Friday, August 16, 2019

WINNERS: musical theater companies, 2018-19

Marilyn Miller, 1930s Broadway star
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, and citation recipients of The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2018-19. 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-finalist composers 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:

The American Prize in Musical Theater Performance, 2018-19

The American Prize co-winners:
Hub City Players
Tammy Mansfield
Hattiesburg MS
Mike Lopinto, Producer and Director
James & the Giant Peach   

Southern Opera & Musical Theatre Company
Mike Lopinto
Hattiesburg, MS
Jay Dean/Michael Miles, Music Directors
The Phantom of the Opera  

Hub City Players
The Hub City Players were formed in 2012 by Mike Lopinto, Tammy Mansfield, and Jennifer Hart for an original FestivalSouth production of LOL: A Showtune Cabaret. The event was a smashing success and led to the wildly popular LOL 1.5, WLOL: Festival Variety Show, LOL: Always a Bridesmaid, and LOL: Netflix and Chill. With founding member Tammy Mansfield, who also arranges their music and serves as music director for their cabarets, they created a formula that Hattiesburg loves and a cult-like following. As the area's only professional theatre company, The Hub City Players present fully-staged productions from adult-friendly Rock of Ages to family-friendly James and the Giant Peach. Most recently, they delighted audiences with a sold-out and held-over run of Steel Magnolias. They have developed a devoted following who have come to expect exceptional performances, great production value, and a wonderful escape through theatre. For more information, please visit

Southern Opera & Musical Theatre Company
The Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera was a landmark in the history of the 60-year-old company housed at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Directed by Dr. Mike Lopinto and featuring a cast comprised of students, the event celebrated the 98th season of the venerable Symphony Orchestra and its’ retiring music director, Dr. Jay Dean in a musical and technical spectacle that played to the largest arts audience in the university’s history. In recent years, in cooperation with the symphony, the company has drawn regional acclaim for their fully-staged productions from Rigoletto and Turandot to Sweeney Todd and Mary Poppins, to name a few.  More information may be found at

2nd Place:
Arizona State University
Brian DeMaris
Tempe AZ  
Legally Blonde The Musical 

Arizona State University
The Music Theatre and Opera program in the School of Music at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is committed to preparing outstanding music theatre and opera artists for professional careers in the 21st century. Through expert individual and classroom instruction, the production of operas and musicals, student-led workshops, new work development, research opportunities, dynamic community engagement, and multiple professional collaborations, we foster a creative, student-centered environment that enables students to discover who they are as individuals and artists, at their own pace, in their own unique way, at the highest level.

3rd Place:
Denison University
Belinda Andrews-Smith
Granville OH  
Spring Awakening

Denison University
Dr. Belinda Andrews-Smith created the performing ensemble Singer’s Theatre Workshop at Denison University in 1998. The ensemble is unique because its abbreviated daytime rehearsal schedule allows all students to have the time to perform on stage, regardless of their academic area of study. Now in its 20th year, the Singer’s Theatre Workshop presents two fully produced and staged productions per year, from the worlds of opera, operetta, and/or musical theatre. Students have embraced this ensemble, with many students participating in productions for all four years of their college careers. Singer’s Theatre productions are extremely popular and have become "standing room only" events on the Denison University campus. Students trained in this distinctive music ensemble have applied their theatrical instruction to graduate programs throughout the United States, leading roles on Broadway, and National Broadway tours.


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