Pictured are, from left: Lilly Shoemaker, Camryn Brennan, Lydia Singleton and Kaya Latcham with the Montezuma Speech and Drama production of Shrek, the Musical, Jr. Singleton received a Triple Threat honor for her role as Princess Fiona and Kaya Latcham, who played Donkey, earned a Special Recognition for Performance in a Principle Role. In addition, the entire cast and crew was recognized with an Outstanding Overall Technical & Creative Achievement honor. The honors were presented at the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards on Saturday, June 18 at the Des Moines Civic Center where all four students performed.
By J.O. Parker
The Montezuma Speech and Musical production of Shrek the Musical, Jr. has been recognized with an overall honor and two individual honors from the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards (IHSMTA).
Lydia Singleton received a Triple Threat honor for her role as Princess Fiona and Kaya Latcham, who played Donkey, earned a Special Recognition for Performance in a Principle Role. In addition, the entire cast and crew was recognized with an Outstanding Overall Technical & Creative Achievement honor.
The honors were presented at the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards on Saturday, June 18 at the Des Moines Civic Center. An estimated 2,500 people were on hand to watch the productions and presentation of awards.
Representing Montezuma at the awards was Singleton, Latcham, Lily Shoemaker and Camryn Brennan. As part of the day’s activities, all four students had an opportunity to work with a Broadway musical director and choreographer.
Latcham, Brennan and Shoemaker all took part in an opening medley and Singleton took part in the Triple Threat Medley as well as being selected to perform a short solo from Shrek in a Showcase Medley.
“It was so cool,” said Singleton of receiving the Triple Threat honor. “I would love to do it again. It was awesome to be around all of the other students passionate about musical theater.”
“I think the most enjoyable part was getting to show off all of the hard work I put into the musical,” said Latcham.
Brennan, who played Pig No. 1 and Duloc Dance Captain in the Shrek the Musical, Jr. production said it was a real cool experience.
“I made a lot of friends,” she said. “It was a great experience working with the Broadway director and choreographer.”
“I thought it was cool,” said Shoemaker, who played Pig No. 2 and a Duloc Dance Captain. “I always looked up to the students who got in the showcase in past years.”
Kelly Kaup, who directed the Shrek performance, said it phenomenal that more than a year after starting rehearsals, the cast and crew’s hard work is still being celebrated.
“To receive an Outstanding Overall Technical and Creative Achievement from the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards is something to celebrate,” said Kaup. “It is the result of all of the hard work and hundreds of hours put in by the cast, crew and many amazing volunteers and parents. I am also incredibly proud of Lydia Singleton and Kaya Latcham for their personal achievements that they have been recognized for in Shrek. This year was the first year since 2019 that the IHSMTA were able to be celebrated in person. It was a fantastic way to celebrate our theater students in Iowa and an incredible opportunity for some of our students from Montezuma to participate. To be a part of the awards with my first production for Montezuma High School has been exhilarating and something I look forward to in the years to follow.”
“I would like to thank to Kelly for encouraging us to get involved in this musical,” added Latcham. “ It has been a big part of my life.”
In addition to Shrek the Musical, Jr., Montezuma students have earned a number of honors from the (IHSMTA) for the musicals Cinderella, Sound of Music, Annie and other performances.
All four students, who will be entering their junior year in high school at Montezuma in the fall, are already hard at work in preparation for the production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” slated for November.