Celebrating PRIDE at The 5th

By KWAPI VENGESAYI, Community Engagement Specialist

During the run of the Tony Award winning musical, Fun Home, The 5th Avenue Theatre hosted a series of insightful free-to-the-community events. Featuring presentations, spoken word performances and guest panels with Gay City, PFLAG, ArtsWest and other community leaders, these events explored themes from the show and discussed topics related to the Seattle LGBTQ community and experiences. A huge thanks to our amazing community partners and sponsors, Bank of America and Virginia Mason, who helped make these special community events possible. Below are few moments captured from our Celebrating PRIDE at The 5th event series:

“Welcome to the Renaissance”: The World of Something Rotten!

The Renaissance

Something Rotten! transports today’s audiences from the seats of a Broadway house across the Atlantic and back through the history book pages to Renaissance England. But what is the Renaissance, and how did it change England in the 16th century? The word “renaissance” is French for “rebirth” and was a term used to describe the period roughly between the 14th and 17th centuries when society was marked by great advancements in art, science and culture. It is believed that the Renaissance began in Florence, Italy, in the 14th century after the Fall of Constantinople and the Roman Empire. During this period, artists, scholars and scientists moved to Italy to continue their work. Patrons, wealthy families of renown in Italy, like the Medicis, provided creative minds with great sums of money to create art and innovate to further advance the family’s popularity and power. The period saw advancements in art, literature, music, politics, religion, science, philosophy and a revived interest in the humanism of the Greeks and Romans. Some of the most notable inventions of the time were the telescope, microscope, printing press, advanced uses of gunpowder and artillery, and a flushing toilet. The most prominent artists and figures of the time include Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas More, Galileo, Martin Luther and several more. In the next few hundred years, the Renaissance moved outward from Italy to its neighboring countries, including England.

Continue reading ““Welcome to the Renaissance”: The World of Something Rotten!”

Things You Learn as a Directing and Artistic Leadership Fellow

By HATTIE CLAIRE ANDRES, 2016/17 Directing and Artistic Leadership Fellow

As I wrap up my year-long fellowship at The 5th Avenue, I look back on my experience assistant directing five shows this season, directing Rising Star Project and shadowing my mentor Bill Berry to gain Artistic Leadership experience and insight.

Planning Is Everything

  • So much of theater administration and leadership is being an expert planner: planning the shows for next season, planning who will work on those shows, planning financial allocation and strategy and planning calendars so that everything that happens in this busy building works in harmony.
  • As a director, you can spend more than a year planning your show before rehearsals even begin: in auditions, deciding how you want to cast the show; in meetings with designers to create the visual life of the story on stage; and in preparation for working with actors to decide how the story will be staged.

Communication Is Key

  • Hattie and Casting Director Kelsey Thorgalsen discuss RSP auditions. PC: Orlando Morales

    Artistic Leaders, such as David and Bill at The 5th, are charged with the job of developing a creative vision for the theater they work for, and communicating that vision to their staff, the artists, the board and the audience. This communication happens in many different ways but one of the most important outcomes it achieves is to have everyone understand the importance of the shows and the stories The 5th is choosing to tell on our stage.

  • As the director of a show, it is essential that you masterfully communicate your vision for the show to everyone working on the production – the choreographer, music director, actors, designers, crew and producers – so that each person feels confident in their ability and inspired to tell a unified story on stage with you. As an assistant director, you are often part of facilitating this process, delivering notes to actors and designers when the director is busy with another aspect of rehearsal.

Relationships Are Crucial

  • “It’s all about who you know” is often said as cliché in the entertainment industry but there is a large element of truth to that statement. Because creating a show together is such a personal experience, highly dependent on the chemistry of everyone in the rehearsal room and their ability to collaborate, it is not only important to be skilled at what you do – be it dancing, designing costumes, or running the sound board – but it is also important that people trust you and find you enjoyable to work with.

    Hattie with Romy and Michele Associate Director MK Lawson (L) and Choreographer Peggy Hickey (R) at opening night party. PC: Duell Fisher
  • As the assistant director, I got to work with five different creative teams this season, most of whom I didn’t know before beginning rehearsal. Each time I started with a new team, I intentionally spent time and energy to get to know each person and build a trusting, working relationship with them. By the end of the season, I had over 20 new collaborators with whom I’d built relationships.

Each Day is Unique

  • One of the most exciting aspects of working at a theater is that monotony is non-existent. When looking at Bill’s calendar to find shadowing opportunities, I saw that he had a completely different schedule every day: from meetings with a wide array of people to attending auditions in New York to directing Beatsville in Florida or The Pajama Game here at The 5th.

