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Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition to Participate in 2014 NHSMTA

Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition to Participate in 2014 NHSMTA

Helping talented high school seniors reach for the stars, Las Casas Foundation is pleased to announce that the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition has been selected to participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA), creating the opportunity for two teens to win trips to New York City to participate in NHSMTA, a national celebration of outstanding student achievement recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performance.

While in New York City for NHSMTA, participants experience five days of private coaching, master classes and rehearsals with theater professionals, concluding with a panel of industry experts selecting exceptional students for The Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress and Actor. Students participating in the NHSTMA program receive opportunities for merit scholarships, professional advancement and other prizes. To select deserving students, the 2014 Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition is being expanded to include a new category of competition designated specifically for NHSTMA, "The Jimmy."

Setting the stage for talented high school seniors ready to pursue their dreams, the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition allows any college-bound high school senior with interests and abilities in the performing arts, living in the San Antonio community or surrounding areas, to apply for scholarships each year. This year marks the centennial of the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre-home to the scholarship competition-and Las Casas Foundation will award $100,000 in scholarship funds to mark the occasion.

This is the sixth year Las Casas Foundation has hosted the scholarship competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition has awarded $385,000 in scholarship money in the disciplines of theatre acting, musical theatre singing and dancing. Open to students attending Texas public and private high schools and home schools, the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition awards financial assistance to college-bound high school seniors based on their interests and abilities in the performing arts. Applications for 2014 are now closed, but applications, along with application requirements, audition guidelines and scholarship criteria, are available at www.lascasasfoundation.org.

In a fun coincidence, this year is also the sixth year of The Jimmy Awards, as the awards ceremony of NHSMTA is known. The National High School Musical Theater Awards, presented by the Broadway Education Alliance, is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement that recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performances by high school students. The JimmyTM Award is named in honor of James M. Nederlander, legendary Broadway theater owner and producer. Those interested in a glimpse of what NHSTMA entails can watch the series "Broadway or Bust" on PBS, available online at www.nhstma.com.

"We're excited to partner with the National High School Musical Theater Awards and offer this opportunity through our scholarship competition," explains Kaye Lenox, CEO of Las Casas Foundation. "Helping these talented students both pursue their studies and win the right to participate in a program of this caliber is why we created the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Program. These teens need the opportunity to continue to hone their craft and contribute to the world of performing arts. We want to make this year our best yet, showcasing the talents of the amazing applicants we see each year, while celebrating the terrific history of the theatre that hosts the competition."

Las Casas Scholarship Competition Details:

Since the program's inception, four categories have been featured in the competition: Vocal Solo, Acting Solo, Acting Duet and Dance Solo. Each category may award five scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000. A fifth category, "The Jimmy", will now be added to the 2014 competition. Students may only compete in one category within the initial four, but may also compete in The Jimmy category, where two winners will be selected to travel to New York City and attend NHSMTA. Las Casas scholarships are also awarded to essay winners and an additional $10,000 is awarded to the overall category winner, meaning one talented senior will act, sing or dance away with $15,000 to help pursue their college dreams. If that winner also competes in The Jimmy category, he or she may also win one of the NHSMTA trips. Scholarship categories, number of scholarships, amounts distributed and dates are subject to change.

In addition to the regular application procedure and requirements for the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition, those students who wish to compete in The Jimmy category must meet NHSTMA pre-requisites, including being cast in a leading role in an approved musical produced by their school during the 2013-2014 academic year. Additionally, those students must perform a song that they performed in that role and agree to perform twice during the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition on May 18.

Preliminary auditions for the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition will take place April 12- 13 at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio. Competition finalists will then participate in an evening competition before a judging panel comprised of nationally-acclaimed theatre professionals including playwrights, actors, choreographers and dancers, as well as a live audience, displaying their talents on the Empire Stage on May 18, and following the competition, as much as $100,000 in scholarships will be awarded, as well as the two NHSMTA trips.

The scholarship competition is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to cheer these talented teens on as they compete. Tickets for the competition are available for $10 per person and can be purchased at the Majestic Theatre Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or at the door of the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre the evening of the performance. Ticket sales benefit the competition's scholarship fund.

To learn more about the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition, visit www.lascasasfoundation.org, or follow Las Casas on Facebook at LasCasasFoundation or on Twitter, @LasCasasFDN.

About Las Casas Foundation: Funded through Foundation memberships, the generous support of donors, corporations and grants, Las Casas Foundation is dedicated to the development of the performing arts through education and scholarships, as well as the restoration and preservation of historic theatres. The Foundation hosts the annual Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Competition and offers a variety of educational initiatives and efforts to nurture and grow the performing arts. Recipient of the 2013 National Arts Star Award from the American Foundation For Arts Education in recognition of Las Casas Foundation's significant impact on arts education, the Foundation has awarded $385,000 in scholarship funds to deserving students in the field of performing arts since 2009 and plans to award another $100,000 in 2014. For more information, visit www.lascasasfoundation.org.

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