Two high school musicals in Klein ISD received Tommy Tune Awards, including, Best Choreography to Klein Forest for their musical, Once on This Island, and Best Musical, Best Musical Direction, and Best Direction to Klein Oak for their musical, Bright Star.
The Tommy Tune Awards, a Theatre Under The Stars program, recognizes excellence in high school musical theatre across the greater Houston metropolitan area. This year, 51 high school productions participated.
Klein Oak Theatre musical, Bright Star, truly lived up to its name as it won three of the nine awards it was nominated for and succeeded in bringing home a very deserving Best Musical Tommy Tune Award.
“This whole experience from auditions to the final performance at Tommy Tunes has been incredible,” Klein Oak senior and Bright Star cast member Aaron Kersey said. “I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had through this process and wouldn’t trade it for the world. To say I was a part of this company is something special and to be nominated for Best Actor was the icing on the cake.”
As young actors and actresses take the stage, their performances truly reflected Klein Oak Theatre Director Eric Domuret’s passion for theatre and dedication to his students.
“I think our success in the Tommy Tunes is due to the fact that the students love what they do and keep in the forefront of their minds that their purpose in doing theater is an exploration and celebration of what it is to be human,” Domuret said.
Along with Bright Star, Once on This Island also won in a prestigious Tommy Tune category: Best Choreography. Oftentimes, one of the most captivating part of a performance is the movement on stage and Klein Forest senior and Once on This Island choreographer Jay Prieto’s Promise 2 Purpose story is all about dance.
“Winning best choreography is a dream come true, and the journey it took to get here was something that I will never forget,” Prieto said. “Without the cast, crew, and artistic team by my side, I would have never made it this far. Just being nominated was a blessing, but winning made me realize this is something I am meant to do.”
No one in Klein ISD is more proud of Prieto and the Once on This Island company than Klein Forest Theatre Director Ashley Cooper.
“Anytime you can share the stage with your friends and peers is an opportunity to tell a story—to give the audience a gift,” Cooper said. “The cast and crew of Once on This Island embodied the story of love and acceptance regardless of race or economic class. Their ability to convey the story through music and dancing is why Jay and the entire cast, crew, and directorial team received Best Choreography.”
Theatre Under The Stars also awarded two Klein ISD students with Tommy Tune scholarships, based on merit and financial information submitted during the application process.
“It’s humbling to be chosen for a scholarship that truly does aid in young artists’ ambitious futures,” Klein High senior and Tommy Tunes scholarship recipient Bryndal Braithwaite said. “I am so ecstatic about continuing to build up my artistry, education, and community in pursuit of my BFA in Musical Theatre.”
Like Braithwaite, Klein Oak senior and Bright Star cast member Luke Sexton will also use the scholarship to pursue his dreams at Auburn University next year.
“It was such a surreal moment to see the other incredibly talented recipients that joined me on stage and to look out at the thousands of people cheering for us,” Sexton said. “It served as a reminder to always work passionately at what I care about because passion breeds both success and happiness.”
We hope that our Klein community joins us in celebrating all of our high school theatre students for their Tommy Tune nominations and awards—every musical was breathtaking and phenomenal. Congratulations, again, to Bright Star and Once on This Island’s cast and crew on a job well done and, to the students who are actively pursuing their purpose in theatre: we are excited to see your success in the years to come.