Three Columbia High School students received nominations for the 7th annual High School Musical Theatre Awards on Friday, which was announced by the Collaborative School of the Arts at Proctors. Aidan Halsey ’23 (Best Actor), Emma O’Kane ’24 (Best Actress) and Kaden Witte ’26 (Best Supporting Actor) were nominated for their roles in “Freaky Friday,” which Columbia High School’s theatre company the Columbia Players performed in March.
The High School Musical Theatre Award program included 22 high schools this year, with 17 of them receiving nominations.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony modeled after the Tony Awards, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at Proctors in Schenectady.
The winner of Best Actor and Best Actress will represent Proctors and Upstate New York at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards – also known as The Jimmy Awards – in June 2023. The winners will participate with students from across the country for the title of Best National High School Actor and Best National High School Actress.
“Julie Ploss (music director) and I are so thrilled about Aidan’s, Emma’s, and Kaden’s nominations,” said Kara Macpherson, stage director of the Columbia Players. “The honor is well deserved by all three and we appreciate that their talents are being publicly recognized on the Proctors stage.”
Columbia won Best Musical at the High School Musical Theatre Awards in 2018 for “Cinderella” and 2019 for “Big Fish.”
This marks Mr. Halsey’s second consecutive nomination for Best Actor. He was also nominated in the 2022 High School Musical Theatre Awards for his performance of Laurie Laurence in “Little Women.”
- Chris Buettner as Jester in “Once Upon a Mattress,” Schuylerville High School
- Logan Esposito as Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Voorheesville High School
- Aidan Halsey as Adam in “Freaky Friday,” Columbia High School
- John Malagrida as Gomez Addams in “The Addams Family,” Colonie High School
- Carter Sano as Shrek in “Shrek the Musical,” Queensbury High School
- Meeghan Darling as Doloris Van Cartier in “Sister Act,” Catskill High School
- Ashley Manocchi as Marian Paroo in “The Music Man,” Scotia-Glenville High School
- Emma O’Kane as Ellie Blake in “Freaky Friday,” Columbia High School
- Eva Reece as Winnie Foster in “Tuck Everlasting,” South Glens Falls High School
- Julia Varga as Rose Alvarez in “Bye Bye Birdie,” Mohonasen High School
Best Supporting Actor
- Roman Mangino as Kevin G in “Mean Girls,” Ballston Spa High School
- Peter Hinckley as Aaron Samuels in “Mean Girls,” Ballston Spa High School
- Cian Connolly as Reuben in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Voorheesville High School
- Kaden Witte as Fletcher Blake in “Freaky Friday,” Columbia High School
- Frederick Durocher as Orin in “Little Shop of Horrors,” Schenectady High School
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