The 5th Avenue Theatre Announces High School Musical Theater Awards

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The 5th Avenue Theatre Announces High School Musical Theater Awards

High school students from across Washington State packed Benaroya Hall tonight for The 12th Annual 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater, a high school version of the Tony Awards, proudly sponsored for the tenth year by Wells Fargo with additional support from Alaska Airlines. The house was packed with 2,000 teenagers, dressed in costume representing their schools' musical theater productions, who cheered for their peers as they performed musical excerpts and accepted awards honoring top student achievements in musical theater. The acclaimed event, directed this year by Mathew Wright, handed out awards in 21 categories ranging from Outstanding Overall Musical Production to Outstanding Lobby Display.

"The High School Awards is always an exciting night to be with The 5th Avenue," says Wells Fargo Senior Vice President of Community Affairs, Mark Dederer. "It is events like this that celebrate arts, education, and students, that bring a special energy to the theater and to the participating schools. The student performances are always electrifying and Wells Fargo is honored to support this event and wish congratulations to all the nominees and recipients."

Edmonds Heights K-12 took home top honors at The 12th Annual 5th Avenue Awards, leaving at the end of the night with the award for Outstanding Overall Musical Production for their hit show, Pippin. The show that received the greatest number of awards for the evening was University High School's Jekyll & Hyde with three 5th Avenue Awards. Thirteen other high schools were recognized with the remaining awards.

Skyline High School student Madison Willis received the award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Pippin) and Kentridge High School student Eli Wills received the award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (The Wedding Singer). This year, for the first time, the recipients of the awards for Outstanding Actor and Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role have the opportunity to go to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City at the end of June.

University High School took home the award for Outstanding Direction (Jekyll & Hyde), Kamiak High Schoolreceived the award for Outstanding Music Direction (Kiss Me Kate), and AC Davis High School brought home the award for Outstanding Choreography (Grease). In an unusual twist, Kamiak High School's Kiss Me Kateand University High School's Jekyll & Hyde tied for Outstanding Scenic Design.

This year, the Third Annual Special Honor for Outstanding Educator was given to longtime Theatre Arts Director at Richland High School, Ellicia Mertens Elliott. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts Education and a Master's degree in Theatre Production, both from Central Washington University. She has continued her theatre training at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and through a fellowship at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Having directed more than 40 shows and taught a variety of theater subjects, her impact on students is immense. She is an integral part of Richland's theater community.

Many 5th Avenue Award participants have gone on to have fruitful careers both on stage and behind the scenes. Numerous past participants of the 5th Avenue Awards have notable careers as actors, directors, designers and theater administrators. Several participants have had careers outside of Seattle and have enjoyed national acclaim. Stefano Langone was a recent Top 10 contestant on the hit television show American Idol; Ryah Nixon appeared in the national tour of 9 to 5: The Musical; Diana Huey received a Helen Hayes Award; and Brandon Ivie has a blossoming Broadway career. Additional past participants have included Seattle stars and 5th Avenue favorites Jared Michael Brown, Gabe Corey, Sarah Rose Davis, Kirsten DeLohr Helland, and Cayman Ilika, among many others.

Since the program's creation, The 5th Avenue Awards has grown in size and scope from 24 productions and 3,100 students to 121 productions at 94 schools in 17 counties, with over 12,000 students participating this year. For the 2013/14 high school theater season, 156 nominations and 174 honorable mentions were given in various categories. Each year, schools from across Washington State submit their musicals for consideration by The 5th Avenue Awards committee. A variety of local theater professionals are selected by The 5th as evaluators to travel to cities as far away as Spokane, Lynden, Sequim and Vancouver, seeking the best actors, actresses, directors and designers to represent their schools in this hotly anticipated annual event.

Over the years, many schools have reported back to The 5th Avenue that their involvement in this awards program has significantly helped their individual efforts to secure funding, improve curriculum, and increase student participation.

