IHS actors lauded

By SUSAN LYNN
Register Editor

Register/Susan Lynn
Iola High School celebrates its 44th annual Little Oscars
Iola High School honored its best and brightest thespians Saturday with its annual Little Oscars banquet and awards ceremoney (see story below). From left, Reagan Webster sang “How Lovely to be a Woman” from “Bye Bye Birdie.” Madison Ford sang “A Little Brains, a Little Talent” from “Damn Yankees.” Marah Melvin performed “A Step Too Far” along with Eileen Chase and Alex Piazza from the play “Aida.” Chase performed the song “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl.” Mack Melvin sang “Mr. Cellophane” from “Chicago.” Kent Toland peformed the song “Lot of Livin’ to Do” from “Bye Bye Birdie.” Color photos of the Little Oscars ceremony appear via the photos link at www.iolaregister.com.

In his own Sally Field moment — “You like me!” — Iola’s Mack Melvin gushed with appreciation at the recognition from his peers and Little Oscars judges when he garnered three of the theatrical awards.
Saturday night’s 44th Annual Little Oscars Banquet was a show in itself replete with several Broadway musical numbers. Pianist Fern Marsh provided accompaniment to many of the songs performed by the high-schoolers.
The night was especially poignant for Mack Melvin because for much of his high school years he has played second fiddle to his twin sister, Marah, who has has had leading roles in both dance and theatrical productions over the years. Marah came away with two honors for the night. The Melvins, seniors, were graduated in ceremonies Sunday.
Eileen Chase, senior, also came away with three awards, including best actress for the demanding role as Emily Stilson in “Wings.” She also won the Iola Community Theatre award for her role in “Proof” and was voted as the outstanding member of the high school drama club, Players.
Kent Toland, senior, won best actor award for his role in “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Toland remarked that the award was especially meaningful because his two older brothers, Mark and Scott, had also received the same award. “If you hadn’t noticed, we’re not a little competitive as a family,” he said, on the stage as well as the tennis court. Earlier in the day Toland had competed in the state tennis tournament in Salina, coming in sixth in the singles competition.
Mack Melvin’s awards were for best supporting actor for his role in “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindgertarten,” the Susan S. Miller award for being the most inspirational Forensics member and the award for making the biggest contribution to the theater department.
Marah Melvin won best supporting actress for her role in “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindgertarten,” and the Don Bain Showman of the Year award.
Skylar Strickler, junior, won the Boleslavski award for his small but meaningful role as Billy in “Wings.” Strickler was also given an award by technical director Jeff Jordan for his willingness to help strike the set at a production’s conclusion.
Kirstin McGuffin, sophomore, was given the Stanislavski award for role as stage manager in “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindgertarten.”
Valeree Winslow, senior, won Female Rookie of the Year for her firsttime participation in high school drama. Winslow appeared in the “Kindergarten” production.
Seth Snavely, senior, was the male rookie, also for his role in the “Kindergarten” production.
Reagan Webster, sophomore, was the Underclasswoman of the Year. She appeared in the “Kindergarten” play.
Kayla Callahan, sophomore, won the fall technical award for her work operating the spotlight in the “Kindergarten” play.
Jasmine Bannister, sophomore, won the spring technical award for operation of sound during the production of “Wings.”