Fifteen Years, Friendly Giants and Footloose: A Recap of the 2017 5th Avenue Awards

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By ORLANDO MORALES, Director of Education and Outreach

On June 12, The 5th was thrilled to host the 15th annual 5th Avenue Awards: Honoring High School Musical Theater.

The evening was the culmination of months of dedication and passion. Beginning October of last year, a team of evaluators traveled thousands of miles to see productions at schools all over Washington—a record 122 productions performed by 100 schools—as near as Capitol Hill and as far away as Blaine, Vancouver, Spokane and Sequim. From large urban areas, to small rural communities the mission has always been the same: to recognize the work, talent and commitment that students, faculty and parents devote to their school’s musical theater productions. Through these efforts, we hope to emphasize how high school theater programs are invaluable to our communities.

This year over 189 nominations and 167 honorable mentions were given for 16 award categories including Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Scenic Design and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast.

Over 2,000 costumed teens descended on Benaroya Hall for this year’s 5th Avenue Awards ceremony.
A cast member from Walla Walla High School’s production of Big Fish chats while waiting for his cue backstage.

Kamiak High School’s Footloose received the award for Outstanding Overall Musical Production and Tahoma High School’s Sam Bennett and Morgan Roberts received awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor and an Actress in a Leading Role. Bennett and Roberts will participate in the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York at the end of June.

Shorecrest High School warms up backstage before performing a number from Bring It On.
Stadium High School’s stirring performance of “I Know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray.

We are grateful to our long-standing title sponsor, Wells Fargo, whose generous support makes The 5th Avenue Awards possible. We would also like to thank program sponsors The Boeing Company and Alaska Airlines. Finally, The 5th Avenue Awards would not exist without the wonderful support of our donors and The 5th Avenue community.

Congratulations to all students, teachers and allies who keep musical theater alive and growing in Washington State. We’ll see you all next year!

Photography by Mark & Tracy Photography.

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