Cast members from Westfield High School’s “The Color Purple” headed to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts for the 2018 Tommy Tune Awards. The production, which won for Best Featured Performer, received 10 nominations for this year’s awards, including Best Musical.
HOUSTON – April 20, 2018 – Even as they get ready for the next round in this year’s UIL One-Act Play Contest, the Westfield High School Mustang Players this week had yet another appearance to prepare for – singing and dancing on the stage of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, where they performed a selection from Westfield’s production of “The Color Purple,” one of eight Best Musical nominees in the 2018 Tommy Tune Awards.
The curtain went up on this year’s awards ceremony at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Hobby Center. By the time the evening was over, three Westfield students – Joy Edmonds, Brea Porter and Maddison Joyce – had together won the Best Featured Performer category for their roles as “the Church Ladies” in last fall’s production of “The Color Purple.”
Meanwhile, senior Brianna Wyatt was named one of this year’s Tommy Tune Scholarship Awards recipients. Wyatt – who was also nominated in the Best Leading Actress category – received the scholarship award for exhibiting “excellence in the field of musical theatre” during her time as a student at Westfield.
“It’s been another great year for theater at Westfield, and this spring has been an exciting time for the department,” said Westfield Director of Theatre Monet Salone. “Our UIL one-act play has just kept going and going, all the way to state. Receiving 10 Tommy Tune nominations – including for Best Musical – is a real honor, and I’m so proud of our award and scholarship winners.”
Edmonds, Porter and Joyce now join current senior Divina Ito as Tommy Tune Award winners representing Westfield. Ito won last year – in the Best Supporting Actress category – for her portrayal of Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the school’s production of “The Wiz.”
“Our students are extremely dedicated,” Salone said. “They work hard, they put their heart and soul into it, and I’m happy to see their work and the department’s work being recognized in this way.”
The annual awards program, presented by Theatre Under The Stars and now in its 16th year, recognizes high school musical theater accomplishments in the Greater Houston area. Westfield’s drama department has seen an increasing number of nominations for its work in recent years, and this year was no exception, with “The Color Purple” nominated in 10 out of a total of 15 possible awards categories.
The full list of nominations for the production included:
- Best Musical
- Best Leading Actress: Brianna Wyatt for the role of Shug Avery
- Best Supporting Actress: Divina Ito for the role of Sofia
- Best Featured Performer: Joy Edmonds, Brea Porter and Maddison Joyce as the trio of “Church Ladies” Jarene, Doris and Darlene
- Best Ensemble/Chorus
- Best Scenic Design
- Best Costume Design
- Best Lighting Design
- Best Choreography
- Best Direction
The Tommy Tune Awards are named in honor of Tony Award-winning performer and choreographer Tommy Tune, who attended Lamar High School in Houston. “The Color Purple” was one of 45 eligible high school musical productions from across the area evaluated for this year’s Tommy Tune Awards.
For additional information about theater at Westfield, and to learn about current and upcoming productions, visit the Westfield Theatre Company website.