When the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards Showcase event is held on the Des Moines Civic Center stage next month, a medley from Union High School’s production of “Grease” will be one of the featured performances. The honor comes as Union earned a school record 11 musical theatre awards for their production of the iconic American musical.

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, presented by Des Moines Performing Arts, celebrates the extraordinary achievements of young musical theater artists. The program aims to create visibility and support for high school musical theater programs and to highlight the importance of arts education.

Panels of community adjudicators comprised of performing arts educators and professionals attend and review each participating school’s production. Students and directors receive valuable constructive feedback that can be used to grow and strengthen their future work. Based on reviews and scores, schools ultimately receive awards in honor of their achievements in categories ranging from choreography, design, supporting performer, lead performer, and overall musical production.

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is designed to be celebratory, as opposed to competitive. Any student or school at an outstanding level is recognized for their achievement. As performances merit, multiple honorees may be named in each category.

Union High School’s Fine Arts Department has a tradition of excellence, receiving a number of awards for productions directed by Tim J. Mitchell and Korina Carlson. The high school has received Musical Theatre Awards previously for its productions of “Catch Me if You Can,” “State Fair” and “Anything Goes.”

The Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards Showcase will take place on June 4th at the Des Moines Civic Center and is open to the public. Tickets , which go on sale May 16, are $15.00 each and can be purchased at desmoinesperformingarts.org.

Awards presented to Union High School’s production of “Grease”:
Outstanding Musical Production – All aspects of the performance are outstanding, including the leads, ensemble, set, choreography, lighting, sound, costuming, musical accompaniment and overall effect.
Outstanding Ensemble – Outstanding performance by cast members not in a lead role, showcasing the idea that everyone on stage is integral to the overall story and production.
Outstanding Student Orchestra – This is the first year that Union’s pit band has been awarded this accolade for their performance.
Outstanding Performance in a Principal Role:
Hunter Fleshner as Danny Zuko
Special Recognition for performance in a Principal Role:
Kassidy Downs as Sandy Dumbrowski
Lauren Harrigan as Rizzo
Kortlyn Ewoldt as Marty
Wes Hanson as Roger
Tate Hookham as Kenickie
Selected to perform as part of the opening production number at the awards ceremony:
Ben Rempe as Johnny Casino, Carter Spore as Doody and Natalie Tecklenburg as Jan.