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MSSD Performing Arts Wraps Up a Great Season

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The stage set from the recent production of Hairspray provided a festive background for this year's 9th Annual MSSD Performing Arts Awards Ceremony held on May 11 in MSSD's Theatre Malz. Mistress of ceremonies Mary Ann Seremeth kicked off the evening with a spin back through time to re-cap the three major productions of the year: the fall showcase, a retelling of the classic tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; the winter dance concert, Dance Through Time, featuring six dance companies; and the spring play, a rollicking version of the '60s musical Hairspray.

Guest speaker Tami Santimyer, director of the fall play and a teacher at MSSD, shared a story about her first break as an actress. While a graduate student at Gallaudet University, she assisted actors and actresses during rehearsals with their lines and blocking. On opening day of the first show, one actress dropped out and the director asked Santimyer to take her place. Since she knew the show so well from rehearsals, Santimyer made a quick transition from backstage to onstage. She told the students in the audience that this experience made her motto "always be ready...know your aspirations and be ready to take on new opportunities."

The season directors-Santimyer, Yola Rozynek, and Fred Beam-presented Outstanding Actor/Actress/Dancer, Stage Crew, All Around, and other awards to the students, with accolades for each awardee's accomplishments. The students in turn shared their appreciation for their directors, cast, and company members. "Theatre Malz really is my second home," said student Kaori Vazquez.

MSSD principal Mindi Failing, who took advantage of a new opportunity of her own when she was cast in the role of the enthusiastic mother of teenage lead Tracy Turnblad in MSSD's production of Hairspray, remarked that through participating in her first MSSD production she "gained an enormous respect for the time and energy that students put into the memorizing of lines, blocking, and building a set." Seremeth remarked that she asked Failing, "Which was harder-being principal or being onstage?" Failing replied, "Both take a different set of skills." Seremeth expressed her congratulations to all the performers, dancers, directors, and set crews for a great season!

"Let's Spin" 9th Annual MSSD Performing Arts Awards Ceremony

Fall Showcase
2010 Outstanding Lead Performer - Navarro Hall
2010 Outstanding Supporting Performer - Jeremy Smith
2010 Most Creative Performer - Seth Washington
2010 Most Dedicated Performer - Mariola Kimmell
2010 Best Stage Crew - Lauren Sebaugh

Winter Dance Concert
2011 Outstanding Lead Dancer - Adrian Saylor
2011 Outstanding Supporting Dancer - Kaori Vazquez
2011 Most Versatile Dancer - Adrian Saylor
2011 Most Improved Dancer - Amanda Roberts
2011 Best Stage Crew - Lauren Sebaugh

Spring Play
2011 Outstanding Actress - Paige Brewer
2011 Outstanding Supporting Actress - Jasmine Stevens
2011 Outstanding Supporting Actor - Franly Ulerio-Nunez
2011 Most Versatile Performer - Hazel Fajardo
2011 Best Stage Crew - Robert Parcells

All Around Awards
2010-11 Crew of the Year - Lauren Sebaugh
2010-11 Most Dedicated Performer - Caitlin Williams
2010-11 Most Versatile Performer - Kaori Vazquez
2010-11 Performer of the Year - Jeremy Smith
2010-11 Best Choreographer Student - Adrian Saylor
2010-11 MSSD Performing Arts Recognition Award - Roman Solovey