The Surry Players theater group recently presented three academic awards to area seniors. The $500 awards recognize a student’s achievements and interest in the performing arts, and have been given to deserving seniors since 2005. Chosen from more than 30 applications, this year’s recipients are Tyler Nash, a student at Monadnock Regional High School and Lydia Bunszel and Nicholas McPherson, both students at Keene High School.

Nash has performed in more than 20 theater productions with 10 leading roles and was cast as Carl Hanratty in “Catch Me If You Can” this spring, which unfortunately was canceled due to COVID-19. He was the leader of the MRHS marching band, played in jazz and concert band, and performed for several charities, including the Shriners hospitals. Nash plans to major in theater arts at Keene State College.

Bunszel’s love of singing and dancing began as soon as she could walk and talk. She joined the New Hampshire Dance Institute in 4th grade and in high school was in A-Cappella Choir, Vocal Jazz, Momentum, and Amplitude. She was also in the Keene Lions Club’s production of “Beauty and the Beast,” while participating in a variety of community service activities. She will attend the University of Vermont.

McPherson was 5 years old for his first stage performance. He was an integral part of both MoCo Arts and Keene High productions throughout high school and successfully auditioned for the University of New Hampshire’s musical theatre program which he will attend in the fall. In high school he was also in Vocal Jazz, A-Cappella Choir, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Inertia and Momentum. He is active in Boy Scouts and is currently working to become an Eagle Scout.