Three NDA Stars Will Walk the Red Carpet at Center Stage Musical Theatre Awards Show


Lily Arkens, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The Center Stage High School Musical Theatre Program will present its annual awards Saturday, May 6, at the PAC in downtown Appleton at 7:30 pm.

The program announced three top awards for this year’s NDA musical of The Little Mermaid:  Mrs. Andrea Gilson as the outstanding educator, Emily Hoeppner as the leading performer and Amelia Chrudimsky in the lead supporting role. 

These award winners were selected from 31 high school performances that involved nearly 2,000 students. 

“Center Stage was launched in 2016 as an education initiative that celebrates and supports the achievements of high school musical theatre while developing confidence, creativity and collaboration among high school students throughout Northeast Wisconsin,” said Gilson. 

These education opportunities are provided all school year long for students and educators to learn and grow together in their craft. 

Teams of trained adjudicators attended the participating schools’ musical productions and provided educational feedback. Scores for each production were tabulated and applications were reviewed to determine the recipients to recognize. 

Chrudimsky is “shocked and honored” to have been recognized for an outstanding performance in a lead supporting role. 

Out of the 31 schools, she was one of only 10 students to be chosen for recognition in this category. 

“Everyday I am more and more grateful for this opportunity. Playing Flounder in The Little Mermaid was an incredible experience in itself, but being awarded for my performance was more than I ever could’ve imagined,” Chrudimsky shared. 

She is very “thankful” that the Center Stage judges devoted time to come and watch their production and for their personalized affirmations and suggestions. 

“I feel blessed to have done this well as a younger performer. It means I have two more years in this program to grow in my performing skills and to keep doing what I love,” she said. 

Hoeppner will be missing Academy Ball to receive her award and she “isn’t sad about it one bit.”

“The Center Stage Awards have been something that I have always wanted to be a part of and you still get to dress up in your prom dress and go to a red carpet event,” she said. 

Hoeppner is “honored” about her accomplishment in the leading role. She is grateful to be recognized with so many other talented people. Being able to be a part of the Center Stage Awards is “a dream come true” for her.

Gilson is “extremely proud” of the cast and crew from The Little Mermaid. It was a spectacular show she is immensely proud of. 

“Emily and Amelia are so deserving of their awards for Best Lead Role and Best Supporting Role. We received positive feedback from the adjudicators that attended every performance,” she said. “We are lucky to be a part of a program that celebrates the theatrical arts and fosters support amongst high school’s performing arts programs.”