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2015 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

2015 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

ATLANTA -- Twenty-four productions have been nominated for the 2015 Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards, otherwise known as the Shuler Hensley Awards.

The program is named for Tony Award-winning actor Shuler Hensley, a Cobb County native. This year's winners will be announced Thursday, Apr. 23 during an awards ceremony at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Winning a Shuler Hensley Award can reap major benefits for a budding performer. Just ask Jai'Len Josey, who won Best Actress in 2014 for her portrayal of Effie White in Tri-Cities High School's production of Dreamgirls.

Joshua Mikel wins Essential Theatre Playwriting Contest

Joshua Mikel wins Essential Theatre Playwriting Contest

ATLANTA -- Joshua Mikel's new play Lillian Likes It is the winner of the 2015 Essential Theatre Playwriting Contest.

The annual competition gives Georgia playwrights the opportunity to have their work produced. Lillian Likes It will receive a full production in this summer's Essential Theatre Festival. Mikel also received a cash prize.

"Getting a piece through Essential has become sort of a rite of passage for the Georgia playwright, I think," Mikel said. "I'm equal parts anxious and excited. It's a great opportunity, but I know there's a lot of work to be done between now and then ... I'm hyper excited to see this performed with seasoned actors. It's going to be fun. I'm thrilled!"

Mikel is a six-time published playwright, as well as an actor and music video director. He is a graduate of Florida State University's Theatre and Creative Writing programs. Mikel lives in Conyers.

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Columbus-based Carmike Cinemas has become the first theater chain to decide not to show the upcoming Sony film "The Interview", according to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday evening.

Carmike operates 2,917 screens in 278 theaters over 41 states, including nine theaters in metro Atlanta -- Athens, Cartersville, Canton, Conyers, Newnan, Snellville, Cumming, Hiram and southwest Atlanta.

Sony said earlier in the day Tuesday that they were moving ahead with plans to distribute the controversial comedy on Christmas Day, despite messages from hackers that appeared to threaten violence at theaters showing the film. The threats evoked the memory of 9/11, and suggested that violence of that sort would come to theaters and theater goers as a result of the film's going into wide release on Christmas weekend.

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

(WXIA) -- It's back! The wildly popular Doodle 4 Google contest, which gives children the opportunity to create a Google Doodle, is now accepting entries.

Students in grades K-12 can enter the competition by drawing the Google logo with the theme, "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place ..."

"So many of the world's greatest inventions started out as simple doodles -- just think of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of flying machines long before airplanes were made. We hope students will think big and surprise us with their creative ideas, just like they've done in years past!" Google said in a release.

Google will choose one finalist from each state. Last year's Georgia winner was Christine Jeong, a 5th grader at Wilson Creek Elementary School in Johns Creek. Meet Christine and see her winning doodle.

AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest open

AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest open

ATLANTA -- Calling all artists: the AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest is now accepting entries.

Designers have until Friday, Feb. 28 to submit their works of art. All entries will be whittled down to five finalists, which will be unveiled on ajc.com/peachtree on Saturday, Mar. 15.

No one will see the winning design until race day, when it will adorn tens of thousands of finishers' T-shirts.

"The AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest is a great way to showcase the work of our local artists, and we are always impressed with the entries we receive," Atlanta Track Club interim executive director Sue Payne said in a statement.

Whoever wins the contest receives $1,000, while each of the four finalists gets $100.

Atlanta Boy Choir to perform at monastery

Atlanta Boy Choir to perform at monastery

CONYERS, Ga. -- The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers will once again host the Atlanta Boy Choir for a Christmas concert this December.

The world famous choir, under the direction of Maestro Fletcher Wolfe, and its small chamber orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at the monastery's Abbey Church.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at trappist.net. The show always sells out in advance.

Learn more about the Druid Hills-based Atlanta Boy Choir at atlantaboychoir.org.

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit is located at 2625 Highway 212 SW.