Cypress Ranch High School junior Mia Velasquez (left) was named Best Leading Actress at the Theatre Under the Stars 17th annual Tommy Tune Awards on April 30 at the Hobby Center. Velasquez played the role of Ariel in the department’s production, The Little Mermaid, and earned the opportunity to travel to New York City in June and compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, known as the Jimmy Awards. (CFISD courtesy photo)
Cypress Ranch High School junior Mia Velasquez (left) was named Best Leading Actress at the Theatre Under the Stars 17th annual Tommy Tune Awards on April 30 at the Hobby Center. Velasquez played the role of Ariel in the department’s production, The Little Mermaid, and earned the opportunity to travel to New York City in June and compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, known as the Jimmy Awards. (CFISD courtesy photo)

CYPRESS TEXAS — Students from the Cypress Ranch High School theatre department earned two awards at the Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) 17th annual Tommy Tune Awards on April 30 at the Hobby Center, including junior Mia Velasquez winning Best Leading Actress in the role of Ariel in the department’s production, The Little Mermaid. The awards are Houston’s high school version of the Tony Awards, which recognize and celebrate musical theatre.

Cypress Ranch’s production, which earned seven nominations, also won Best Stage Crew and Technical Execution.

“Putting on a production takes the entire company,” Cypress Ranch Theatre Director Cheryl Bradford said. “And with a Disney show, putting the extra magic in that is expected and winning this was very exciting. Some of the extras for The Little Mermaid were adding intelligent moving lights, projections, sound design that was flawless and a magical set and run crew that were on top of things. Our technicians are so dedicated and we could not be more proud of each and every one.”

Velasquez will travel to New York City in June to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, known as the Jimmy Awards, on June 24. The national competition brings together roughly 80 students, who earn the opportunity to work with Broadway professionals for eight days. It culminates with the Jimmy Awards, which includes both awards and scholarships – one leading male and one leading female are selected to receive a four-year scholarship to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and its New Studio On Broadway: Music Theatre and Acting.

The cast and crew of the Cypress Ranch High School production, The Little Mermaid, won Best Stage Crew and Technical Execution at the Theatre Under the Stars 17th annual Tommy Tune Awards. The department had seven total nominations and won two awards.
The cast and crew of the Cypress Ranch High School production, The Little Mermaid, won Best Stage Crew and Technical Execution at the Theatre Under the Stars 17th annual Tommy Tune Awards. The department had seven total nominations and won two awards.

“Mia being nominated was incredible and her winning Best Leading Actress is truly a testament to her talents and work ethic,” Bradford said. “Mia is simply a joy to work with in a production as she is so professional, takes every direction and incorporates them in each and every run.”

Cypress Ranch’s production was also nominated for Best Musical, Lighting Design, Choreography, Direction and Musical Direction.

Cypress Woods High School’s production, Chicago: High School Edition, earned two nominations: Scenic Design and Costume Design. In addition, senior Grace Womack, who played the role of Velma, received a Tommy Tune Scholarship.

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