Recipients Announced for 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater
It was the most anticipated night of the year by high school theater programs across the state of Washington: The 15th Annual 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater, proudly sponsored by Wells Fargo with additional support from The Boeing Company and Alaska Airlines. Presented at Benaroya Hall, nearly 2,500 teenagers, many in costumes representing their schools' musical theater productions, cheered for their peers as they performed musical excerpts and accepted awards honoring top student achievements in musical theater. The acclaimed event, directed this year by Kat Ramsburg, handed out awards in 21 categories ranging from Outstanding Overall Musical Production to Outstanding Lobby Display.
"The 5th Avenue Theatre has made an incredible impact in the lives of students across Washington state for more than a decade," said Stephanie Wall, Wells Fargo Community Relations Manager for the Pacific Northwest. "Wells Fargo gives a hearty round of applause to all of this year's nominees and recipients, and those who have encouraged them along the way. We always look forward to celebrating all that these remarkable, hard-working students have accomplished." The 5th Avenue Theater is grateful to Wells Fargo for their long-standing partnership as title sponsor of this program over the past 13 years.
A grand total of 16 high schools were represented across 21 categories among the recipients of The 15th Annual 5th Avenue Awards. Kamiak High School took home top honors at the end of the night with the award for Outstanding Overall Musical Production for their hit production of Footloose. In a testament to the high quality work being done in schools all across Washington State, no school swept the ceremony, with three schools taking home two awards each, including Kamiak High School (Footloose), Overlake School (Big Fish) and Tahoma High School (Ghost the Musical). Hanford High School took home three awards-two for their production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific and one for their production of Seussical.
In an unusual turn of events, the recipients of Outstanding Performance by an Actress and Outstanding by an Actor hail from the same production: Morgan Roberts as Molly and Sam Bennett as Sam Wheat in Tahoma High School's production of Ghost the Musical. These talented young students will travel to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City at the end of June. The 5th Avenue sincerely thanks Alaska Airlines, whose support makes it possible to send the recipients of the Leading Actor and Leading Actress awards to New York to compete.
Chelan High School took home the award for Outstanding Direction (Disney's The Lion King, Jr.), Hanford High School received the award for Outstanding Music Direction (Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific), and Redmond High School brought home the award for Outstanding Choreography (Chicago).
This year, the Special Honor for Outstanding Educator was given to two incredible educators: Briane Green of University High School and Greg Pschirrer at Lewis and Clark High School. The Special Honor for Outstanding Parent Support was given to Dave Neumayer of Hanford High School.
Scroll down for a complete list of 2017 5th Avenue Award recipients.
The program, which Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry created in 2003, has grown in size and scope from 24 productions and 3,100 students to 122 productions at 100 schools, with more than 10,000 students participating this year. For the 2016/17 high school theater season, 189 nominations and 167 honorable mentions were given in various categories. Each year, schools from across Washington State submit their musicals for consideration by The 5th Avenue Awards Committee. 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.
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.
For a full list of 5th Avenue Award recipients, visit The 5th Avenue Awards page at https://www.5thavenue.org/5thavenueawards. The award ceremony was webcast live on The 5th Avenue Facebook page.
The 5th Avenue Theater is grateful to program sponsors Wells Fargo, The Boeing Company and Alaska Airlines. In 2016, Wells Fargo invested $4 million in hundreds of nonprofits and schools across Washington. In addition, Washington team members personally donated $1.2 million and volunteered 26,000 hours of community service. Wells Fargo has 3,500 team members in Washington who serve customers through a network of 224 banking, mortgage and investment offices and 241 ATMs, in 83 communities across the state.
