The curtain closes on the cast of Play On! (Elisa Pignatari)
The curtain closes on the cast of Play On!

Elisa Pignatari

Everything You Need to Know About the 2022 Drammy’s

May 25, 2022

What do you get when you put together a bunch of theatre kids, fancy dresses and suits, the allure of awards, an onstage slap, and Mrs White from Clue! The Musical? Why, you get the MHS 2022 Drammys! 

Every year after the completion of all three productions put on by the Martinsville High School Drama Club and Thespian Society, everyone involved in those productions comes together one last time to celebrate their accomplishments throughout the year. 

Hosted by the president and vice president of the Drama Club and the president of the Thespian Society, the 2022 Drammys were a rousing success. There were 24 awards and many more nominations for all of the talented people who were part of the MHS theatre program. The nominees were decided upon by the Drama Club officers and sponsor Rick Armstrong, and voted upon by all the members of the Drama Club. 

Each nominee and winner all deserved to be recognized and honored for their hard work this year as a part of the MHS theatre program!

Best New Performer

There were many new faces in the MHS drama club this year in both the musical Anything Goes! and in the play Play On! The nominees included: junior Evita Vasques, freshman Charlotte Thatcher, senior Josh Goodin, sophomore Hannah Hildenbrand, sophomore Emme Helton, and sophomore Ezra Polley. Recognized for his outstanding performance as Saul Watson from Play On!, Josh Goodin was honored as the Best New Performer this year. 

Best New Crew Member

Theatre is more than just actors on a stage — there are countless people behind the scenes making everything go smoothly. We had quite a few new people join our backstage crew and several were nominated for Best New Crew Member: junior Elisa Pignatari, freshman Kadie Dodson, sophomore Parker Bales, sophomore Braxton Anderson, and senior Jack Kresse. From helping create the incredible sets to running the sound board or the light board to helping with costuming, the award was given to freshman Kadie Dodson!

Most Professional On and Off Stage

There can be a lot of fun and games in theatre, but there also needs to be an air of professionalism. These nominees showed outstanding professionalism and dedication to the craft both on and offstage: senior Maggie Coffey, senior Elias Elsner, sophomore Alexa Hildenbrand, senior Jack Reese, and senior Shelby Yount. Going above and beyond what was expected of her, senior Maggie Coffey was awarded with this Drammy. 

Team Player Award

Being a leading character is great, but one of the best things a person can be is a team player when things may not go their way. Each of our nominees worked well with others and never once complained: freshman Charlotte Thatcher, senior Maddie Greenwell, sophomore Ezra Polley, junior Cassie Smith, sophomore Hannah Hildenbrand and sophomore Braxton Anderson. Our winner showed up everyday and had all of her lines memorized when she was a swing for four different characters as well as being a member of the chorus in the musical and working backstage in the thespian show, our winner was freshman Charlotte Thatcher!

Outstanding Pit Orchestra Member

What’s a musical without the music? The pit orchestra for the musical works just as hard as those onstage and backstage and held some truly incredible musicians: sophomore Parker Bales on the Alto 1, sophomore Madison Becker on the Clarinet, senior Macy Kopis on trombone, senior Jack Kresse on Violin 1, senior Grayson Reynolds on the Clarinet and the Tenor, and sophomore Ben Selch on bass. Playing in unusual key signatures and crazy octaves as well as having numerous solos performed flawlessly gave the victory to senior Jack Kresse!

Best Acting Duo

Throughout all three of the shows this year, there were numerous duos that caught the eyes of the audience. Each of these duos were such a joy to watch, we just had to give them their own award. The nominees from Anything Goes! were senior Riley Littell and sophomore Ben Gaunt playing Hope and Lord Evelyn Oakley, seniors Levi Johnson and Jack Reese playing Moon and Billy, and seniors Shelby Yount and Jack Reese playing Reno and Billy. From Play On! the nominees were seniors Elias Elsner and Reilly Gaunt as Henry and Polly, sophomores Ezra Polley and Emme Helton as Billy and Violet, and senior Gabi Strohl and junior Evita Vasquez as Louise and Aggie. And from the show whose title alone takes 99 minutes to say we have seniors Josh Goodin and Shelby Yount playing Hera and Zeus. Each duo gave a phenomenal performance, but the one that made the biggest impact was seniors Jack Reese and Levi Johnson playing Billy and Moon in Anything Goes!  

Best Backstage Member

Working backstage takes a lot of time and dedication, and some of MHS’s best backstage members have been doing this for years. The nominees were senior Maggie Coffey, freshman Kadie Dodson, senior Maddie Greenwell, junior Jackson Hayes, junior Alexa Hildenbrand, and junior Cassie Smith. Our winner is the hardest worker in the entire theatre program as she takes home her work everyday and provides exactly what is needed as soon as it is needed. She’s been heading up the backstage crew since she was a sophomore, she’s senior Maggie Coffey!

