta; and Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs.

Presented as the Shuler Hensley Awards and known as “The Shuler Awards” or “Shulers,” organizers named the competition for the Atlanta-born star of the stage and screen who is emcee of the evening event.

Winners and finalists are recognized as the best of the state’s high school musical theater students and schools of the 2019-2020 academic year, with two winners — best actress and actor — progressing to represent Georgia nationally in New York next June. The 2020 Shuler Awards performance and live broadcast on Georgia Public Broadcasting takes place April 16.

The selected 75 public and private schools span 25 counties across the Peach State. Fulton County, Gwinnett County and Cobb County have 12, 11 and eight Shuler-bound schools, respectively. Hall County has five schools, while Gordon County and Whitfield County each have three entrants.

Since 2009, the Shuler Awards engaged over 52,000 students from 139 schools and 38 counties/school systems. Registration day for the 2020 competition broke records with 75 schools from 26 counties enrolling in the program online, filling the application pool in less than 20 minutes.

Fashioned after Broadway’s Tony Awards, this year’s Shuler Award high schools and their students will compete in 17 categories. The main objectives of the program are to increase awareness, advocacy and support for Georgia’s arts education programs, to develop and foster growing talent by providing learning and performance opportunities, and cultivating/nurturing productive relationship among Georgia’s promising thespians and educators.

The Shuler Award categories include direction, music direction, orchestra, lighting design, showstopper, choreography, featured performer, ensemble, overall production, technical execution, sound, scenic design, costumes and best performances by a leading actress, actor, supporting actress or supporting actor.

Shuler Award candidate productions will be evaluated by a group of 60 volunteers who are Georgia-based arts professionals. Cumberland-based accounting firm Bennett Thrasher will tabulate the results for the 2020 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees.

For more information, visit artsbridgega.org/programs/shuler-awards.

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