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Hillcrest Earns 10 Nominations for Utah High School Musical Theater Awards

Two of Hillcrest High’s show-stopping productions have earned multiple nominations in Utah’s top awards program for high school musical productions.

In fact, if all of the nominated cast and crew of Hillcrest’s “Oliver!” and “Catch Me If You Can” win their categories, then the school’s theater department will make a total of 10 trips to the stage at the Utah High School Musical Theater Awards.

The list of nominees was released on Monday, April 3. More than 60 shows at 45 schools were eligible for nominations in 19 categories, according to the officials who oversee the annual awards show.

The cast and crew of Hillcrest’s “Catch Me If You Can” and its leading actor, Jaren Ruff, nabbed nominations in the big categories — Best Musical and Best Actor. As a Best Musical nominee, the cast of “Catch Me If You Can” is scheduled to perform a number from the show during the awards ceremony, said Josh Long, Hillcrest’s Performing Arts Chair.

Alta High also won a nomination for Best Student Costume Design for “The Addams Family.”

Hillcrest, which recently claimed the first-place trophy in the region drama competition, is a third of the way to winning the so-called “triple crown” of high school theater.

In the fall, Hillcrest won the Sweepstakes Award at the 46th annual Shakespeare Competition at Southern Utah University. If the student-artists snag the trophy for Best Musical, plus the first-place award at the 5A Utah High School Activities Association’s 5A drama competition, they’ll repeat the accomplishment they achieved in 2018.

If Ruff is announced as the winner in the acting category, he’ll be invited to attend the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City. There, he would compete for national honors among the country’s best Broadway-bound talent.

Here’s a list of Hillcrest’s other nominations:

Best Ensemble Cast — “Oliver!”

Best Orchestra — “Oliver!”

Best Director — “Catch Me If You Can”

Best Choreography — “Catch Me If You Can”

Best Costume Design — “Oliver!”

Best Lighting Design — “Oliver!”

Best Student Set Design — “Catch Me If You Can”

Best Student Lighting Design — “Catch Me If You Can”

This year’s Utah High School Musical Theater Awards ceremony will be May 13 at the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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