THE LUCIE ARNAZ AWARDS In California Announce Their Winners For The 2018 NHSMTA
On Sunday, May 20, at The Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs Marisa Moehno of Murrietta Valley High School and Garrett Hoy of Musical Theatre University were named the LucieA Award Winners for Outstanding Actress and Actor, respectively, at the Lucie Arnaz Awards for High School Musical Theatre.
The Lucie Arnaz Awards were created and founded by David Green, who's Broadway alumni include Tony nominees Stephanie Block, Susan Egan, Lindsay Mendez and Matthew Morrison, to name a few, in collaboration with Ms Arnaz in an effort to support, sustain, grow and inspire quality performing arts experiences for young people in The Inland Empire. This season there were 28 competitors representing 14 schools in Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Beaumont, Riverside, Temecula and Murrietta. Each of the competitors played the leading role in the high school musical produced at their high school during the 2017-18 school year.
Marisa Moehno starred as Hope in her school's production of Urinetown. Garrett Hoy starred as Fabrizio in his school's production of The Light In The Piazza. Ms. Moenho and Mr. Hoy were among four male and four female finalists who also included Demondra Martin (Miusical Theatre University), Tessa McCormick (Poly High School), Ariana Vila (North High School), Eric Bruno (Ramona High School), Phoenix DeHuff (Beaumont High School) and Shawn Schive (North High School). The event was hosted by KMIR-NBC News Anchor Janet Zappala.
The judges for the event were Lucia Arnaz, Stage and Television Actress Joyce Bulifant, Hollywood Agent Sid Craig, Tony Winner Gary Beach, Tony Winner Larry Fuller, Former Member of The Ten Tenors Chad Hilligus, Broadway's Janene Lovullo and Martin Wiviott, CEO of The Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
In addition the the finalist's performances, the Lucie Arnaz Awards featured fully stage production numbers from four of the region's high schools -- Chapparal High School from Temecula, Musical Theatre University from Rancho Mirage, North High School from Riverside and Palm Springs High School from Palm Springs.
The National High School Musical Theatre Awards was established in 2009 to elevate the importance of theatre arts education in schools and reward excellence in student performance. The program impacts over 100,000 students annually who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by forty professional theatres throughout the United States.Since its inception, NHSMTA has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships awarded to deserving young performers. Also known as The Jimmy Awards, named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, this year-round program is administered by The Broadway League Foundation, Inc., The Broadway League's charitable foundation. Its mission is to enlighten and increase the public's knowledge, appreciation and awareness of the theatrical arts and to provide a forum for the discussion of issues relating to the preservation and promotion of live theatre as a vital and culturally significant artistic medium. Thanks to the support of its participating League member theatres and donors, NHSMTA continues to grow. In 2012, the program inspired PBS to produce a 3-part documentary series called "Broadway or Bust," which followed students on a journey from their hometown competitions to their debut at the Minskoff Theatre. The series premiered in September 2012 and was showcased in 100% of PBS's Top 50 strategic markets, ranking as one of their most highly rated programs. It remains popular viewing at www.pbs.org. The depth, scope, and education-centric mission of NHSMTA coupled with its extensive television and media exposure has made participating in the program an aspiration for a growing number of high schools. Based on feedback from participating theatres, school administrators are now directing both human and financial resources to improve the quality of theatre arts education in their districts. This renewed enthusiasm for the performing arts in schools is already helping to invigorate local theatres and the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.nhsmta.com.