Albion musical brings home many awards at Stars of Tomorrow in Rochester

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 May 2022 at 11:19 am

4 from Albion honored for outstanding performance in leading role

Photos by Tom Rivers: Leah Kania is Fiona and Rowan Ford is Shrek in Albion’s production of Shrek the Musical which received several awards on Thursday night at the Stars of Tomorrow event in Rochester. Kania and Ford also were recognized for outstanding performance in a leading role.

ROCHESTER – The Albion High School production of Shrek the Musical won many awards on Thursday night at the Stars of Tomorrow in Rochester, including four awards for outstanding performance in a leading role.

The Stars of Tomorrow is a program through the Rochester Broadway Theatre League. It judges and recognizes musicals from 25 schools in the Rochester region. Albion is up against many of the much larger suburban districts in Monroe and Ontario counties.

The Albion students recognized for outstanding performance in a leading role include: Leah Kania as Fiona, Rowan Ford as Shrek, Myles Miller as Donkey and Jeffrey Brown as Lord Farquaad.

In addition, Leah Kania, Myles Miller and Rowan Ford are candidates to represent Rochester in a New York City competition – the National High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards. Online voting starts at noon today. Click here for more information.

Myles Miller was named an outstanding performer in a leading role for her energetic and often hysterical turn as Donkey.

Jeffrey Brown shined as Lord Farquaad, the villain of the musical. He is short in stature and a ruthless ruler with many insecurities. Here is shown facing an uprising from the Fairytale Creatures.

Albion’s performance of Shrek was honored for the following:

  • Excellence in student orchestra
  • Excellence in acting ensemble
  • Excellence in production crew.

Other individual awards included:

Natalie Baron received a Tip-of-the-hat award for her performance as Pinnochio.

Hannah Coolbaugh starred as the Mad Hatter.

• Special Recognitions to Ethan Merrill and Hannah Coolbaugh. Ethan Merrill ran the lighting board and never missed any if the 220 cues for the production.

• In addition to being the Mad Hatter, Hannah Coolbaugh was a Duloc Dancer, one of the 3 Blind Mice, Rat Tapper and a Knight. She was dance captain and choreographed the number in 3 Blind Mice.

• Kaitlynn Basinait was a Rising Star recipient. A middle schooler, she stepped in to run one of the spotlights.

This year was a welcome return to performing in front of a live audience for the Albion drama program. The musical in 2020 was cancelled due to Covid. Last year’s show was performed without an audience and then shown online through a video. Students also were able to take the stage this time without masks.