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Release Date: 03.08.2018 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: ArtsBridge

S.T.A.R. Council Students Getting Ready For 2018 Shuler Awards

Atlanta, GA --- ArtsBridge Foundation, producers of the Shuler Awards, is bustling with activity as they prepare for the 10th Anniversary of the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards. 75 high schools across the state enrolled in this year’s program. From those schools 32 students have been selected to be part of the prestigious S.T.A.R. Council. These students have worked hard behind-the-scenes at their school’s theatrical productions, and they will serve as Production Assistants during the Shuler Awards. Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) will air the awards show live on its nine-station statewide network from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, April 19.

The S.T.A.R. Council stands for “Students Take A Role,” and these students act as the student advisory board for the Shuler Awards. The council was created to recognize the talents of technical theatre students and to provide them professional, educational, theatre and television production experience. Since mid-January S.T.A.R. Council activities have been in full swing as students are learning and preparing for their behind-the-scenes roles at the Shuler Awards. Roles will include assistant positions in direction, production, lighting design, stage management, costumes, music direction, administration, sound design, red carpet coordination, and social media. They have regular sessions and attend stage crew meetings, as well as technical and dress rehearsals, getting ready for the big night.

Here’s an introduction to three S.T.A.R. Council members:

Emory Dunn attends Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Georgia. She’ll be doing Social Media at the Shuler Awards. In addition to her theatre activities, Emory is a member of the Gordon County Youth Leadership Class of 2018, sponsored by the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce. The class includes students from all four Gordon County high school systems who are honor students selected as prospective future community leaders. The program teaches them about team building, community health, public safety, economic development and community industry.

“I participated in the S.T.A.R. Council last year, so I was thrilled to be nominated again,” says Emory. “I am usually a little nervous meeting new people but being around so many people who love theatre made me feel more confident. Being at the Shuler Awards has shown me that musical theatre in Georgia is a lot bigger than I ever imagined. What a great program!”

David Wheeler goes to Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia. He will be a Lighting Assistant at the Shuler Awards. David serves as section leader in Chorus and as Technical Director in the theatre department at his school. He also runs the tech department for Brunswick’s community theatre, Island Players. He won the Tech Allstar Award and performed as Ted in Glynn Academy’s production of Bonnie and Clyde at the 2018 Georgia Thespian Conference.

“I’m excited to be involved with lighting on such a big scale,” states David. “I’m used to doing high school and community theatre in smaller working environments. I’m excited to be in a professional setting like Cobb Energy Centre. I hope this experience will give me a general sense of how shows are produced in bigger settings. To see a huge event like this in person from behind the scenes is a tremendous opportunity.”  

Shaniya Horton attends Martha Ellen Stilwell School of The Arts in Jonesboro, Georgia.  She will serve as an Assistant Stage Manager at the Shuler Awards.  Shaniya has been involved with theatre since third grade and attended both a performing arts elementary and middle school. She started out performing on stage, then became fascinated with what happens behind the scenes. She’s worked with costumes, sound, and stage management. She hopes to make a career in the theatre.  

“The Shuler Awards program is great because students who are performers and students who want to go into technical fields are included,” says Shaniya. “They offer practical, hands-on experience which is hard to get at our age.”

“I want to learn as much as possible through this opportunity,” she adds. “I am meeting all kinds of people, making great connections, and just soaking up everything about lighting, sound and production.”

The Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards - Shuler Hensley Awards - celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre and are modeled after Broadway’s Tony Awards. They are named in honor of actor/singer and Georgia native, Shuler Hensley, winner of the prestigious Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award. The Shuler Hensley Awards are a part of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards – The Jimmy Nederlander Awards.  For a complete list of schools participating in the 2018 Shuler Hensley Awards and a list of S.T.A.R. Council members, visit the web site:

ArtsBridge Foundation is dedicated to providing quality arts education and community programs that engage, motivate, inspire, and elevate the next generation of artists and arts supporters. ArtsBridge provides arts education opportunities to students in grades K-12 through programs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre including Field Trips, Master Classes, a Family Series, and the annual Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – Shuler Hensley Awards. Since inception in 2007, ArtsBridge has served more than 300,000 students and educators from 57 Georgia counties, plus students from Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina. ArtsBridge Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more about their programs and how you can get involved, visit

Contact Info

Contact Name: Karen Hatchett

Company: Hatchett PR

Phone: 770-433-1137