The Cullman High School Theatre program recently won the state’s highest honor for their performance of Scrooge the Musical, and local residents will have a chance to see the performance on Friday and Saturday. 

With their one-act performance of Scrooge, Cullman students took home the Best in Show trophy from the Walter Trumbauer State Festival this weekend at the University of North Alabama. 

Cullman Theatre Director Wayne Cook said the Trumbauer festival is the premier high school theatre festival in Alabama, with 81 schools and more than 1,500 students participating in various theatre competitions. 

“It’s the biggest thing that Alabama has to offer for theatre,” he said. “It’s like winning a state championship in theatre.”

This year was only the second time that Cullman has competed at the state festival, and the Best in Show award is the first one that the school has ever won, Cook said. 

He said the Cullman students also racked up individual awards for their performances, with Justin Weygand being named the best actor in all competition one acts for his portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge. He also won first place in Male Comedic Musical Theatre. Graffin Shaddrix also placed second in Male Dramatic Monologue.

“That’s a pretty big deal to have the number one and number two in the state,” Cook said.

Rutland Turner and Jady Pipes were honored and named to the All State, All Star cast for 2017.

Several Cullman students also won superior medals at the festival, including Rutland Turner (2), Laci New (2), Olivia Noblett, Justin Weygand, Mary Claire Page, Kayla Watts, Alyssa Sandlin, Tiffany Dotson, Graffin Shaddrix and Abby West. 

The public performances of Scrooge the Musical will be at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with adult tickets available at the door for $10 and student tickets available for $5. 

Cook said the theatre program gets a lot of support from Cullman High School and the Cullman City School System and from the community, including James R. Smith Trucking, who hauled the students’ sets to Florence at no charge, and Nohealani Naehu from The Factory Dance Productions, who helped with the choreography for the performance and offered her own truck. 

With the support of the schools and the community, Cullman Theatre will be able to keep growing and enjoying similar successes in the future, Cook said. 

“It’s a great thing,” he said. “It’s building in our community and I would like to see it continue to grow.”

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