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5th Avenue Awards, Honoring High School Musical Theater, Announce 2014 Nominees; Ceremony Set for 6/9

5th Avenue Awards, Honoring High School Musical Theater, Announce 2014 Nominees; Ceremony Set for 6/9

The 5th Avenue Theatre is pleased to announce the nominees for the 12th annual 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater. This Tony Awards-style ceremony allows for high school students from across Washington State to gather to celebrate and honor their exceptional musical theater productions presented during the 2013/14 school year. These awards are designed to shine the spotlight on the often overlooked high school musical theater programs, offering performing arts students the kind of recognition that accomplished athletes have received for decades. The 5th Avenue Awards will be held at 7:00 PM, Monday, June 9, at Benaroya Hall.

"The power of the arts is profound and has a lasting impact on young participants," said 5th Avenue Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry. "Whether they go on to careers as doctors and lawyers, or actors and dancers, these students carry their experiences on the stage with them their whole lives. We at The 5th are proud to honor and celebrate these experiences." The program, which Berry created in 2003, has grown in size and scope from 24 productions and 3,100 students to 121 productions at 94 schools in 17 counties, with 12,100 students participating this year. For the 2013/14 high school theater season, 156 nominations and 174 honorable mentions were given in various categories. Approximately 2,000 high school students are expected to attend, with nominated students and schools performing excerpts from their shows. This year, for the first time, the recipients of the awards for Outstanding Actor and Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role will have the opportunity to go to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City this June.

Each year, schools from across Washington State submit their musicals for consideration by The 5th Avenue Awards committee. A variety of local theater professionals are selected by The 5th as evaluators to travel to cities as far away as Spokane, Lynden, Sequim and Vancouver, seeking the best actors, actresses, directors and designers to represent their schools in this hotly anticipated annual event. The evaluators gather at the end of the season and make nominations in 21 categories, from "Lobby Display" to "Overall Musical Production."

Since the program's creation, evaluators visit schools across Washington State, from large schools in urban districts to those in smaller rural communities. The mission is always the same: to honor the work, talent and commitment that students, parents and faculty devote to their school's yearly musical productions. Over the years, many schools have reported back to The 5th Avenue that their involvement in this awards program has significantly helped their individual efforts to secure funding, improve curriculum, and increase student participation.

Many 5th Avenue Award participants have gone on to have fruitful careers both on stage and behind the scenes. Numerous past participants of the 5th Avenue Awards have notable careers as actors, directors, designers and theater administrators. Several participants have had careers outside of Seattle and have enjoyed national acclaim. Stefano Langone was a recent Top 10 contestant on the hit television show American Idol; Ryah Nixon appeared in the national tour of 9 to 5: The Musical; Diana Huey received a Helen Hayes Award; and Brandon Ivie has a blossoming Broadway career. Additional past participants have included Seattle stars and 5th Avenue favorites Jared Michael Brown, Gabe Corey, Sarah Davis, Kirsten DeLohr Helland, and Cayman Ilika, among many others.

The 5th Avenue sincerely thanks Wells Fargo for its sponsorship of this important event for the tenth year in a row. In Washington, Wells Fargo has over 4,100 team members and 216 banking, mortgage and financial stores. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations and 12,500 ATMs and the Internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.

For a full list of nominees, visit the 2014 5th Avenue Awards Nominees page at www.facebook.com/5thAvenueEdu.

The 5th Avenue Awards ceremony will be broadcast in its entirety as a live webcast on Facebook. Please visit www.facebook.com/5thAvenueEdu to watch.

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