Hays High School’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” garnered 11 nominations in the 17th annual Jester Awards, a program designed to celebrate excellence in high school musical theater. 

 Thomas More Prep-Marian High School received five nominations for “Into the Woods,” and Russell High School received three for “Little Shop of Horrors.”

This year, 102 judges viewed 127 performances of 41 productions, involving more than 2,800 students and 41 schools. The program began in Wichita, but now extends as far as Liberal, Hays, Salina, and Pittsburg, in addition to the greater Wichita area, according to a press release from Music Theatre Wichita. 

The Jester Awards Ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. May 6 at Century II Performing Arts Center’s Convention Hall in Wichita. Honorees in 25 categories will be announced during the ceremony, and several of the honorees will perform. Scholarship awards will be presented to three students, lead male and female honorees and a technical theatre recipient.  Tickets to the ceremony are $10 each and may be purchased at the door, online at mtwichita.org, or by calling the Music Theatre Wichita box office at 316.265.3107.

Nominees are as follows: 

Hays High School 

Overall production

Erin Muirhead, leading actress

Ryan Will, leading actor


Johnny Matlock, vocal music direction

Tawnita Augustine, choreographer, artistic guest

Jennie Rajewski, director, artistic guest

Stage crew

Nikki Nansel, costume designer, design guest

Jennie Rajewski and Jeremy Wann, scenic designers

Alexis Robinson and Heath Meder, graphic design

Thomas More Prep-Marian High

Dylan Werth, supporting actor

Dylan Werth, Lane Werth, Alexandra Herrman and Halle Lang, scenic design

Avery Normandin, Karl Rack, Sheldon Weber, Bryce Wasinger, Tiffany Pfeifer and Emily Shippers, sound

Lane Werth, graphic design

Lane Werth, Alexandra Herrman and Dylan Werth, lobby display

Russell High School 

Maria Hilger, leading actress

Bobby Rhodes, cameo performer

The "Ronnettes" (Abigail Koech, Jennifer Pummell and Anastasia States), ensemble/chorus