Outstanding Chorus Member

The musical may be composed of many named characters, but the chorus is also a big part of making the musical the spectacle it is. In a large group with many working parts there were a few that stood out more than others: junior Tyler Bastin, sophomore Maddy Collinsworth, sophomore Morgan Howell, eighth grader Max Littell, freshman Sammy Resler, and senior Gabi Strohl. Of all the sailors and passengers aboard the USS American, the one that was deemed most outstanding was eighth grader Max Littell. 

Best Attitude Award

There are many ups and downs that happen in the theatre process, and the ones that take everything in stride and keep up a good attitude are some of the best ones to be around. MHS has many students worthy of the best attitude award, but we could only have so many nominees: senior Maggie Coffey, senior Elias Elsner, senior Jack Reese, junior Cassie Smith, freshman Charlotte Thatcher, and senior Shelby Yount. Always kind to those around him, a pleasure to talk to everyday, and the one who gives the best hugs, our winner was senior Elias Elsner!

Most Eccentric Character

An award presented by the most eccentric character ever seen, Mrs. White from Clue! The Musical herself, the MHS auditorium saw many wild and memorable characters this year: senior Elias Elsner as Elisha Whitney in Anything Goes!, sophomore Ben Gaunt as Lord Evelyn Oakley in Anything Goes!, senior Josh Goodin as Hades in 99 Minutes!, and senior Riley Littell as Phyllis Montague in Play On!. Our winner was seen yelling out from the audience, creating a scene wherever she went, never knowing when to take a hint, and was both loved and feared by the other characters. This character, the winner of the Most Eccentric Character Award, was Phyllis Montague from Play On! played by senior Riley Littell. 

Elocution Award

Now throughout our three productions this year, we had quite a few tongue-twisters hidden in the scripts. From fast paced lyrics in “You’re the Top,” to complicated gemstones named in Play On!, to all the Greek words featured in 99 Minutes, we had quite a few slips of the tongue this year. So which slip-up nominee was your favorite? Was it senior Josh Goodin being unable to say cabochon, sophomore Maddy Collinsworth’s “I would ah-perr-she-ate it,” senior Jack Reese repeating “you’re the moon, you’re the dam at boulder, you’re the moon, over Mae West’s shoulder” in place of the rightful lyrics, senior Sophie Adkin’s struggles with proper Greek pronunciation, or senior Maddie Greenwell’s struggles with pronunciation in general? Each of these misspoken words found their way into our programs and into our hearts, but the one that stood out the most in our collective memory was sophomore Maddy Collingsworth’s, “I would ah-perr-she-ate it”!

 Jack-of-all-Trades

For most of the people involved in theatre, they stick to one aspect, onstage or offstage, but we also have those who are everywhere in the theatre. The nominees for the Jack-of-all-Trades award were those who were everywhere: backstage, in the light booth, in the costume shop, in the pit orchestra, manning the soundboard, to even starring as lead roles. We had senior Maggie Coffey, freshman Kadie Dodson, senior Reilly Gaunt, senior Josh Goodin, and junior Cassie Smith. The winner is the one who not only was onstage in two of these productions, but also costumed the entire cast for all three! The MHS Jack-of-all-Trades is junior Cassie Smith!

Backstage Besties

We pride ourselves on cultivating friendships here in the MHS theatre department, and those friendships are built and strengthened as the sets are constructed. Some of these duos have been besties for years and others have grown closer with their time backstage. Our nominees were sophomores Parker Bales and Braxton Anderson, seniors Joe Burge and Jack Kresse, senior Maggie Coffey and junior Alexa Hildenbrand, junior Elisa Pignatari, and sophomore Emme Helton, and juniors Cassie Smith and Lilly Ferguson. And with a twist that shocked everyone, there was a tie between two pairs of besties: senior Maggie Coffey and junior Alexa Hildenbrand, junior Elisa Pignatari, and sophomore Emme Helton! These four lovely ladies agreed to share the prize and share their love for one another. 

Comic Relief Award

The running theme between all three shows this year was that they were all comedies, and with comedies come very comedic characters. Each of these actors tickled our funny bones and wrought the audiences with laughter: senior Elias Elsner as Paris the Shepherd in 99 Minutes!, seniors Elias Elsner, Kaycee Littell, and Riley Littell as the Trojans in 99 Minutes!, sophomore Emme Helton as Erma in Anything Goes!, senior Levi Johnson as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes!, and junior Cassie Smith as Marla “Smitty” Smith from Play On!. Being the funniest character in a comedy is hard work, but the one who pulled it off best was senior Levi Johnson as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes!

