When Harry Kirsch hit the stage in Oxley College's production of the renowned musical Chicago as Amos Hart, he said the audience connected with him when he performed a rendition of the Mister Cellophane solo.
Playing the husband of Roxie Hart who he described as a "bit of a loser" and comic relief, the solo is about the character feeling overlooked, and the crowd responded and cheered.
"It was really great to have the audience recognise that," he said.
The Year 11 student was part of more than 60 cast and crew that put together the school's production of the musical in 2023, known as Chicago: High School Edition.
He has been nominated in the Canberra Area Theatre Awards for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.
The nomination is one of seven the school is up for, including Best Production of a School or Youth Musical.
"I guess I was really thrilled to see awards spread across a variety of disciplines, a diversity of actors, hard work has paid off," he said.
English and drama teacher Katrine Pascoe said there was a "double cast" for the production with understudies, where more students performed in key roles.
Year 11 student Banjo Campbell helped set the scene and pace of the play as the MC, and is a finalist in the Patricia Kelson Encouragement Award.
He said it was very "fulfilling" and a "wonderful opportunity" to be a part of the school's largest theatre production.
The musical was part of Oxley's 40th anniversary celebrations.
Millijana Arthur was also nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical playing Velma Kelly, and Spencer Lewis as the best actor for his role as Billy Flynn.
Head of Performing Arts Andrew Young is up for Best Direction of a School or Youth Musical, and said bringing the renowned musical to the stage has been a dream of his.
"I'm proud to be nominated on behalf of the ensemble," he said, which covered "so many students".
Mr Young said the average age for the orchestra was 15.
Ms Pascoe has been recognised as a finalist for the Best Musical Direction for a School or Youth Production.
She said it was a "huge commitment" for students and said it would not have been possible with their work behind the scenes.
The winners will be announced on February 18 at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre.
Following the mammoth production, Harry and Banjo will lead a production of The Book of Everything, which starts on February 28.
It will be followed by A Midsummer Night's Dream and Matilda.
Chevalier College is also up for three awards for Beautiful - the Carole King Musical.