LEAGUE CITY — The Clear Springs High School theater department may need to expand its trophy case. The school’s production of “Urinetown” took home nine awards, including best musical, best leading actress and best supporting actor during the 12th annual Tommy Awards with Tommy Tune on Wednesday night.
“There’s so many good schools (nominated), I never expected us to walk away with nine of them,” Mark Stonebarger, the theater director at Clear Springs High School, said. “It was quite shocking. We knew we had a good show, still it was a surprise.”
Stonebarger joked that after the cast won its first award he figured that would be it for the night.
“I said, ‘well that’s it, start up the bus, we’re done for the night,’” he said.
They were far from being done. Clear Springs went into the awards show with 15 nominations, the most of any of the schools nominated this year.
Sam Byrd, the public relations director for Theater Under the Stars, which presents the awards each year, couldn’t say for sure that Clear Springs’ nine wins was a record. But he couldn’t name a school that won any more than that.
“It was a sweep,” he said. “A real sweep.”
Emily Lewis, 17, a Clear Springs junior was among those taking home one of the awards as best leading actress for her portrayal of Hope Cladwell in the satirical comedy musical.
“I was blessed in getting a character who had to show many different sides and different personalities,” Lewis said. “I got to show a range of things in my acting and singing abilities.”
Lewis also got to spend time on stage with a Broadway legend, Tommy Tune, the Houston native for whom the awards are named. The Tony Award-winning performer celebrated his 75th birthday by presenting the awards.
She also gets to advance for a shot at the National High School Musical Theater Awards this summer in New York.
Stephen Louis, 17, took home a best supporting actor award for his portrayal of Officer Lockstock, the musical’s narrator and antagonist.
“It was unexpected to say the least,” Louis, a Springs junior said. It was his second Tommy Tune Award after winning for best featured performer last year.
“I didn’t think (the judges) would give me a second award. It was very, very humbling.”
Clear Springs wasn’t the only Galveston County school with nominations. Friendswood High School was nominated for six awards for its rendition of “42nd Street.”
Clear Falls High School was nominated for Best Choreography for its production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Clear Springs wins Tommys
Clear Springs High School’s production of “Urinetown” won nine of the 15 awards it was nominated for during the 12th annual Tommy Awards with Tommy Tune.
Best Leading Actress, Emily Lewis
Best Supporting Actor Award, Stephen Louis
Best Musical Direction
Best Scenic Design
Best Lighting Design
Best Crew And Technical Execution
Clear Springs’ Tommy Tune award winners talk about their dreams of performing on Broadway