NSMT Announces Nominees For 4th Annual NSMT Spotlight Awards Held 6/2

North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) announces the nominees for the 4th annual NSMT Spotlight Awards. The Tony® Award style program is designed to honor the accomplishments of high school students and teachers as well as encourage them to achieve the highest levels of excellence in musical theater. This year's program involves 22 high schools and over 1,000 students, and will culminate in an awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 7:30pm on the NSMT main stage. The event is open to the public and a donation of $10 per person will be requested at the door.

"Despite its current economic situation, North Shore Music Theatre remains committed to education and the Spotlight Awards program is a unique opportunity for us to reach into local communities and recognize the brightest stars of high school musical theater," said Barry Ivan, NSMT's Artistic Director and Executive Producer. "The awards have become a wonderful and exciting tradition at NSMT and a perfect way to celebrate and showcase the immense talent and enthusiasm of all the students and teachers."

Fifteen awards will be presented, including the prestigious award for Best Overall Musical. In addition, students winning the Best Leading Actor and Actress categories will be invited to participate in the first annual presentation of The Jimmy Awards, to be held in New York City on Monday, June 29, at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University. The National High School Musical Theater Awards, founded and produced by Nederlander Presentations, Inc. and Pittsburgh CLO, is a national celebration of outstanding student achievement that recognizes individual artistry in vocal, dance and acting performances by high school students. "The Jimmy Award" is named in honor of James M. Nederlander, legendary Broadway theater owner and producer.

"North Shore Music Theatre's Spotlight Awards are an inspiration for young performers," said Arts and Entertainment Critic Joyce Kulhawik, a past presenter and co-emcee of the 2009 ceremony with Barry Ivan. "It is a thrill to see all that fresh new talent onstage for one magical night!" Other presenters will include State Representative Mary E. Grant, State Representative John D. Keenan, Beverly Mayor William Scanlon, Boston Globe theater critic Terry Byrne, NSMT Board Chairman David Fellows (and his wife, April), NSMT Board Vice-Chairs Nancy Palmer and Toni Dowgiallo, former NSMT Education Program students Presilah Nunez and Nick Christopher, and others.

Schools participating in the 2009 NSMT Spotlight Awards include: Amesbury High School, Andover High School, BMC Durfee High School, Boston Latin School, Burlington High School, Cambridge Ringe & Latin School, Cardinal Spellman High School, Danvers High School, Holliston High School, Ipswich High School, Lynnfield High School, Marblehead High School, Newton South High School, North Reading High School, Pentucket Regional High School, Pingree School, Pope John XXIII High School, St. John's High School, Salem High School, Silver Lake Regional High School, Wakefield High School and Westborough High School. Nominees in alphabetical order by school are:

Amesbury High School - Little Shop of Horrors

· Best Leading Actress - Kate Moore, 'Audrey'

Andover High School - A Chorus Line

· Best Musical
· Best Leading Actress - Blair Beasley, 'Cassie'
· Best Supporting Actor - Brian Mason, 'Paul'
· Best Featured Performer - David Keohane, 'Bobbie'
· Best Ensemble/Chorus
· Best Choreography - Becki Dennis
· Best Musical Direction - Jennifer D'Onofrio
· Best Lighting Design - Stephanie Somin, Christine Zhou

BMC Durfee High School - Rent

· Best Featured Performer - Talia Boyer, 'Maureen'

Boston Latin School - Merrily We Roll Along

· Best Musical
· Best Supporting Actor - Jacob Meister, 'Charley'
· Best Orchestra - Ryan Snyder
· Best Technical Crew and Execution

Burlington High School - The Wizard of Oz

· Best Musical
· Best Leading Actor - Will Ford, 'Scarecrow'
· Best Leading Actress - Eva Constanza, 'Dorothy'
· Best Direction - John Middleton-Cox
· Best Costume Design - Maureen Tierson Krebs

Cambridge Ringe & Latin School - Once on this Island

· Best Musical
· Best Ensemble/Chorus
· Best Direction - Brett Camp
· Best Choreography - Patricia Biagini
· Best Orchestra - Christopher Holownia
· Best Lighting Design - Ivy Neff
· Best Technical Crew and Execution