The 5th Avenue Theatre has also had a deep partnership with The Boeing Company for decades. Most recently, Boeing provided significant funding to support The 5th's comprehensive musical theater education programs-including Adventure Musical Theater Touring Company, Rising Star Project and The 5th Avenue Awards-which collectively serve more than 83,000 young people annually. Sam Whiting, Director, Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship said, "This evening's 5th Avenue Awards showcases the dynamic talents of wonderful high school students. We are honored to support programs that advance 21st century skills such as creativity, self confidence, critical thinking and collaboration." Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship supports communities through an integrated approach to strategic philanthropy that includes charitable giving, employee giving and engagement, volunteerism and humanitarian delivery flights. In 2016, Boeing, it's employees and retirees invested more than $50 million in communities throughout Washington State.
The 5th Avenue Theatre would also like to thank Alaska Airlines, whose support makes it possible to send the recipients of the "Outstanding Actor" and "Outstanding Actress" awards to New York to participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards following the awards ceremony at Benaroya Hall. Alaska Airlines, together with Virgin America and its regional partners, flies 40 million customers a year to 118 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, customers can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines recently received the J.D. Power Award for Customer Satisfaction for the 10th consecutive year. In 2016, the airline donated $13.5 million to non-profits and community organizations.
The Recipients of the 15th Annual 5th Avenue Awards
Outstanding Overall Musical
Kamiak High School, Footloose
Chelan High School, Disney's The Lion King JR
Outstanding Music Direction
Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Redmond High School, Chicago
Walla Walla High School, Big Fish
Outstanding Scenic Design
Sequim High School, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Outstanding Lighting Design
The Overlake School, Big Fish
Outstanding Costume Design
Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson's The Music Man
Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design
Hanford High School, Seussical
Outstanding Stage Crew:TIE
Auburn High School, Hairspray
Kentlake High School, A Christmas Story, The Musical
Outstanding Lobby Display
Liberty High School, Meredith Willson's The Music Man
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Morgan Roberts as Molly, Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Sam Bennett as Sam Wheat, Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Regina Bower as Aunt Eller, Zillah High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Jeff LaSorella as Willard, Kamiak High School, Footloose
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Ensemble Role
Betsy Button as Jenny Hill, The Overlake School, Big Fish
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role
Nick Griep as Grandmaster Chad, University High School, Legally Blonde The Musical
Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing Role
Kanako Kawabe as Liat, Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Group
The Birds, Kentridge High School, A Year with Frog and Toad
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast
Anacortes High School, Avenue Q School Edition
Special Honors: Educational Impact
Chelan High School, Disney's The Lion King JR
Hanford High School, Seussical
Peninsula High School, Fiddler on the Roof
Stadium High School, Hairspray
Sunnyside High School, Disney's The Little Mermaid
Wenatchee High School, Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Special Honors: Student Achievement
AC Davis High School Naomi Rottman
Auburn Riverside High School McKenna Webb
Ballard High School Alex Howell
Bellarmine Preparatory School ElizaBeth Blodgett
Cashmere High School Hope Erdmann
Edmonds Heights K-12 Sophie Burnett
Eisenhower High School Citlali Mendez
Ingraham High School Aidyn Stevens
Issaquah High School Julia Lilly
Kentridge High School Marie Gonzalez
Meadowdale High School Conor McLaughlin
Mercer Island High School Tessa Czech
The Overlake School Elle Parks
Ridgefield High School Michaela Cloyd
Sammamish High School Matthew Hervey
Stadium High School Abby Miller
Tahoma Jr. High School Alyssa Burkhead
Timberline High School Melissa Martin
Wenatchee High School Abby Phipps
Yelm High School Sybil Kappert
Special Honor: Outstanding Educators-TIE
Briane Green, University High School
Greg Pschirrer, Lewis and Clark High School
Special Honor: Outstanding Parent Support
Dave Neumayer, Hanford High School
About The 5th Avenue Theatre
The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre is the nation's premier incubator for new musical theater. Since 2001, the Seattle-based company has produced 18 new musicals. To date, nine (including the sensational hit Disney's Aladdin) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.
Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, this non-profit theater company attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000, including over 20,000 subscribers-one of the largest theater subscriptions in North America. For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit www.5thavenue.org.