She was the sole lighting designer for the Renton High School’s rendition of High School Musical (HSM), and last week she was honored for her effort.
Elizabeth Selberg received a Special Honors in Student Achievement award for her work from the 5th Avenue Theatre Awards on Monday, June 3. She also came in as runner up for the top Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing Role category.
Over 100 student productions were recognized at the 17th annual awards, and of those, Renton High School also received an honorable mention for its stage crew.
Selberg was the student who initially encouraged Drama and Language Arts Teacher Sara Khelghatian to contact the theatre to schedule adjudicators to critic the production during show season.
“I knew about the 5th Avenue High School Awards because I moved here from a different school and participated there last year,” Selberg said. “I remembered it being a fun experience and something that motivated the cast to do their best, so I suggested it to (Kehlghatian), who is awesome. So, she agreed to do it.”
Specifically, Selberg was nominated for her role as a non-singing actress for portraying Mrs. Darbus, the drama teacher at East High in HSM. This particular character she described as “strict and kind of crazy,” but whose part was ultimately a driving force for the drama department in the HSM production.
When asked how she initially reacted to receiving the honor and nomination, Selberg reflected on her response upon first getting word.
“I’m so thankful to Ms. Khelghatian for nominating me for the Student Achievement Award. I was really nervous to start at a new school, so it makes me super happy to know that I helped do something productive for the drama department here at Renton,” shared Selberg. “As for the non-singing role nomination, when I saw it, I really wasn’t expecting it; so I pretty much freaked out.”
Selberg became interested in drama at a young age, but only started pursing it when she reached the sixth grade. Now as a sophomore, she actively seeks out opportunities in the arts.
She is part of a program at the 5th Avenue Theatre called The Rising Star Project, where she has been training as head flyman, a position with duties that include controlling the rails that lower objects above the stage during each performance. The project ends with two student-ran performances of West Side Story, on July 12 and 13.
Selberg plans to continue pursuing roles in theater and intends to major in film during college while working towards a future career in the arts.