    Rising Star Project Students. PC: Jeff Carpenter Photography
  • In my own experience, working on five shows throughout the season, I saw first hand how wildly different each show was – from Man of La Mancha as a reimagined classic to The Little Mermaid as a family-favorite contemporary hit to The Pajama Game which embraced its Golden-Era identity to Rising Star Project with its abundant student energy to The Secret Garden revising its script and score for the revival production to Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion developed from the ground up as a brand new, world premiere musical. No show was the same and each day brought a different set of challenges and exciting revelations.

Project Reprise: Searching for New Intersections Between Musical Theater and Dementia

By ORLANDO MORALES, Director of Education and Outreach and JEN KULIK, Project Reprise Artist Project Manager

UW students after their recent performance of an original music revue created for people with dementia.

How can musical theater play a role in enhancing the quality of life for people with dementia?

This past season, The 5th Avenue Theatre partnered with the University of Washington’s Musical Theater Program and Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine to answer this question. This joint effort came to be known as “Project Reprise” and culminated in a unique opportunity for UW undergraduate students.

Continue reading “Project Reprise: Searching for New Intersections Between Musical Theater and Dementia”

The 5th and the National Endowment for the Arts

Located in Seattle, The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation’s leading musical theater companies with a deep commitment to creating Broadway-caliber productions and developing the nation’s new musical theater. Since 2011, The 5th has premiered 17 new musicals, nine of which have gone on to Broadway including Best Musical Tony Award-winners Hairspray and Memphis. Creating live theater that serves our community is expensive, and like most theaters in the country, cannot be funded through ticket sales alone. We are proud to say that the NEA has been with us, supporting us along the way. Their financial support has been invaluable, allowing us to engage and entertain an audience of over 300,000 each year. Over 11 years, the NEA has provided us with 11 unique grants totaling $435,000 that support our projects. Some of these include our 2011 commission, Rosie the Riveter, which traveled to elementary and middle schools across Washington; our 2016 “revisal” of Paint Your Wagon that featured a brand new book; and our 2017 reimagining of The Secret Garden, currently poised for a Broadway revival.

Continue reading “The 5th and the National Endowment for the Arts”

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

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.

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

The 2017 5th Avenue Award Recipients Are…

Congratulations to all! This year, our evaluators saw 122 productions, each and every one of which was worthy of our applause.

Here are the nominees and recipients for the 2017 5th Avenue Awards. Recipients are bolded in each category.

Continue reading “The 2017 5th Avenue Award Recipients Are…”

The 5th Avenue Awards: High School Musical Reunion

By ORLANDO MORALES, Director of Education and Outreach

Since its launch in 2003, The 5th Ave Awards program has sought to recognize and celebrate the amazing work that is being done across the state in the world of high school musical theater. Each season, dozens of evaluators see hundreds of performances in every corner of Washington and in June, thousands of students come together for the culminating 5th Ave Awards ceremony.

Over the years, countless students have taken part in this educational program—and as a high school reunion (Romy and Michele’s!) is taking place on The 5th Ave mainstage, we’re taking the opportunity to also throw a 5th Ave Awards Reunion.

Recently, a handful of 5th Ave Awards alumni came together to share memories, updates, and advice for the Class of 2017.

MACARONI AND CHEESE, I DID IT!

On the night of the awards, many students are invited to receive recognition, but also to perform for their peers. Many memorable moments are made when they step onto the stage for the Awards ceremony the first time.

Justin recalls being a bit anxious: “Oh man, I remember being in the stairwell backstage with the other Lead Actor nominees waiting to perform our medley…And I was a nervous wreck. A couple of the nominees had been nominated before and performed before, but I had never performed on that stage in front of that many people. I just remember trying to absorb all of that confident energy and trying not to sweat off my fake mustache.”

“I remember saying to the girl next to me, ‘I’m gonna pee my pants!’” remembers Kirsten. “I didn’t pee my pants. Instead I walked out there, stood amongst my peers and sang my heart out to a full house of students and parents and teachers. I’d never felt anything like that before.”

Sarah remembers the moment she received her award. “When I got up there the only thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘Macaroni and cheese, I did it!’  I was so shocked when I got up there—it was the first time I really thought I could do theater as a career.”