For a full list of 5th Avenue Award recipients, visit the 2014 5th Avenue Awards page athttps://www.5thavenue.org/education/student-programs#5th-avenue-awards.

The award ceremony was webcast live on The 5th Avenue Facebook page.

The 5th Avenue sincerely thanks Wells Fargo for its sponsorship of this important event for the tenth year in a row. In Washington, Wells Fargo has over 4,100 team members and 216 banking, mortgage and financial stores. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations and 12,500 ATMs and the Internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.

2014 5th Avenue Award Recipients

Outstanding Overall Musical

Edmonds Heights K-12, Pippin

Outstanding Direction

University High School, Jekyll & Hyde

Outstanding Music Direction

Kamiak High School, Kiss Me Kate

Outstanding Choreography

AC Davis High School, Grease

Outstanding Orchestra

Hanford High School, 42nd Street

Outstanding Scenic Design

Kamiak High School, Kiss Me Kate

University High School, Jekyll & Hyde

Outstanding Lighting Design

Aberdeen High School, Aida

Outstanding Costume Design

Ballard High School, Urinetown

Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design

Wenatchee High School, Shrek the Musical

Outstanding Stage Crew

University High School, Jekyll & Hyde

Outstanding Lobby Display

Prairie High School, Oliver!

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Madison Willis as Leading Player, Skyline High School, Pippin

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Eli Wills as Robbie Hart, Kentridge High School, The Wedding Singer

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Anna Hansen as Dorothy Brock, Hanford High School, 42nd Street

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Jones as Riff, Eisenhower High School, West Side Story

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Ensemble Role

Mariah Lotz as Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy, Edmonds Heights K-12, Shrek the Musical

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role

Tyler Good as Pinocchio, Edmonds Heights K-12, Shrek the Musical

Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing Role

Alex Gossard as R.F. Simpson, Redmond High School, Singin' in the Rain

Outstanding Performance by a Chorus

Bellarmine Preparatory School, Fiddler on the Roof

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Group

The Stepsisters, Snohomish High School, Cinderella

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast

Redmond High School, Forever Plaid

Special Honors: Outstanding Educator:

Ellicia Mertens Elliott, Richland High School

Special Honors: Educational Impact

Bonney Lake High School, Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Cashmere High School, Crazy For You

Evergreen High School, Urinetown

Grandview High School, Into the Woods

Lewis and Clark High School, Seussical Jr.

Stanwood High School, Shrek the Musical

Sunnyside High School and Sunnyside Christian High School, Peter Pan Sunnyside High School, Bye Bye Birdie

Union High School, Fiddler on the Roof

Special Honors: Student Achievement

AC Davis High School, Cloey Lantrip

Auburn Mountainview High School, Christina Chatman and Emily Wallace

Decatur High School, Emma Ambacher and Jennie Foraker

Eatonville High School, Cindy Johnson and Jim Carey

Edmonds Heights K-12, Amelia Burnett

Evergreen High School, Logan Rombach

Hoquiam High School, Adam Cooper

Kamiak High School, Darian Clogston

Kentridge High School, Amanda Harris

Lewis and Clark High School, Siobhan Flanagan

Mercer Island High School, Nate Copley

The Overlake School, Stephen Hitchcock

Ridgefield High School, Emily Bevard

Tahoma Junior High School, Rachel Bridges

Thomas Jefferson High School, Kasey Byquist

Union High School, Ashlee Loubey

University High School, Kacey George

Wenatchee High School, Amy Veteto

About The 5th Avenue Theatre

The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation's premier incubators for new musical theater. Since 2002, the celebrated company has produced 16 new musicals. To date, nine (including Disney's Aladdin) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray andMemphis). The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.

Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre attracts an annual attendance of more than 287,000 and ranks among the nation's largest and most respected musical theater companies.

In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach programs which include: The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater, the Rising Star Project, Show Talks with Albert Evans, Curtain Up!, the Student Matinee Program, and Spotlight Nights.

For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visitwww.5thavenue.org.

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