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Henry Players win regional theater awards

Members of The Henry Players have received a number of accolades for their work in a pair of recent stage productions.

The acting troupe’s members won awards in seven categories at the Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards, for “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and “The Producers.”

The awards were given Sunday, during an annual ceremony in Roswell.

“I think they are definitely well-deserved,” said Adriana Beckner, president of the Henry Players. “Everybody worked really hard.”

The Players won the Moira Thornett Director’s Award in the Play Category, for “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” The award is named for a Georgia-based actress and director, who passed away in 2007.

Acting awards went to Jeff Cooper and Jacob McKee. Cooper was named best leading acting in a musical, for his role as Leo Bloom in “The Producers.”

Cooper, also the chief operating officer for Henry Medical Center, said he did not expect to win the award, which was his first for a lead role. “The competition is very stiff,” he said.

“There are some great theaters in metro Atlanta. I felt honored to be nominated, let alone to win,” he added. “Leo Bloom was one of my top, dream roles. I got to act, sing and dance. To top it all off, it’s a comedic role. To be in front of an audience and make them laugh gives me a thrill that is hard to describe.”

Cooper credited his fellow cast members for their performances in “The Producers,” and for creating an enjoyable stage environment.

“There was not a weak link in that cast,” he said. “Performing has always been a passion of mine, and the Henry Players have a wonderful sense of family and community.”

Jacob McKee won his second Minor Supporting Actor award in the Musical Category, for his role as Carmen Ghia in “The Producers.” He won the same award, in 2010, for his performance with the Henry Players in “Sweeney Todd.”

McKee, a freshman at Piedmont College, agreed with Cooper’s assessment.

“I really like how the Henry Players really foster a community when they do plays,” said McKee.

Additional awards for “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” in the Play Category, went to Frankie Asher for Minor Supporting Actor; Ralph McKee and Hayley Platt, for Sound Design; Rebecca Lee Morris Dingbaum, for Lighting Design; and Melissa Hitchcock, for Costume Design.