Waukee Theatre Arts Participates in Awards Showcase

On Saturday, June 18th, Waukee Theatre Arts participated in the 2022 Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase, presented by EMC Insurance Companies, in honor of their spring production of BE MORE CHILL.

Produced by Des Moines Performing Arts as the culmination of a year-long education initiative, the Showcase was held at the Des Moines Civic Center and recognized a total of 85 schools from across the entire state.

Waukee Theatre Arts was recognized with the following awards and honors:

  • Distinguished Scene – “Michael in the Bathroom”
  • Outstanding Student Orchestra
  • Outstanding Performance in a Principal Role – Ryan Coughlin as “The Squip”
  • Outstanding Performance in a Principal Role – Drew Shortenhaus as “Michael Mell”
  • Outstanding Achievement in Costuming – Sophia Aeschliman & Jordan Cunningham
  • Outstanding Achievement in Lighting – Colin Kiernan
  • Special Recognition for Performance in a Principal Role – Arden Phan as”Jeremy Heere”

Tatum Lowell, Arden Phan, and Emma Shortenhaus represented Waukee Theatre Arts by performing in a collaborative inter-school opening medley led by a guest Broadway music director and choreographer.

Drew Shortenhaus performed an excerpt from his award-winning role in BE MORE CHILL as Michael Mell.

Ryann Coughlin & Drew Shortenhaus also participated in the Triple Threat Award program with other advanced performing students and performed in the inter-school medley.

Sophia Aeschliman, Jordan Cunningham, and Colin Kiernan were recognized for their award-winning work as a part of the program’s Behind-The-Scenes Awards track.
Colin Kiernan was also awarded the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Awards’ Technical Theatre Scholarship, sponsored by Doug and Debbie West. A panel composed of technical theater university faculty and New York City-based technical theater professionals selected Colin to be the 2022 recipient of this $10,000 scholarship.


Iowa PBS will broadcast a highlights special of the event on July 18 at 9:00 p.m., with a repeat airing at 1:00 p.m.

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