Come April 13, the Long Center will rumble with singing and dancing during the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards.

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Finale of the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards show in 2016. Contributed by James Goulden

So why do Austin theater teens love the stage and this†singular awards ceremony? We asked.

Mary Shae Lancaster. Contributed

Mary Shae Lancaster:††I love the high school musical theater awards for many reasons. Number 1†being the community that Iíve found with other high schoolers who appreciate and love the art form of musical theatre as much as I do. It has also nurtured and given me goals to strive for. I love watching talented student performers do this thing we love and do it phenomenally. Most of them can be found in the Select Ensemble over previous years. This is my first year as a part of the ensemble and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have met some of my closest friends through the process and progressed so much in my performance ability by simply being around incredibly talented peers.

Terin Dailey. Contributed

Terin Dailey:†This completely is a different world that I have the privilege of living every day. It means happiness for me in my life and having the chance to perform for another audience again is amazing. We put so much into this show, wanting it to look itís very best in every aspect. (It)†is a way for us to celebrate all the hard work and dedication that we all give to each other every year and how it has affected us immensely.

Lola Rios: (It is)†more than a night of celebration. It is hard work, dedication and passion on one stage with 31 schools all singing and dancing for a common love. They have built hope for students to know that they have the support of their schools, other schools and the†Long Center.†Each school is honored on the night of the awards no matter if they walk away with an award or not. This is because of the magic that the night brings.

Matthew Kennedy. Contributed

Matthew Kennedy:†The high school musical theater awards provide outreach and recognition for talent and ability across the Austin area. It gives Austin schools a chance to connect on a greater level and be recognized for their hard work and artistry they bring to the table.†It reminds me that I should try to do my best in whatever I attempt or pursue, and however the outcome may be, the reward is in knowing that I did my best.

Maddie Brimmer. Contributed

Maddie Brimmer:†Each school gets to showcase their abilities and be rewarded for their achievements and the schools nominated for best musical even get a chance to perform a small part of their show on the Long Center stage. Itís a magical night filled with teenagers dressed up in their nicest dresses, fantastic performances, and some celebrity appearances!

Samantha Dickerson. Contributed

Samantha Dickerson:†Itís an amazing opportunity to bring people of all different schools and backgrounds to all share our talents and a love of musical theatre and build relationships we wouldnít otherwise have.†Itís given me the opportunity to express my passion of musical theatre to an even further extent by participating in these amazing awards and being in the select ensemble; getting to do what I love.