Photo Flash: Utah Festival Announces 2019 Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards Winners
Two Utah high school performers are on their way to New York City after winning the award for Best Actress and Best Actor in the ninth annual Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards held in the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City May 18. Abigail Edwards from Green Canyon High School in North Logan won for her role as Belle in "Beauty and the Beast" and Ethan Kelso from Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts won for his portrayal of Will Bloom in "Big Fish."
The students will represent the state of Utah at the Jimmy® Awards in New York City in June where they will experience 10 days of private coaching, master classes and rehearsals with theatre professionals. The week culminates at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre when they perform and compete for the prestigious Jimmy® Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress, as well as opportunities for professional advancement and other awards.
"Dreams do come true," said Michael Ballam, founding Artistic Director of Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre. Vanessa Ballam, director of UHSMTA added, "It was an incomparable evening honoring talent in our state. Holding the awards in the beautiful Eccles Theater is the perfect way to celebrate these incredible student artists. There was magic in the air."
The evening showcased 10 production numbers by high schools nominated for Best Musical and medleys performed together by all contenders for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
Fremont High School in Plain City took home the Crystal Inn and Suites Award for Best Musical for their production of "Seussical."
Vanessa Ballam said, "The work happening in our Utah high schools is inspiring. Utah Festival is honored to be a part of their artistic journey."
The education and outreach department of Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre in Logan sponsors and produces the event and is partnered with MagicSpace Entertainment/Broadway at the Eccles as their national affiliate. The Domo Broadway at the Eccles Education Fund makes participation in the national competition possible. Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre sponsors the winners of Best Actor and Best Actress to fly to New York City to compete on the national level.
Utah Festival sent 14 professional judges to 40 Utah high school musicals over the past six months to score and respond to the productions. Then the juried finalists competed in the official awards ceremony at the Eccles Theater. The UHSMTA gives awards in 18 different categories from The Marriott Award for Best Choreography to The Daynes Music Award for Best Orchestra and FJM Impact/Maverik Award for Best Ensemble. Visit www.utahfestival.org for more info.
Photo Credit: Rob Newbould/John Ballard/Scott Biggs
Ethan Kelso - Best Actor - SLSPA
Bright Star - Davinci Academy - Best Musical Finalist
Best Supporting Actor - Caleb Hunt
Best Musical - Fremont - Seussical
Best Choreography - Northridge High
Best Actress - AbiGail Edwards
Best Actor - Ethan Kelso
AbiGail Edwards & Ethan Kelso Best Actress Best Actor
AbiGail Edwards - Best Actress - Green Canyon