Taft Theater Earns Top Honors

Taft students took home top honors in several categories during this year's Halo Awards. Sponsored by Waterbury's Seven Angels Theatre and presented at The Palace Theater, the Halo Awards celebrate excellence in theater arts productions across Connecticut high schools. More than 40 awards were presented this year to nominees from 64 high schools.

Kaedi Dalley '18 was awarded the 2017 Halo for Best Comic Female Performance in a Musical for her inspired and memorable turn as Donkey in Taft's production of Shrek, The Musical. This was Kaedi's second consecutive Halo, having been named 2016's Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray.

Taft students were also repeat winners in the Fearless category, which honors non-traditional productions that often explore social issues. Raymond Bai '18 directed this year's Fearless Award winner, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, an "unauthorized parody" that imagines the lives of the characters from the "Peanuts" comic strip during their teenage years. The play debuted in New York in 2004. This was also Taft's second consecutive Fearless Award, with student directors taking home the prize last year for their work on The Laramie Project.

Tafties earned Halo Award nominations in 12 unique categories this year; a complete list of the nominations follows.

Congratulations to everyone involved with all of this year's productions.

The cast of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

Winston Salk '18, Big Bad Wolf, Shrek, The Musical

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

Marley Thompson '18, Dragon, Shrek, The Musical

BEST COMIC MALE PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL:

Peter Dzubay '18 Lord Farquaad, Shrek, The Musical

BEST COMIC FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL:

Kaedi Dalley '18, Donkey, Shrek, The Musical

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN AND/OR EXECUTION:

Jack Elrad '17, Shrek, the Musical

BEST SPECIALTY ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL:

Duloc Citizens in Shrek, The Musical: Nick Baird '20, Sunny Chan '18, Erin Farrell '20, Andrea Gura '19, Joanna Kleszewski '18, Elspeth Leckie '19, Jamie Lenehan '19, Veronica Risucci '18

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A COUPLE OR DYNAMIC DUO OR MORE IN A MUSICAL:

Brady Grustas '19, Shrek and Cami Long '19, Fiona, Shrek, The Musical

BEST FEMALE STANDOUT PERFORMANCE IN AN ENSEMBLE PLAY OR MUSICAL:

Kimberly Wipfler '17, CB's Sister, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead

FEARLESS AWARD:

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL:

Brady Grustas '19, Shrek, Shrek, The Musical

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL:

Cami Long '19, Fiona, Shrek, The Musical

BEST CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL:

Shrek, The Musical