Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sutton Foster Awards to take place at MSU Wharton Center

June 1, 2024
Sutton Foster Awards for musical theater. Photo by McGraw Media and courtesy of Wharton Center.
Sutton Foster Awards for musical theater. Photo by McGraw Media and courtesy of Wharton Center.

The Sutton Foster Awards Ceremony for Michigan high school musical theater programs is coming to Michigan State University's Wharton Center in East Lansing for the 12th annual showcase on Saturday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. in Cobb Great Hall. 

"We are thrilled to showcase the extraordinary talents of high school theater students from across Michigan here on our Cobb Great Hall stage," Executive Director of the Wharton center Eric Olmscheid said. "This program aims to inspire creativity with young audiences and elevate the theater-making experience by creating lifelong skills."

The program will feature 130 high school student performances from different selections from their respective high school Broadway musical melodies. There will be over 60 schools participating in the awards, which were open to every high school in Michigan.

"(The Sutton Foster Award ceremony) really is the flagship educational initiative of the Wharton Center," public relations manager of the Wharton Center Bob Hoffman said. "(It) is really important for Wharton Center, because Wharton Center has its pulse on Broadway … That's huge for Wharton Center. It helps continue our statewide reputation."

Three adjudicators, all professionals in the theater industry, attended each school's musical theater production and offered feedback to nominated students and directors to further promote the artistic programs.

The participants for the year's awards also had opportunities to work directly with Broadway professionals, including performers from shows like "Hairspray" and "Moulin Rouge! The Musical", and participate in workshops encompassing multiple fields, from the technological side of theater production to the creative side.

"How wonderful that you can perform in your high school musical, then be nominated to come to Wharton Center, be part of 'Take it From the Top' and possibly go to New York and perform on Broadway," Hoffman said.

Two performers from the award ceremony will be selected to represent the state of Michigan National High School Musical Theater awards in New York City in June 2024, as well as receive cash rewards and tuition for the Wharton Center's summer Broadway experience, "Take it From the Top."

Tickets and more information about the awards can be found on Wharton Center's website.

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