Cardinal Spellman High School - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

· Best Leading Actor - Conor McDonough, 'Joseph'
· Best Featured Performer - Daniel Higgins, 'Pharaoh'

Danvers High School - The Mystery of Edwin Drood

· Best Musical
· Best Leading Actress - Emily Higgins, 'Edwin Drood'
· Best Featured Performer - Katie Jordan, 'Princess Puffer'

Holliston High School - Bye Bye Birdie

· Best Lighting Design

Ipswich High School - Carousel

· Best Featured Performer - Jessica Petrino, 'Nettie Fowler'
· Best Musical Direction - Jeffrey Patch

Lynnfield High School - Thoroughly Modern Millie

· Best Musical
· Best Leading Actress - Mary Janus, 'Millie'
· Best Direction - Douglas H. Hodgkins
· Best Scenic Design - Douglas H. Hodgkins, Tim Miller
· Best Lighting Design - Dan Johnson, James Lang
· Best Technical Crew and Execution

Marblehead High School - Into the Woods

· Best Musical
· Best Musical Direction - Amanda Roeder
· Best Scenic Design & Best Costume Design - Henry Dembowski

Newton South High School - Guys & Dolls

· Best Musical
· Best Leading Actor - David Broyles, 'Sky Masterson'
· Best Supporting Actor - Max Pava, 'Nathan Detroit'
· Best Supporting Actress - Anya Whelan-Smith, 'Miss Adelaide'
· Best Ensemble/Chorus
· Best Direction - Jeff Knoedler
· Best Choreography - Maia Kipman
· Best Musical Direction - Ben Youngman
· Best Costume Design - Mariana Cohen, Rachel Utstei

North Reading High School - Singin' in the Rain

· Best Leading Actor - Andrew Tighe, 'Don Lockwood'
· Best Ensemble/Chorus
· Best Scenic Design

Pentucket Regional High School - Bye Bye Birdie

· Best Technical Crew and Execution

Pingree School - Zombie Prom

· Best Supporting Actress - Caitlin Ryan, 'Miss Strict'
· Best Orchestra - Sean Hagon
· Best Costume Design - Donna Loverme
· Best Technical Crew and Execution

Pope John XXIII High School - The Wiz

· Best Supporting Actor - Johnny Alexis, 'Scarecrow'

St John's High School - South Pacific

· Best Supporting Actress - Lauren Breitfelder, 'Bloody Mary'

Salem High School - Urinetown

· Best Musical
· Best Supporting Actor - David Karam, 'Officer Lockstock'
· Best Supporting Actress - Autumn Delorenzo, 'Penelope Pennywise'
· Best Direction & Best Musical Direction - Lianne Goodwin
· Best Choreography - Annie Leese

Silver Lake Regional High School - Seussical

· Best Ensemble/Chorus
· Best Scenic Design

Wakefield High School - Anything Goes

· Best Leading Actor - Dan Reardon, 'Billy Crocker'
· Best Choreography - Becca Flint

Westborough High School - Bye Bye Birdie

· Best Musical
· Best Supporting Actress - Carly Grayson, 'Kim MacAfee'
· Best Costume Design

North Shore Music Theatre's award-winning theatre arts and education programs and youth performances annually reach over 100,000 students. The Theatre's Youth Performance Academy attracts thousands of students from 4-18 years old who are interested in exploring the world of music, theatre and dance and honing their craft. In 2005, NSMT's Youth Performance Academy received the Junior Theater Festival's Outstanding Achievement in Musical Performance Award and the Outstanding Achievement in Choreography Award for its performance of Disney's Cinderella Kids. With partnerships with Music Theatre International (MTI) and Disney Theatricals, NSMT has become the model for schools and organizations around the country and is one of the region's leading providers of theatre arts and education programs. In December 2008, NSMT announced that without immediate philanthropic support it would close its doors after nearly 55 years of providing performing arts and educational programming to millions. Fundraising efforts to reopen the Theatre are ongoing. For more information, please visit www.nsmt.org

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