Sutton Foster Ovation Awards Announce New Greg Reuter Excellence in Musical Theatre Education Honor
20-year Broadway stage veteran, Los Angeles actor and beloved MSU Department of Theatre professor, Greg Reuter, was one of theatre's fiercest supporters and an avid teacher for actors nationwide. Since his untimely death in 2015, support has poured in from across the country to honor a man who always put his students first and changed lives through his dedicated work ethic and charming skill.
To pay homage to Reuter, the Ovation Awards - now titled the Sutton Foster Ovation Awards - will award the Greg Reuter Excellence in Musical Theatre Education Award. This annual award will be given to the Michigan theatrical educator who follows the same upstanding ideals with which Reuter taught.
MSU Department of Theatre Chairperson Kirk Domer says, "Department of Theatre it was like having Broadway in the classroom. He helped our musical theatre students not only learn the songs and the steps, but also understand the trade of acting."
"Greg was a native of Michigan and was thrilled to return to his roots," added MSUFCU Institute for Arts & Creativity Associate Director Kris Koop Ouellette. "In his four months as a professor at MSU he helped his students to established life-long contacts in the industry, drew national attention to the MSU Musical Theatre Department and inspired students and faculty alike."
A performer in The Producers, Monty Python's Spamalot, Aida, Shrek the Musical, and Fosse, among many others, Reuter was a true champion of theatre and of continuing theatrical education for generations to come.
"Greg's greatest passion in life was theatre," his parents said. "Having this award being named after him is a testament to his life's work and we are so proud to see his legacy live on. He was so proud of the students he taught and commented many times on how fulfilling being a professor was for him." The award is an homage to a dedicated teacher.
Wharton Center Executive Director Mike Brand says, "Greg was an amazing educator and brought so much life and joy to his work. His time spent working alongside our MSUFCU Institute for Arts & Creativity was cherished by everyone at Wharton Center."
Michigan High School educators in all aspects of theatre qualify for the Greg Reuter Excellence in Michigan Musical Theatre Education Award - director, designer, stage manager, etc. - and are nominated for the award by their students based on factors including the educators positive influence, their innovation and uniqueness, and their overall rapport with students. Award nominations are available not only to full-time teachers, but also to anyone who works directly with the students on a production, special project, or in the classroom. The complete list of qualifications along with the nomination form can be downloaded at www.whartoncenter.com.
The Sutton Foster Ovation Awards performance and presentation will take place June 11-12 on Wharton Center's Cobb Great Hall Stage. The awards weekend includes intensive education, rehearsal and coaching for all nominees, culminating in a performance of Broadway numbers and an awards ceremony in front of a live audience. The winners of the competition are considered the top male and female musical theatre performers in Michigan for that given year. Each winner receives a $1000 cash prize, a scholarship to Wharton Center's Take It From The Top Summer Broadway Intensive, and an all-expense paid 6- day trip to NYC to represent the state of Michigan in the National High School Musical Theater Awards.