Lanier participates in Shuler awards


Shuler Photographer

Lanier High School students at the Shuler awards

The Arts Bridge Foundation started the Shuler awards, named after screen star Shuler Hensley, to recognize Georgia high school musical theater students. Lanier has participated in this event for the last two years, and they plan to continue. This year, Mrs. Lance, the theatre director, chose Footloose: The Musical as their Shuler show, which got Viraj Ramgopal, a sophomore, nominated for Best Featured Performer for his role as Willard Hewitt.

Although Lanier did not receive an award, we were one of the only Gwinnett county schools to receive a nomination in the first place. Other schools like Milton (Anastasia), Tri-cities (Fela!), Lambert (The Spongebob Musical), and Decatur High School (Matilda) were in attendance.

Lanier arrived at the Shuler awards ceremony in a charter bus, dressed to impress, just in time to support Viraj Ramgopal as he walked the Purple carpet. There, he met up with Lindsey Douglas and Jade Lewis-Tinsley, Lanier students performing in the opening and closing numbers, where they were all interviewed by Shuler announcers. Afterward, the trio walked inside to convene with friends and family before they had to go to places.

The show opened with a speech from Shuler Hensley himself and was followed by the opener which included songs like “A Circle of Life,” “Roar,” and a drum section. Throughout the night, schools nominated for Best Overall Production performed numbers from their musical; Matilda’s “Revolting Children” was a crowd favorite. The nominees for Best Actor and Actress also performed medleys that highlighted their individual performances.

At the end of the night, Tri-Cities, Nicholas Alexander Wilkinson II, won Best Leading Actor. Greater Atlanta Christian’s, Georgia Thomas, won Best Leading Actress. Lambert High School was the star of the night with a whopping five Shuler’s, including Best Overall Production. The night ended with the closing number of “Louder Than Words” from Tick Tick Boom, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls, and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray.

The ceremony aired on GPB, but can still be viewed on their website, and eventually on Youtube.