And the Award Goes To…
High school students from across Washington State packed The 5th Avenue Theatre on June 4 for "The 10th Annual 5th Avenue Awards Honoring High School Musical Theater," a high school version of the Tony Awards. The house was packed with 2,100 teenagers in costume representing their schools’ musical theater productions, who cheered for their peers as they performed musical excerpts and accepted awards honoring top student achievements in musical theater.
Several of the previous recipients from the last decade (many of whom have gone on to successful arts careers locally and nationally) came back to the stage to hand out awards in 21 categories ranging from Outstanding Overall Musical Production to Outstanding Lobby Display.
A new special honor for teachers was inaugurated this year with Roosevelt High School drama teacher Ruben Van Kempen as its first recipient. A talented educator, Van Kempen has seen many past students go on to perform on television, Broadway and across America. Van Kempen’s former students include Chad Kimball (Tony Nominee for Memphis), Ryah Nixon (first national tour of 9 to 5), Daniel Berryman (star of The 5th Avenue’s upcoming production of RENT), and choreographer/performer Noah Racey (choreographer of The 5th Avenue’s holiday hit Cinderella).
Liberty High School took home top honors at the event with four awards, including Best Outstanding Overall Musical Production, for their hit show Little Shop of Horrors. Eisenhower High School’s The Boyfriend and Kentridge High School’s Legally Blonde each captured two awards. Lewis and Clark High School also took home two 5th Avenue Awards, one for the production of Zombie Prom and one for the production of Legally Blonde. Eleven other high schools were recognized with the remaining awards (see list below).
Kentridge High School student Caelan Creaser and Lewis and Clark High School student Jesse Ward received the awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Legally Blonde) and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Legally Blonde). Glacier Peak High School received the award for Outstanding Direction (Seussical), Liberty High School received the award for Outstanding Music Direction (Little Shop of Horrors) and Eisenhower High School brought home the award for Outstanding Choreography for the second year in a row (The Boyfriend).
This year's ceremony encompassed 161 nominations, 104 honorable mentions and 31 special awards in various categories. For a full list of award recipients, visit The 5th Avenue Awards webpage.
TOP AWARD RECIPIENTS
- Outstanding Overall Musical Production: Liberty High School, Little Shop of Horrors
- Outstanding Direction: Glacier Peak High School, Seussical
- Outstanding Music Direction: Liberty High School, Little Shop of Horrors
- Outstanding Choreography: Eisenhower High School, The Boyfriend
- Outstanding Orchestra: Rogers High School, My Fair Lady
- Outstanding Scenic Design: Liberty High School, Little Shop of Horrors
- Outstanding Lighting Design: Lewis and Clark High School, Zombie Prom
- Outstanding Costume Design: Ballard High School, Bye Bye Birdie
- Outstanding Hair and Make-Up Design: Wenatchee High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- Outstanding Stage Crew: University High School, Little Women
- Outstanding Lobby Display: Ferndale High School, West Side Story
- Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Caelan Creaser as Elle Woods, Kentridge High School, Legally Blonde
- Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Jesse Ward as Emmett, Lewis and Clark High School, Legally Blonde
- Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Tayler Harris as Motormouth Maybelle, Union High School, Hairspray
- Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Jeremy Dodd as Mr. Mushnik, Liberty High School, Little Shop of Horrors
- Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast: West Valley High School, 1776
- Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Ensemble Role: Olivia Rogers as Vivienne, Kentridge High School, Legally Blonde
- Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role: Rohan Waghani as Mitch, Interlake High School, The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee
- Outstanding Performance by a Chorus: Eisenhower High School, The Boyfriend
- Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Group: Edmonds Heights K12, Xanadu, Melpomene and Calliope
- Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing Role: Cody Lippert as Roscoe Dexter, Cashmere High School, Singin' in the Rain