Renton High School student receives honors from the 5th Avenue Theatre


Emma Austin, Editor-in-Chief

Monday, June 3rd at the 5th Avenue Theatre Awards, Renton High School student Elizabeth Selberg, received a Special Honors in Student Achievement for her role as the sole lighting designer for Renton High School’s rendition of High School Musical (HSM) and came in as runner up for the top Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing role.

Over 100 student productions were recognized at this 17th annual awards season for the 5th Avenue Theatre, and of those, Renton High School also received an honorable mention for 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. I remembered it being a fun experience and something that motivated the cast to do their best, so I suggested it to Ms. K, who is awesome. So, she agreed to do it,” shared Selberg.

Specifically, Selberg was nominated for her role as a non-singing actress for portraying Mrs. Darbus, the drama teacher at East High. 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,” noted Selberg.

Selberg told us that she 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 currently 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, July 12th and 13th.

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.