By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4)– In May, aspiring Broadway stars took the stage at the Buell Theater for the 2017 Bobby G Awards.
The awards are named for Broadway touring pioneer, Robert Garner. They honor the top Colorado high school musical productions and performers.
There is a red carpet and a huge crowd. You could call the ceremony the Colorado Tony Awards for teenagers.
This year, Elleon Dobias of Valor Christian High School won Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Catherine in Pippin.
“I couldn’t believe it. I still don’t,” Dobias told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh.
Austin Hand of Fossil Ridge High School won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. He played Gomez Addams in The Addams Family.
“I just remember feeling every single emotion possible,” said Hand.
Hand is a high school junior with a thirst for theater.
“It’s just so fun to feel the energy from the crowd and just kind of feel their reaction and it really fuels my performance,” he said.
Dobias graduated this year and will pursue theater in college in the fall.
“I’ve fallen in love with it for sure,” she said.
The two winners now jet off to New York to represent Colorado at the Jimmy Awards/National High School Music Theatre Awards (NHSMTA).
“I’m very much looking forward to learning as much as I can,” said Hand.
“The competition is over and we have nothing to prove, only to share,” said Dobias.
The two will bring their award-winning talents to Broadway on June 26.
According to their website, NHSMTA was established in 2009 to elevate the importance of theatre arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance. The program influences over 50,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by thirty professional theatres throughout the U.S.