Basie Award Nominations Are In

Megan Kelly

Each year, over 50 high schools in Monmouth and Ocean County gather at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank for the annual “Basie Awards”. The Basie Awards are a thirteen year running tradition hosted by Count Basie to recognize and award local high school theatre productions. This year, approximately 52 schools were nominated in a series of categories, including “Outstanding Production”, “Outstanding Lead Actress/Actor”, “Outstanding Costume Design”, and much more. This spring, the Shore Players put on the production of “The Wedding Singer”, which has now earned 11 nominations for the Basie Awards.

Not only has Shore Players received an overall nomination for “Outstanding Production”, students Isabella Antoon, Ryan Kozak, and Georgi Schnappauf have been individually recognized for their performances. “I’m super excited to get the opportunity to perform again”, said Antoon, a sophomore at Communications High School and nominee for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical” for her role as Holly. “I love this show and everyone worked so hard.” Joining Antoon in the male category is Ryan Kozak, a sophomore at Shore Regional nominated for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical” for his role as Jim. Topping off the individual nominations is Georgi Schnappauf, a senior at Shore Regional, who has been nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical” for her role as Julia.

Shore Players is much more than just an after-school club or activity. For some students, it’s been part of their lives even before high school. “Basies are an annual award ceremony that allows kids from all over Monmouth and Ocean County to come together and celebrate art, passion, and friendship,” said senior Jake Cecero, who played the wedding singer himself, Robbie Hart. “It has been a highlight of my Shore Players career, and I am so pleased to be ending it with this nomination.”

Shore Players has also received numerous technical nominations for their production. Even the ensemble has been recognized for their performances, with a nomination for “Outstanding Chorus”. Sarah Farber, a sophomore at Shore in the ensemble of The Wedding Singer, is thrilled to receive the nomination. “I think it’s awesome we were recognized. I am so excited to perform at the Basies!” Director Todd Aikens, Musical Director Jeff Unger, and choreographer Tara Eccles-Frye have received nominations in their specific categories.

“The nominations applaud the amount of work that the cast and crew put into this show,” said  Antoon. “I’m so happy that everyone was recognized.”