Cultural Center receives 50 Award Nominations for Theatrical Excellence

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JOSHUA TREE — The Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s prestigious Hi-Desert Playhouse theater division has received top honors in the Southern California desert region with an astounding fifty Desert Theatre League “Desert Stars Award” nominations for its 2017-2018 season productions—leading the greater Joshua Tree area, and the second highest of the more than thirty theatrical production companies in the league.  Of the fifty nominations received, twenty-one of them were recognized in the distinguished professional division and, with six of the prized “Outstanding Production” nominations and eight of the coveted “Outstanding Director” nominations, every one of the Cultural Center’s productions received a nod.  Under the direction of Playhouse Artistic Director Howard Shangraw, the season featured published and original works by famed playwrights spanning Broadway musicals, profound and thought-provoking dramas, uproarious comedies, enrapturing cabaret, exceptional staged readings, and extraordinary youth theater. 


Many of the Cultural Center’s productions brought together seasoned professional SAG or Equity actors with astute aspiring talents, creating richly-woven and beautiful productions that cloaked the educational and mentoring element.  The result of this melding of talent is an astounding twenty-seven “Outstanding Actor/Performer” nominations.  As a testament to its reputation of providing the most “immersive theatrical experiences” in the Southern California Desert, the Cultural Center also received eight technical design, backstage, set, makeup/hair, lighting/sound, and costume nominations in support of its Outstanding Production nominations.  Its Broadway musical production of Little Shop of Horrors received an incredible eleven nominations including individual nominations for five outstanding actors as well as nominations for outstanding overall production, choreography, theatrical and musical direction, props and special effects, and sound design.  Playhouse Artistic Director Howard Shangraw was one of the leading individual nominees across the league with seven nominations for his work acting, directing, and designing theatrical productions of the Cultural Center.  In addition to the fifty nominations, the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s ArtsTech Academy student and intern, Destany (DJ) Briggs, was awarded one of the league’s $1,000 coveted youth scholarships—making her the first to receive the honor for her work in backstage and technical theater.

The Hi-Desert Cultural Center wishes to congratulate all of the producers, directors, actors, musicians, tech and stage crew, costumers, make-up artists, house crew, youth theater parents, donors, supporters, and all those who made its 2017-2018 season such a phenomenal success.

See below for the entire list of the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s Desert Theatre League award nominations.  To learn more about the Desert Theatre League and its important mission, go to:

Hi-Desert Cultural Center | 2018 Desert Theatre League Award Nominations




GREAT NEWS FOR SEASON PACKAGE TICKET HOLDERS! Should your schedule change and you find yourself needing to attend a performance on a different date — if you give the Box Office at least 48 hours notice prior to your ticketed performance, management will attempt to exchange your ticket for a different performance of the same show!