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    Iola High School drama instructor Regina Chriestenson, seated from left, plays a game of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” with IHS senior Parker Smith during Friday’s Little Oscars Celebration at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. Others participating in the skit were John Higginbotham, assistant technical director at the Bowlus, and standing from left, Little Oscars hostesses Olivia, Jasmine and Trilby Bannister.

Big fun at Little Oscars



Click here to see more images of the 2019 Little Oscars Celebration


The 54th annual Little Oscars celebration — themed “An Evening on Broadway” — highlighted another banner year for the Iola High School Drama Department, and its two main productions, “She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Lexie Vega brought home two of the premier awards, earning Best Actress for her role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” and the Susan S. Miller Award in recognition of being the school’s most inspirational forensics team member.

Parker Smith was voted Outstanding Players Member for his work in both productions, and received the Don Bain Showman of the Year, in honor of the former longtime IHS administrator.

Behind-the-scenes work netted Katie Weide a pair of Little Oscars for sound operations for “The Wizard of Oz” and the Iola Community Theatre Award for assisting with its productions.


Austin Morris, left, and River Hess sing “More Than Survive” at the Little Oscars celebration Friday.


In between the awards, students provided entertainment with a number of songs. Among the more memorable numbers were Hannah Andersen’s soulful “On My Own,” from the musical “Les Miserables,” Zareona Pulley’s rendition of the Abba classic “Mamma Mia” and Haley Carlin performing “Still Hurting” from the musical “The Last Five Years.”

Hosts for the evening were sisters and IHS alums Jasmine, Trilby and Olivia Bannister.


Little Oscars winners for 2019 are, front row from left, Katie Weide, Gaby Lampe, Josie Plumlee, Haley Carlin, Lexie Vega, Elanie Sturgeon and Kelli Stogsdill; second row from left, Parker Smith, Jon Poffenbarger, Henry Lohman, River Hess, Jacob Andersen and Adryan Nading.


A full list of honorees follows.

Iola Community Theatre Award — Katie Weide

Rookie of the Year-Female — Elanie Sturgeon

Rookie of the Year-Male — Jacob Andersen

Outstanding Underclass Woman — Josie Plumlee

Outstanding Underclass Man — Henry Lohman

Fall Technical Award — Kelli Stogsdill

Spring Technical Award — Katie Weide

Outstanding Players Member — Parker Smith

Stanislavski Award — Gaby Lampe

Boleslavski Award — Adryan Nading

Supporting Actress — Haley Carlin

Supporting Actor — Jon Poffenbarger

Don Bain Showman of the Year — Parker Smith

Best Actress — Lexie Vega

Best Actor — River Hess

Susan S. Miller Most Inspirational Forensics Member — Lexie Vega

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