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High School in the Spotlight: High Tech High School


Based on user demand, BWW is taking our commitment to arts education one step further with the launch of the BWW Student Center - High School Edition. This directory features upcoming show listings for more than 1500 high schools nationwide with more being added each week. Schools can register for 'enhanced' listings on the site - adding in photos, cast lists, videos, links and more. Productions that take advantage of this will receive highlights on our listing pages, extra editorial mentions and potential spotlight features.

And just like we do with our College Center, each week BWW will be selecting a high-school program and featuring it as our 'School in the Spotlight: High-School Edition'. 

This week, BWW is thrilled to spotlight the Musical Theatre Department at High Tech High School in North Bergen, New Jersey! 

Since its inception 13 years ago, the Musical Theatre Department at High Tech High School (established in 1999 to meet students' demands for a performing arts program in their high school) has earned wide acclaim for its commitment to the arts and its extensive musical theatre training curriculum. Under the direction of Alex Perez and with support from Musical Director Rod Shepard, the program has been widely recognized in New Jersey and on the national level. From 2000 to 2010, HTHS received an impressive 30 Nominations and 10 wins at the New Jersey State Papermill Playhouse Awards including honors for Best Overall Production, Best Director, Best Costumes, Best Makeup, Educational Impact and Best Actor, Actress and Featured Performers.

Other accomplishments include a successful Off-Off-Broadway run of the department's 2003 production 'Oz, A Twisted Musical' (which played for six weeks), and representing the U.S. at the Oberhavel Germany Arts Festival (2001) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2007). The work of the department has also been celebrated at the Metro-North Cappies Awards (which recognizes excellence in New Jersey State Theatre) with over 15 nominations and 6 wins in a span of two years 

The school's curriculum offers a series of master classes instructed by notable industry professionals with such performers as Broadway's Kerry Butler (read a BWW article from her visit to the school here!), Kenita Miller (who visited HTHS' production of 'Xanadu'), James Rado, and Colin Hanlon making recent visits.

Many graduates of HTHS continue on to higher education in the arts and attend such prestigious academic institutions as Tisch School of the Arts, Carnegie Mellon, Stella Adler, Yale Drama, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, The Atlantic Theatre Company and Rutgers Mason Gross School to name a few. Alumni have appeared on Broadway, national tours, regional productions, as well as appearances in films and television.

HTHS' solid reputation in the community has been driven by its high-calibre production season. Students involved in the school's shows take on a range of responsibilities and tasks, from fundraising (all production costs are covered solely by students' fundraising efforts) to learning the basics of budgeting, producing and marketing all aspects of a production. Students take active roles behind the scenes as well as on stage, and routinely sell out the seasons' offerings at the 120-seat BlackBox Theatre.

Next up for High Tech High is the musical 'Sweet Charity' which will run from May 17-19, 2012. See below for a promo video conceived by the students. For more information, call: 201-662-6800 ext. 8241.

To learn more about the Musical Theatre Department at High Tech, click here

Congratulations to everyone involved with HTHS' Musical Theatre Department on your amazing success so far - we'll be watching for more to come!

If you would like to be considered for a School in the Spolight: High School Edition or have questions/concerns/suggestions related to BWW's student center, please contact

Photo: Kenita Miller and the HTHS cast of XANADU (2011). Courtesy of HTHS.



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