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JRAYs Awarded To Talented Actors

JRAY award nominees, from left; Haley Castuera, Karina Parker, Clair Howell, and Elias Cerdas.  (Missing Makenna Zur Schmiede and Natalee Palmer)

JRAY award nominees, from left; Haley Castuera, Karina Parker, Clair Howell, and Elias Cerdas. (Missing Makenna Zur Schmiede and Natalee Palmer)

Laguna Beach High School’s Park Avenue Players were among the 1,000 performers from 13 schools across Orange and Los Angeles counties competing for the John Raitt Awards for Youth (JRAY), an annual high school awards program sponsored by the Fullerton Civic Light Opera.

Young Laguna thespians collected six nominations for stand-out performances in this year’s musicals “Grease” and “Hello, Dolly!” Karina Parker won best supporting actress of the year, and Haley Castuera won best soloist of the year. Both were in “Hello, Dolly!”

Additionally, nominated performers from Laguna were Clair Howell, Makenna Zur Schmiede, Elias Cerdas, and Natalee Palmer.

All nominees are awarded a JRAY medal, with first place winners receiving a trophy.

Castuera also received one of three $1,000 scholarships funded by the organization.

Parker and Castuera will be graduating from LBHS this year but will take the stage once more this month for the production of “The Crucible.” In the fall, Parker will enter the performing arts program at Carnegie Mellon University and Castuera will be attending Boston University.

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