WHS nominated for 9 Dallas Summer Musicals awards

Ashley Ford
WISD Communications Specialist

Waxahachie High School was nominated in nine categories at the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Theatre Awards for its winter production of “Matilda.”

The 2021 Dallas Summer Musicals High School Theatre Award nominations received by WHS include:

Best Musical

Best Actor — Anthony Gallo

Best Actress — Belle Winn

Best Supporting Actor — Noah Reynolds

Best Orchestra

Best Ensemble

Best Scenic Design

Best Musical Director

Best Direction

WHS student Noah Reynolds performs in "Matilda" the musical.

The opportunity to perform in a COVID year was a blessing in itself, even though the virus had the potential to cancel the performance in its entirety.

Just one week before showtime, the original student cast for Miss Trunchbull could not perform due to a family exposure to COVID. WHS senior Anthony Gallo was challenged to fill the vacant role even though he had already developed the character Rodolpho, an eccentric dancer. Gallo — a first-year musical theater participant — immersed himself into the new lead role and persevered to learn the lines, songs, and choreography in just one week.

“From then, my face was in the script, every single second and Belle [Winn] helped me out — everybody was helping me out,” Gallo explained. “I was very thankful for all my crew members. I couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for them.”

Gallo’s commitment to the production was evident to the DSM judges as they nominated him for the Best Actor award.

When the show calendar was published over the summer, Gallo knew he wanted to portray Miss Trunchbull, the ruthless, oppressive, and tyrannical principal of Crunchem Hall Elementary School. Even though the unlikeable character was the antagonist of the show, Gallo said it was a joy to play.

To get into character, Gallo would tell himself, “I hate everybody, everybody sucks except me; I’m the greatest Olympic champion, hammer thrower. Every time I walked into a room, I had to be the most menacing character ever.”

WHS senior Belle Winn was nominated for Best Actress for the main role of Matilda, a child who develops psychokinetic abilities and uses them to deal with her disreputable family and Miss Trunchbull.

“She was such a fun character because she had to mature quickly because she came from an abusive home,” Winn elaborated. “She was very intellectual and very smart. But she got to still be a kid and did mischievous things, and I really liked that part of her.”

WHS freshman Noah Reynolds was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role of Bruce — a friend of Matilda. Reynolds relayed he was shocked to hear the news after seeing his initial score.

“When I saw my name, it was kind of surprising, but I was really happy and excited to be a part of this,” Reynolds relayed. “I’ve spent my whole life around this [theater].”

The Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards aim to inspire and honor excellence in high school musical theater and to recognize the importance of the arts in education. WHS has participated in the DSM Awards for 10 years and will attend the awards ceremony on June 11, 2021.