November 21, 2017

‘Oklahoma!’ wins Best Production, Orchestra at Jerry Herman Awards

The cast of “Oklahoma!” performs a scene from its spring play that opened on April 21 in the Costa auditorium. The cast performed scenes from the play at the 6th-annual Jerry Herman High School Musical Theatre Awards on Monday at the Pantages Theatre. (Jordyn Tonne/La Vista)

Bari Cohn

Executive News Editor

The Mira Costa Drama Department won Best Production and Best Orchestra for its spring play, “Oklahoma!,” at the 6th-annual Jerry Herman High School Musical Theatre Awards on Monday at the Pantages Theatre.

The Jerry Herman Awards recognizes schools’ drama programs in both the performance and technical categories. Schools from Los Angeles County, including both private and public high schools, submitted productions for consideration. The Jerry Herman Awards committee notified Costa on May 20 of its nominations in nine categories.

“It feels really good to have an outside source reinforce to us that we did a good job and we did good work,”  Costa Drama Department President Isabel Gray said. “We put a lot of work into this show, and it’s extremely validating to be recognized as a department.”

Photos: Jerry Herman Awards

The Drama Department was also nominated for Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Costume Design, Best Orchestra, Best Ensemble, Best Musical Direction, Best Technical Crew, Best Supporting Actress and Best Production but did not receive those awards.   

“It feels great to be nominated for these awards,” drama teacher Carol Mathews said. “However, it does not minimize or maximize the actual production that we put on every year; it is just icing on the cake to be recognized for what we do.”

“Oklahoma!” follows the love story of a farm girl named Laurey (Isabel Gray) and a cowboy named Curly (Robert Diehl, left) in the Oklahoma Territory in 1906. “Oklahoma!” first opened on April 21 in the Costa auditorium. Lead characters Ado Annie (Daisy Hummer), Will Parker (Cameron Plank) and Jud Fry (Connor Tree) were also included in the Costa production.

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Drama student and junior Diehl was nominated as one of the top three actors in the Best Actor category, but he did not win. Diehl performed three scenes from “Oklahoma!” in front of the audience.

“It felt really good to receive the nomination,” Diehl said. “I was proud and honored that they decided to pick me as top three. It was a really cool experience.”

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