The inaugural Lucie Arnaz Awards were held in Palm Springs today, pitting young thespians from public and private high school theater programs throughout the desert against one another for a chance to compete nationally in New York City next month.
The awards are a regional competition between the best young actors in the region, including participating students from Cathedral City High School, La Quinta High School, Musical Theatre University at Rancho Mirage High School, Palm Springs High School, Rancho Mirage High School and Shadow Hills High School.
Students presented two vocal selections to a panel of six judges that will include Arnaz, Kaye Ballard, Michael Childers, Laurence Luckinbill, Patricia Welsh and Martin Wiviott. Arnaz -- an actress, singer and producer -- is the daughter of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz; Luckinbill -- an actor, playwright and director -- is her husband.
Two winners -- a best actor and best actress -- will represent the Coachella Valley in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, held this June in New York City. The east coast trip will include an all-expenses paid week of classes and competitions.
Organizers hope that the awards will become an annual event that will operate on a much larger scale starting next year, with a ``Tony-Award'' style celebration hosted by Broadway celebrities, with multiple awards to be presented to schools, students and teachers.
The winners are:
Winning Lead Man and Leading Lady: Laurel Bollard (Shadow Hills High School) and William Webster (Musical Theatre University at Rancho Mirage High School). Will and Laurel will represent the Coachella Valley in The National High School Musical Theatre Awards in NYC in June.
First Runner Up: Shelby Winstead (Rancho Mirage High School) and Hunter LaSalle (Musical Theatre University)
Second Runner Up: Malia Botello (Xavier Prep) and Maverick Carpio (Rancho Mirage High School)
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