Most Endearing Moment

Despite each of the shows being comedies, they all had their soft and endearing moments as well. This Drammy was one awarded to a scene, not a person, so it was more of a commemorative award. The most heartwarming scenes this year included: “The Finale (DeLovley Reprise)” from Anything Goes!, “Goodbye Little Dream, Goodbye” from Anything Goes!, Billy and Violet’s love scene from Play On!, the ending thunder scene from Play On!, and Odysseus and Penelope’s “Home at last!” from 99 Minutes!. These scenes brought tears to our eyes and love to our hearts, but the most endearing of them all was “The Finale (DeLovley Reprise)” from Anything Goes!

Best in Grade

These next three awards came directly from the MHS theatre department sponsor himself, Mr. Rick Armstrong, and therefore do not have a list of nominees. Armstrong honored those in each grade he personally thought was the best in their grade. Armstrong’s best freshman was Kadie Dodson, best sophomore was Emme Helton, best juniors were Alexa Hildenbrand and Cassie Smith, and he saved his best senior for the senior awards breakfast so that one is still a mystery. 

Best Supporting Actor (Male Role)

For every leading man there is a crowd of supporting actors filling up the holes and carrying the rest of the story along. Supporting actors help make each production just that much more! Some of our best performers were in the shoes of the supporting cast: senior Sophia Adkins as Hercules in 99 Minutes!, senior Elias Elsner as Elisha Whitney in Anything Goes!, sophomore Ben Gaunt as Lord Evelyn Oakley in Anything Goes!, sophomore Ezra Polley as Billy Carewe in Play On!, and senior Shelby Yount as Zeus in 99 Minutes! Without these characters and actors, these productions would not have been nearly as successful, but the one who really stole the show was sophomore Ben Gaunt as Lord Evelyn Oakley in Anything Goes!

Best Supporting Actor (Female Role)

There’s not much more to be said about this award that wasn’t already covered in the last one, except this time our nominees were for those in female roles instead of male ones. We had sophomore Emme Helton as Erma in Anything Goes!, senior Riley Littell as Athena in 99 Minutes!, junior Cassie Smith as Smitty in Play On! and junior Evita Vasquez as Aggie in Play On! Each of these roles was played to perfection and adored by the audiences, and the one that won out, in the end, went to junior Evita Vasquez as Aggie Manville in Play On!

Best Actor (Male Role)

Not everyone can be a leading man indeed, but for those who score the lead role, they have to work diligently to pull off the best performance possible with all eyes on them. Each of these men worked incredibly hard and gave the performances of their lives in their respective roles: senior Elias Elsner as various characters in 99 Minutes!, senior Josh Goodin as Saul Watson in Play On!, senior Levi Johnson as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes!, and senior Jack Reese as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes!. These four actors were all deserving of an award, but there is only one Drammy, which went home with senior Jack Reese as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes!

Best Actor (Female Role)

Being a leading lady is no piece of cake, but these young women put their all into their roles and gave performances that left the crowds both speechless and roaring with applause. Not only were the three nominees incredibly talented in their performances, but they were also our hostesses for the evening: senior Reilly Gaunt as Polly Benish in Play On!, and again senior Reilly Gaunt as various characters in 99 Minutes!, senior Riley Littell as Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes!, and senior Shelby Yount as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes! Again wishing the Drammy could be split up among the nominees, the voters had to choose just one, which ended up being senior Shelby Yount as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes!

Rick Armstrong Leadership Award

First created a few years ago and named after the man himself, the Rick Armstrong Leadership Award is given to the member who shows incredible leadership skills and helps to push the drama program into the best it can possibly be. The nominees for the Rick Armstrong Leadership Award were senior Maggie Coffey, senior Reilly Gaunt, junior Alexa Hildenbrand, senior Riley Littell, and senior Shelby Yount. Voted upon by the members of the drama club, there was no surprise when this award was given to our fearless president, senior Shelby Yount. 

Favorite Show of the Year

Each year, the Drammys finish up with another commemorative award that goes out to acknowledge the favorite show put on that year by the MHS Drama Club and Thespian Society. Our nominees included the breathtaking musical, Anything Goes!, the hilarious play, Play On!, and the fast-paced Thespian production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less! Each show was beloved by its cast and crew, despite most everyone being involved in all three, but the final decision was easy. The Favorite Show of the Year for the MHS Drama Club was the fall musical, Anything Goes! 

A night filled with laughter and tears, the 2022 Drammys were a raging success, honoring those involved in all aspects of the theatre and giving all in attendance a fun night to remember everything that we’ve accomplished this year. 

Stick around the MHS theatre department and see what next year’s Drammys will bring!

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