WOODS CROSS - The best musical theater Utah high schools have to offer happened right here in Davis County.
Woods Cross High School was awarded that honor at the recent Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards, hosted by Utah Festival Opera in Logan. The school’s production of “Aida,” held earlier this year, was chosen as the best production in the state.
“It was so cool,” said Olivia Harris, one of the students involved with Aida. “They didn’t even get to finish saying our name before we went crazy.”
“We heard them say the ‘W’ and we just screamed,” said Taylor Clayville, another student who performed in the show.”
The school also won for Best Actress (Aitana Alapa), Best Supporting Actress (Summer Sloan) and Best Cameo (Brookelynn Alapa).
“I was so overwhelmed,” said Brookelynn Alapa, who won for her role as Nehebka in “Aida.” “It was the best feeling. I’ve never felt like that.”
The award was the first received by the school, after what the students describe as a disappointing evening. Before their musical number, held near the end of the show, they had missed out in several categories.
“We had nothing the whole time,” said Sara Perry, another student involved with the production. “It was so bad.”
After their performance of “Dance of the Robe,” a musical number from their production, they got their first sign that their luck might be about to change. All the performers finished the number with their heads down, waiting for the applause to die down and their cue to leave the stage.
“I’m like ‘Why are the lights not coming on?’” said Aitana Alapa. “Then I looked up, and I realized ‘People are standing.’ I just started crying.’”
Clayville, who was also part of the performance, was equally moved.
“That was definitely the best I’ve ever felt about anything,” he said.
After that, the awards started coming. Brookelynn Alapa was first, receiving the award while many of her classmates were still in the hallway getting changed out of their costumes.
“I was helping someone with their costume, and I couldn’t get back in,” said Zak Kimbrell, who did tech for the show. “I was pounding on the door, like ‘Let me in!”
Though her fellow students got emotional at her success, it was only the first of the evening.
“That got the ball rolling,” said Stephanie Stuart, part of the production team.
Next up was Sloan, who was also filming the event. She, like her fellow students who received awards, said she hadn’t expected to win.
“Just being surrounded by all that talent was incredible,” Sloan said. “But I’ve been doing this all my life, so it was nice to have that recognition.”
Then Aitana Alapa won her award, an honor that entitles her to perform at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City this June. The school is holding a fund raising luau on May 27 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the school to raise funds for her parents to come out and see her perform.
“It was so surreal to win,” said Aitana Alapa. “I couldn’t believe it.”
By the time the school’s “Aida” was announced as Best Musical, everyone was emotional.
“People were crying all over,” said Sloan. “I would see actors cry at the Tony Awards, and now I’m like ‘Oh, that’s why people cry.’ Now I know what it feels like.”