Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Semi-finalists: STAGE DIRECTORS (theater/musical theater)—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, 2021

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time. 

CNR in "The Life of Reilly"
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, chief judge, is pleased to announce NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST stage directors for 2021 in the Theater/Musical Theater division—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize. Congratulations!

As the contests unfold, finalists, runners-up and winners will be selected from these lists. To know the exact date when finalists will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

Charles Nelson Reilly was a Tony Award-winning actor and Broadway stage director, and an acclaimed opera director and teacher. Far more than the zany television personality by which he was most often identified, Reilly nurtured the creation of a whole series of unique one-person stage plays. Most famously, he directed Julie Harris in her Tony Award-winning star turn in "The Belle of Amherst", on the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson. Among Reilly's many Broadway directing credits were Ira Levinʼs "Break a Leg", Larry Shueʼs "The Nerd", and the revival of "The Gin Game", starring Julie Harris and Charles Durning, for which Mr. Reilly was the sole American director to be nominated for a Tony in 1997. Mr. Reillyʼs career as an opera director included productions for Chicago Opera Theater, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Toledo Opera, Milwaukee Opera and Opera Pacific. Charles Nelson Reilly and The American Prize chief judge David Katz were friends for three decades, first meeting through their mutual Hartford voice teacher, Mrs. Friedrich Schorr. Mr. Reilly served as honorary chairperson of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice from the competition's founding in 1990, until his death. To read more about the career of Charles Nelson Reilly, .

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: 

Please make us aware of any misprints in the listings below by emailing:

We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

NATIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS: The American Prize in Directing—The Charles Nelson Reilly Prize, 2021, theater/musical theater division

Geoffrey Arndt  

Saint Patrick High School

Chicago   IL  

The Neverending Story   

Sabrina Brookshire 

Hannibal-LaGrange University 

Hannibal  MO

Riders to the Sea

Jenna T. Elser   

Glow Lyric Theatre   

Greenville SC  

West Side Story  

Dawn M.  Harris 

The University of Illinois

Champaign IL

The Light in the Piazza

Kristina Keener Ivy

Top Billing Entertainment

Glendora  CA

Frozen Jr. & High School Musical Jr. 

Darren P. Lawson 

Bob Jones University 

Greenville. SC

Great Expectations   

Darren P. Lawson 

Bob Jones University 

Greenville SC

Panosian and the Provinces of His Story

Joshua  May

Schwob Opera Theatre 

Columbus  GA

The Light in the Piazza 


We invite semi-finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. 

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a semi-finalist in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing finalists in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: or follow the news on Facebook: or Twitter: "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all semi-finalists. 

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