Gene Kelly Awards: Pine-Richland, North Allegheny and Winchester Thurston receive top honors

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Reviews, Kelly Critic reports and multimedia from the 2006 season at our High School Musical section

Three area high schools came away with a trio of awards each at last night's sold-out 2006 Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater, as Pine-Richland, North Allegheny, and Winchester Thurston schools were presented with the sculpted crystal prize.

The late Gene Kelly's widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, was on hand at the Benedum to present the final award for Best Musical.

In all, 31 Allegheny County high schools entered the competition.

This year's awards featured a new item, the Gene Kelly Scholarships -- $2,750 cash scholarships awarded to four high school seniors who have applied and been accepted to a school for the technical or performing arts. This year's recipients were Benjamin Clark of Pine-Richland, Anne Leonard, of Deer Lakes, Sara College of Baldwin, and Stephanie Bezeck from McKeesport.

The 2006 Gene Kelly Awards:

Best Scenic Design -- Pine-Richland

Best Costume Design -- Winchester Thurston

Best Lighting Design -- Woodland Hills

Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Jeff Hahn Jr., North Allegheny High School

Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Christina Bordini, Chartiers Valley High School

Best All-Student Orchestra -- Pine-Richland

Best Choreography -- Schenley High School

Best Crew/Technical Design -- South Park

Best Ensemble -- North Allegheny

Best Direction -- Winchester Thurston

Best Actor -- Billy Hepfinger, North Allegheny

Best Actress -- Mallory Praskovich, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Best Musical:

Budget Level I -- Winchester Thurston

Budget Level II -- North Catholic

Budget Level III -- Pine-Richland

Also, South Fayette Elementary School received the Charles Gray Award for Special Achievement in Arts Education.

Look for more about the awards in the Post-Gazette's Monday Magazine section.

Philip A. Stephenson can be reached at or 412-263-1419.


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