Tonight, 2,400 high school students, teachers and parents from across Washington state packed Benaroya Hall for the Ninth Annual 5th Avenue Awards: Honoring High School Musical Theater, sponsored by Wells Fargo and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. A highly enthusiastic crowd filled the theater and cheered as the award recipients were announced in 22 different categories, ranging from Outstanding Overall Musical Production to Outstanding Program Design.
The nominees, some dressed in their production costumes and the rest in their best party clothes, shook the walls of the theater with their cheering and applause, celebrating a variety of exceptional musical Theater Productions presented during the 2010-11 school year. Nominees in select categories presented excerpts from their shows and performed song medleys. Teachers and students alike were thrilled to receive recognition for their hard work and dedication, just as accomplished high school athletes have received for decades.
Of the total 23 awards given out, Hanford High School captured the greatest number with four, including Outstanding Overall Musical Production for its presentation of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Kentridge High School and Mercer Island High School each brought home two awards. Fifteen more high schools were recognized with the remaining awards.
Hanford High School student Piper Brown and Liberty High School student Tucker Goodman were recognized with the awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actress (How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) and Outstanding Performance by an Actor (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) in a Leading Role. Thomas Jefferson High School received the award for Outstanding Direction (Urinetown), Kentridge High School captured the award for Outstanding Music Direction (Happy Days, A New Musical), and Eisenhower High School brought home the award for Outstanding Choreography (Once On This Island).
A wide array of arts supporters ranging from political representatives to nationally recognized artists joined in the celebration by presenting the awards. Participating as presenters were Congressman Dave Reichert and Washington State Representatives Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, Mark Hargrove, and Cathy Dahlquist. Additional presenters included Vincent Kitch, Director of Seattle's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Seattle City Council Members Bruce Harrell, Tom Rasmussen, and Sally Clark, and King County Council members Joe McDermott and Larry Gossett. Also presenting were theatre arts celebrities including James Monroe Iglehart of the Broadway and 5th Avenue Theatre cast of Memphis, Disney's Aladdin star Jonathan Freeman, and award-winning Broadway director, performer, writer, composer, and lyricist Martin Charnin, among others.
Since its inception, The 5th Avenue Awards have grown in size and scope from 31 productions and 3,100 students in 2003 to 86 productions and 8,600 students participating in the 2010-11 season. The 2011 5th Avenue Awards saw 177 nominations and 121 honorable mentions given to 86 productions in various categories. Schools from as far as Spokane, Mt. Baker, Sequim and Vancouver, WA, are reporting 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 our recipients, visit our 2011 5th Avenue Awards page at http://www.5thavenue.org/education/highschoolawards-2011.aspx.
TVW did a live webcast of the event (hosted on the 5th Avenue website) and will repeat a broadcast June 7 at 7:00 PM, Thursday June 9 at 4:00 PM, Friday June 10 at 7:00 PM, Saturday June 11 at noon, and Sunday June 12 at 1:30 PM. The event may also be viewed as streaming video at www.tvw.org.
More about The 5th Avenue Theatre
The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation's premier incubators for new musicals. In the past decade, it has produced ten new musicals, five of which have been produced on Broadway, and two of which have won Tony Awards 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. In 1980, the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre began producing and presenting top-quality live musical theater. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine Griffin and Producing Director Bill Berry, The 5th Avenue Theatre attracts an annual attendance of more than one quarter million patrons and ranks among the nation's largest and most respected musical theater companies.
In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive Educational Outreach Program which includes: The Adventure Musical Theatre Touring Company, The 5th Avenue Awards: Honoring High School Musical Theater, the Student Matinee Program, and Spotlight Nights. For more information about the Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit www.5thavenue.org.
In Washington, Wells Fargo has nearly 5,000 team members and 228 banking, mortgage and financial stores. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com) across North America and internationally.
2011 5th Avenue Award Recipients