Theatre takes home UIL Second Place Film Award, Earns Three GAHSMTA Nominations


Photo courtesy of Evan Vines

Juniors Evan Vines, Justin Ballou, Lindsay Dove, sophomore Riley Vines, senior Amelia Vidrine and theater teacher Alisa Mirabella pose around their GHATSMA award banner.

Kieren Garner, Reporter

This year, the theatre department brought home three Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards nominations and one UIL film second place award.

Sophomore Victor Martinez placed second at UIL State in Division Two Narrative. Martinez said that the hardest part of making his film was finding the right actors who could convey the story through facial expressions, rather than relying solely on dialogue.

“Nicholas Coers, who plays the protagonist, did a really great job and I’m glad I got to work with him,” Martinez said. “It was a difficult story to tell and I didn’t want it to be misinterpreted, so trying my very best to get it across was also a very difficult but important part of it.”

Martinez said that he noticed the looming notion of gun violence and school shootings, which inspired him to write his film.

“I was very interested in the post traumatic effects of an event like that and what it’s like for someone to go through that,” Martinez said. “I wanted to focus on that side of it rather than facing the issue head-on.”

Martinez said that getting second at state was an incredible experience.

“I plan to pursue film after high school and a success like this makes me a little less scared about what’s ahead,” Martinez said. “I’m happy that I have so many wonderful people that support me in what I do and I’m happy that I get to tell stories like this.”

Junior Evan Vines was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role in theatre’s fall musical, “Legally Blonde” by GAHSMTA. Vines said that the musical was a great influence of positivity in the theatre department, as well as a chance to broaden his character resume by playing a normal character.

“I think the most exciting thing about getting nominated is that you get to re-perform your character in front of thousands of eager high schoolers on that huge stage,” Vines said. “It’s one of the most thrilling things that a person can do. Getting nominated for the second year in a row for Best Actor in a Leading Role makes me feel very honored, especially because of the insane amount of talent in the Austin area schools.” 

Despite it being his first musical, senior Alec Peal was nominated for Best Featured Performer from GAHSMTA.

“I think the thing that excites me most is just that I didn’t really expect to be nominated at all,” Peal said. “It was my first musical and I really didn’t do all that much. I just walked across the stage and said, ‘The name’s Kyle.’ So I was shocked when I found out.”

Peal said that he had to prepare for his role in multiple ways, such as becoming friends with Amelia Vidrine, who played his character’s love interest.

“We had never really talked,” Peal said. “It was important that we developed our friendship so we had better onstage chemistry, and I’m so grateful we did.”

Peal said his experience in the musical taught him to never be afraid to try something new.

“It took a lot of convincing for me to do this from all of my friends because I was so busy with band and choir and I was working at the time,” Peal said. “I’m so glad I decided to do it and I won’t shy away from another opportunity like this one.”

“Legally Blonde” was also nominated for Best Ensemble. The GAHSMTA awards are at the Long Center in Austin on April 17.