Lipscomb Academy Theatre Students Shine on and off of the Stage

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Several Lipscomb Academy fine arts’ students were recognized as some of the most talented in Middle Tennessee recently, winning awards at the Chuck Wagner Awards.


The award’s ceremony, hosted at Lipscomb University and named in honor of the Broadway actor Chuck Wagner, recognized the top musical theatre productions at the high school level. Lipscomb Academy was the only school that had two shows nominated: “Forever Plaid” and “High School Musical.”



“I’m incredibly proud of our students for their hard work and dedication that was ultimately recognized at the Chuck Wagner Awards,” said Lipscomb Academy Theatre Director Suzanne Craig. “My focus is to help students find their strengths both inside and outside of the classroom, and I want to once again congratulate all of our performing arts students.”


Lipscomb Academy won awards in the following categories: 


  • Best male dancer: Matthew Smith, “High School Musical”
  • Best dramatic actor: Jonah Turner, “High School Musical”
  • Best comedic actor: Sam Hearn, “Forever Plaid”
  • Best staging: “High School Musical”
  • Best vocals: “Forever Plaid”
  • All star cast: Sam Hearn and Scott Wilson, “Forever Plaid;” Matthew Smith and Madeline McPherson, “High School Musical”
  • All star crew members: Jimmy Gilfilen and Abraham Mayberry, “High School Musical”


Lipscomb Academy also received nominations for best ensemble, choreography, director, music direction, actor, actress and musical.


Prior to the awards, Wagner and other professors hosted an acting workshop for high school students. Wagner, a Tennessee native, has been involved in several Broadway productions. He played the role of the beast in Broadway’s “Beauty and the Beast” and a prince in “Into the Woods.”


Congratulations to directors Suzanne Craig and Elizabeth Harrell and all cast members!