- Listen to the report from KERA radio
The curtain goes up on the Tony Awards Sunday evening, but back in North Texas, high-schoolers just wrapped their own season of musical theater honors.
There’s something about high-school theater; some emotional tie that binds, a glimmer of excitement that makes it an after school activity unlike any other.
“It’s really the main thing that I’ve done in high school and I’ve built so many strong connections, almost like family bonds,” says Grapevine High School’s Sarah Roach. “And it’s really something that I fall back on and so it’s a really great support group to have and it’s been something that’s really carried me through.”
Sarah has pretty notable talent supporting her too. Her strong and sultry performance in Chicago scored her Casa Mañana’s Buckley Award for Best Female Actor.
Winning guarantees Sarah a trip to New York this summer to compete against 60 other students in the National High School Musical Theater Awards. That includes an intense week of workshops with seasoned pros.
Even though a title and scholarship money is at stake, Sarah’s already looking ahead to college; she plans to study acting at Pepperdine.
Ben Allen, Sarah’s Best Male Actor counterpart, is over the moon about winning his Buckley. He got the nod for his sharp, quirky portrayal of Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts.
Like Sarah, it’s the actor’s life for Ben. He’ll study musical theater this fall at Oklahoma City University. He’s heard his share of unsolicited advice about the hard road ahead, but he won’t be discouraged.
“Because you want to do something you love. You don’t want to do something where you go, ‘wow, I have to do this.’ I don’t remember who said the quote but it was something along the lines of you want to have a job where you don’t like taking vacations from it,” Ben says.