By Tim J. Mitchell

For the second consecutive year, a Union High School (UHS) spring musical production is the recipient of Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards, presented by the Des Moines Performing Arts.
Receiving awards for Special Recognition for Performance in a Principle Role in the UHS production of “State Fair” are Kaitlyn Helgeson as Margy Frake, Carter Hennessy as Abel Frake and Jordan Schmitz as Judge Heppenstahl.
The school’s production also received awards for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Overall Performance.
The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards celebrate 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 can earn awards for choreography, design, lead and supporting performances, as well as overall musical production.
The Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is designed to be celebratory rather than competitive. Multiple honorees may be recipients in each category as performances merit.
For their achievements, the Union cast has been chosen to perform “All I Owe Ioway” as part of the Awards Showcase held on the Des Moines Civic Center stage on June 6. Union students Nicole Lowe, Anna Garwood, Tate Hookham, Wesley Hanson, and Ryan Connolly have also been selected to perform in the Awards Showcase’s closing number.
Last year, the school’s production of “Catch Me if You Can” was also recognized by the Des Moines Performing Arts.
Union’s productions are jointly directed by Tim J. Mitchell and Korina Carlson.