Glenwood High student wins statewide theater award | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood High student wins statewide theater award

Sallee Ann Ruibal
sruibal@postindependent.com

McKinley Mueller's director told her to prepare a 45-second speech just in case she won Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role at the Bobby G Awards — known as the Tonys for Colorado high school musical theater.

She didn't prepare a speech. But she did win.

"I got up there and was just like … oh, my God," said the Glenwood High School senior. She said her two main emotions following the big win were gratitude and shock. Mueller did find the words to thank her family, friends and all those on cast and crew. She won for her role as Grandma Addams in the school's production of "Addams Family." Kate McRaith, the musical director who advised Mueller to prepare a speech, was also nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Direction.

"I was so honored and really surprised," said McRaith of her nomination. "When we enter these contests, I never think of myself. I just think of the students who are so deserving. I wasn't expecting this at all."

McRaith said Mueller took the role of Grandma Addams and "made it phenomenal."

"She was so hilarious, this award is so well deserved," she said.

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A ceremony was held last Thursday at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver to announce the winners in all areas of production. McRaith said as soon as Mueller's name was announced as the winner in her category, everyone who was there in support — family, friends and cast members — started screaming.

"It was an exuberant moment," McRaith said. "Everyone on cast was totally and utterly supportive of McKinley. No one was jealous, just super happy for her, which is the best thing you could ask for."

Last year, then-junior Abbie Cheney was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, giving GSHS quite a legacy.

Mueller described the cast as both a family and a relationship not a lot of people understand.

"We're often compared to sports teams since we do work together," Mueller said. "But drama kids are more open with feelings and open with each other so it creates a really tight bond. We're like a family."

For the Bobby G awards, professional theater artists and educators tour Colorado during the school year to watch and evaluate high school productions. McRaith said GSHS has participated in the evaluations for four years and continuously receives high marks and comments.

"A lot of time and effort has gone into making our program the best it can be, and this really affirms we are on the right track," McRaith said, noting that GSHS competes with, and often beats, private schools and a lot of schools with a lot of money from the Front Range.

Next year, GSHS will put on a production of "Crazy for You," a classic 1930s musical McRaith promises will have plenty of tap dancing.

As for Mueller, she is headed to Wake Forest University in North Carolina to study Spanish and international studies.