The lights dim, the curtains open, and the opening number begins. From the references to inside jokes to the bits of scenes performed throughout the year, one thing is clear – It’s time for the 2011 Ironwood Ridge High School Pygmy Awards.
Held this year on May 6 in the IRHS auditorium, the Pygmy Awards are an annual awards show put on by the drama club at IRHS. They are, essentially, the Ironwood Ridge version of the Oscars. Over the course of the ceremony, 14 awards are given for acting, directing, set design, singing and technical skills, with comedy sketches, scenes from the year’s performances interspersed, and an opening and closing number.
This year marks the eighth annual awards ceremony. The winners are decided by votes cast from groups of people who attended all of the IRHS shows over the course of the year. The free show was open to the public, and nominees were chosen from all participants during the 2010-2011 theatrical season.
This year, Ironwood Ridge produced five productions from which the nominees were chosen. They were: “Broadway Night,” a compilation of songs and scenes from famous Broadway musicals; “Noises Off,” “The Last Five Years,” Ax of Murder” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
This season’s award recipients are:
Best Newbie: Christina Kroell
Best Techie (technician): Mason Castle
Best Solo Song: Alex Suarez, “Home” from the musical “Beauty and The Beast,” performed during “Broadway Night”
Best Duet/Group: Hannah Bohne, Eric Bohorquez, Tanner Herring, Abbie Fioccoprile, Alyssa Lowry and Christina Arnold, “Cell Block Tango” from the musical “Chicago,” performed during “Broadway Night”
Best Ensemble Song: “The Jitterbug” from “The Wizard of Oz”
Best Couple: Eric Bohorquez and Christina Arnold, “Noises Off”
Best Thespian: Kati Becker
Best Set: “Noises Off”
Drama Mama: Megan Dallas, IRHS drama class student teacher
Best Director: Carolyn Box, “Noises Off”
Best Supporting Actor: Nick Babyak, “Noises Off”
Best Supporting Actress: Megan Lindsay, “The Wizard of Oz”
Best Leading Actor: Eric Bohorquez, “The Wizard of Oz”
Best Leading Actress: Christina Kroell, “The Wizard of Oz”
Best Show: “Noises Off”
After the awards were given out, the happy occasion turned to a more somber one as the graduating seniors took the time to say farewell to the theater. Emotions ran high, but a quote from Eric Bohorquez summed up how all of the seniors felt about leaving.
“If I could give anything to relive the moments that I have had here,” he said in his goodbye speech, “I absolutely would.”
From the perspective of an audience member (and a drama student at Ironwood Ridge), the entire awards show was a blast. It was a truly great way to end a fantastic season of performances.
On the other hand, the goodbyes really made one realize just how important it is to savor every little moment. After high school graduation, things are never the same, so at the end of the day, the thing I took away from the awards show was this: make the best of life and live in the moment. You only go around once; why not make the best of it?