The 5th Avenue Theatre presented its 12th annual awards for high school musical excellence on Monday night. Highlights of the ceremony included performances of numbers from shows staged by high schools across Washington state. For the 2013/14 high school theater season, 156 nominations were received and 174 honorable mentions were given in various categories.
Edmonds Heights K-12 won the outstanding overall musical production award for “Pippin.” The show that received the greatest number of awards for the evening was University High School’s “Jekyll & Hyde,” with three 5th Avenue Awards. Kamiak High School’s “Kiss Me Kate” won outstanding musical direction.
Skyline High School student Madison Willis received the prize for outstanding lead performance for an actress (in “Pippin”), and Kentridge High School student Eli Wills received the award for outstanding lead male actor in a show (in “The Wedding Singer”). This year, for the first time, the recipients of the awards for outstanding lead actor and actress have the opportunity to go to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City at the end of June.
This year, the special honor for outstanding theater educator was given to longtime Richland High School theater arts director Ellicia Mertens Elliott.
Numerous past participants in the 5th Avenue Awards have gone on to professional careers as actors, directors, designers and theater administrators in and beyond Seattle, including “American Idol” finalist Stefano Langone, noted New York actresses Ryah Nixon and Diana Huey, and Seattle stage favorites Jared Michael Brown, Sarah Rose Davis, Kirsten DeLohr Helland, and Cayman Ilika, among many others.
Since the program’s creation, The 5th Avenue Awards has grown in size and scope from 24 productions and 3,100 students to 121 productions at 94 schools in 17 counties, with over 12,000 students participating this year.
For a full list of 5th Avenue Award recipients, visit the 2014 5th Avenue Awards page.