Tuesday, June 12, 2018

WINNERS: Musical Theater Performance, 2017-18


Marilyn Miller, Ziegfeld star
The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2017-18. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalists will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com


The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2017-18

The American Prize winner:
   Belmont University Musical Theatre
   Nashville TN 

   Nancy Allen, department coordinator
   David Schamburger, stage director

   Jo Lynn Burks, conductor
Parade (Uhry/Brown)

Belmont University Musical Theatre
Belmont University Musical Theatre is an award winning musical theatre training program which rests in Nashville, TN, also known as "Musicl City”.  We are proud to boast many students on Broadway and in National Tours; including two students currently performing in Hamilton in Chicago. We believe in a classical voice tradition, hard work and striving for excellence in performance and in living life.  Belmont University is a faith based university which sends students out to find ways to serve our community through the arts and by being good human beings.  The experience preparing the show “Parade” was transformative in so many ways.  We learned a great deal exploring the complexities of Jason Robert Brown’s beautiful score and in striving to bring justice to light in the emotionally charged subject matter. Please find more information on our unique and excellent program at belmont.edu/musicaltheatre.


2nd Place:
   Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre
   Tempe AZ 

   Brian DeMaris  
Shrek the Musical
Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre
ASU's Lyric Opera Theatre program is distinctive in that it combines training in both opera and musical theatre. Serving approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate opera and musical theatre majors from the ASU School of Music, and open to all students throughout the university, LOT is committed to preparing outstanding opera and musical theatre artists for professional careers in the 21st century. The program features formal collaborations and professional performance and study/cover opportunities with Arizona Opera and the Phoenix Theatre. The quality and scope of our program is demonstrated by our professionally active faculty, as well as the success of our alumni who are performing in major opera houses, on Broadway, television and film, in national touring companies, regional theaters, and teaching in university programs throughout the United States and the world.


3rd Place:
   Taylor University Theatre and Lyric Theatre
   Upland IN
   Tracy Manning, artistic director

   Hugh Conor Angell, conductor
 Oklahoma!
Taylor University Theatre and Lyric Theatre
Taylor University Theatre and Taylor University Lyric Theatre are award-winning programs that collaborate annually to produce operas and musicals. These programs push students to artistic excellence as singers, dancers, actors, directors, set designers, stage managers, and scriptwriters. The Lyric Theatre program supports the liberal arts mission of Taylor University by providing a broad range of performance experiences that span historic and contemporary operatic and music theatre periods, genres, and styles.  Lyric Theatre is open to all students by audition.  Performances include fully-staged productions and semi-staged “scenes” productions.  The primary goal of the ensemble is to create live performances in which students demonstrate dramatic confidence, vocal ease, and aesthetic sensibility.  Recent productions have included Gianni Schicchi, Working, The Marriage of Figaro, I Love a Piano, Oklahoma!, Amahl and the Night Visitors, I Love a Piano, Kiss Me Kate, Dido and Aeneas.


Special Judges' Citation: "Exemplifying the Vital Importance of Musical Theater Programs to Our Communities"
   Top Billing Entertainment
   Kristina Keener Ivy, executive director
   Glendora CA  
The Little Mermaid, jr.
Top Billing Entertainment
Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, "no cuts" group where each performer is treated with respect, given professional instruction, and given the opportunity for a featured solo. In January 2015, Top Billing opened a 4,000 square foot location in Glendora, CA where they now offer group and private classes in singing, dancing, acting, on-camera acting, fitness and instruments. In 2014 Top Billing won #1 Best Musical Theater Production and #2 Musical Theater Director in the American Prize Competition, Best Dance School in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's Readers Choice Awards 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and has received 39 National Youth Arts Nominations with 10 wins. We are successful because we believe each performer is vital and should be treated as if they have top billing.

Kristina Keener Ivy
Kristina Keener Ivy is the Executive Director and founder of Top Billing Entertainment Performance Academy. She has performed with various jazz bands, as a member of various church worship teams, on three film soundtracks, and in numerous musical theatre productions. In January 2015, Top Billing opened a 4,000 square foot location in Glendora, CA where they now offer group classes in singing, dancing, acting, on-camera acting, fitness and instruments. In 2014 Top Billing won Best Musical Theater Production and #2 Musical Theater Director in the American Prize National Competition, Best Dance School in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's Readers Choice Awards 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and has received 39 National Youth Arts Nominations with 10 wins. She would like to thank Jesus for all the good gifts around us, her husband, David, for his unending love and patience, and her family, friends, and especially her students for their continued support.


Special Judges' Citation: "Excellent Middle School Production and Music Theater Program"
   Saint Patrick School
   Rodeo CA 

   Kelly Stevens, director
   Benjamin Stevens, conductor
The Lion King Jr.

Saint Patrick School
Saint Patrick School proudly presented The Lion King Jr. for the school's annual Middle School Spring Musical.  The cast is made up of 66 6-8th graders who worked together from October to March to hone their skills and their performances. Saint Patrick School is located in Rodeo, CA and serves 425 students in PK through 8th grade. The school's website can be found at www.stpatrickschoolrodeo.org.


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Congratulations!

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