Next On Stage

Willem Butler Shares How Theater Has Made Him a Better Person - Next on Stage

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We're down to our top 5 in the Next on Stage competition!

Contestant Willem Butler shares more about his charity, what musical theatre means to him, and why The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the perfect musical.


What charity did you pick and why?

I chose the Alzheimer association because of close family and friends who have been effected by the disease.

Why did you apply for Next on Stage?

Not only the charity donation but also it was something to keep preoccupied during quarantine.

What does musical theatre mean to you?

Musical theatre is something that has made me a better person as a whole and introduced me to the best people I have ever met. It's full of empathy and compassion as well as heart wrenching and important stories for all people.

What is your favorite musical and why?

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is my all time favorite musical in the world. The show, to me, is perfect. It has just enough Disney heart but mixed perfectly with the darkness of the original story. The score was written by my two favorite composers Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken and is one of my favorite scores to sing. So many people after the show told me it speaks to them personally and it really hits home in so many ways for so many people.

Give a shoutout!

I would like to give a shout out to my theatre teachers who have given me so much not just in the arts but as a person. Stephanie Braly Beutjer, Lydia Palmes, Deborah Fleischman and every faculty member who has ever taught me thank you so much

Want to see Willem in the final 3? Vote for him HERE!


Inspired by your favorite network TV singing contests, the site invited high school and college aged students to submit videos of themselves performing a song from the musical theatre canon to enter the competition.

Voting for the top 3 is now open! The nominees have submitted all new songs for you to listen to before casting your vote!

Voting for High School will close at 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, June 24th. Voting for College will close on 11:59 PM ET on Thursday June 25th.

Then tune in for the results LIVE as the judges watch the performances and pick someone from the bottom three to be saved to compete for the top 3! Live shows will air Thursday at 8 PM (high school) and Friday at 8PM (college.)


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