“I will never forget stepping onto The 5th Avenue stage for rehearsal that day,” says Lauren.  “It was the first of what would become many, many times. Since then, my new favorite moment comes every year when I get to stand backstage and listen to the roar of thousands of high school students supporting each other. The theater is never more alive than on the night of the Awards.”

LASTING EFFECTS

For many alumni, it is hard to believe that one night can have such a lasting impact on their lives.

“I was pretty dead set on pursuing a career in Opera—Classical Baritone,” says Jordan. “But the experience at these Awards is what started me down the path to choosing musical theater—which is one of the better decisions I have made in my short life. My experience being on that stage drove me to work until I could get back on it as a professional…It absolutely affected who I am today!”

It fueled my passion to celebrate weirdos,” says Justin with a laugh. “Of the Lead Actor nominees that year, I was definitely one of the weirdest.  But the support of the crowd—full of teachers and peers—made me feel welcome and encouraged me to lean into the weirdness. I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t stopped since.”

Brandon adds: “The 5th Ave Awards was truly my ‘in’ to The 5th Avenue Theatre where I would later intern during college, assistant direct, become the Executive Assistant to David Armstrong, then move up to Casting Director and Artistic Projects Manager… And then eventually—I’ve directed three shows on the mainstage. I participated in The Awards and less than 10 years later I was directing on the mainstage. I feel pretty lucky about that.”

“After The Awards I knew that a career in the arts was what I wanted to pursue,” says Kirsten. “After graduating from PLU, I moved to Seattle and immediately auditioned for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! I went on to play Ado Annie in that production, performed with their Adventure Musical Theater program, interned, worked in casting, helped with many education programs, participated in the New Works department in both administrative and performance roles and continued to perform in productions over the course of six years. For me, I know it started with The Awards, and feeling like this was a community to which I belonged and could grow from.”

WE NEED YOU

Allison is one of a handful of 5th Ave Awards alumni who are now 5th Ave Awards teachers with students of their own. She, like many of the alumni present, are constantly reminded of the value of musical theater in one’s life.

“Musical theater allows us to explore our own identities and step into the shoes of others. It’s a place where anyone can show up and hear ‘we need you.’ It’s a place where we can tell important stories as an ensemble and have conversations with people we might not have otherwise.”

Jared agrees: “To absorb someone else’s story, to see someone else’s craftsmanship, to ‘escape’ one’s life for a minute or two… It helps with the pain and sorrow of this world and teaches us that there are others aside from ourselves.”

Jordan appreciates how musical theater bridges generations: “It can touch on issues and it can reach audiences of all ages.  Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of me watching some musical with my grandmother. And I find that it brings a feeling of nostalgia to a lot of people I know.”

“Musical theater also teaches the art of collaboration,” Lauren adds.  “Whether students remain in musical theater or not, they have gained the insight that an incredible product takes the efforts of all types of individuals – each contributing their own talents and expertise.”

YOU ARE NOT WEIRD

At one point, the group begins to imagine what they would say if they could go back in time and offer advice to their former high school selves.

“Keep embracing who you are and what you love,” Brandon declares.  “And find the people that love it as much as you do.”

Kirsten adds, “You are not weird. You are gifted. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the joy you find in theater is silly. It is hard, absolutely. It is a hustle. But if you love it, if it brings you joy, do it. Work hard, never stop learning, never stop teaching.”

“Trust your work and never stray from what you find to be meaningful in this business,” says Jared.

“I think I would tell myself to have lots of fun, keep asking questions, and continue to explore as many sides of theater as possible,” says Allison.  “Going backstage at The 5th during the Awards was such a cool eye-opener…In college, I tried stage managing, directing, wardrobe, stage crew, and discovered applied theater—using theater for education, social justice, reminiscence work…My world opened up and theater became something so much bigger than I’d ever imagined.”


Heartfelt thanks to our title sponsor WELLS FARGO and to THE BOEING COMPANY and ALASKA AIRLINES for their additional support of this program.

Click here to learn more about The 5th Ave Awards and for a list of this year’s nominees.

The 2017 5th Avenue Awards Nominees Are…

2017-5thave_awards_600x300_Nominations

 

Congratulations to all of our hard working high schoolers and educators on another fantastic year of musicals! Here are the nominees for this year’s 5th Avenue Award nominations. We hope to see you at the ceremony at Benaroya Hall on June 12!

Outstanding Overall Musical

Eastmont High School, The Addams Family—A New Musical Comedy

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Redmond High School, Chicago

Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Outstanding Direction

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Chelan High School, Disney’s The Lion King JR

Eastmont High School, The Addams Family—A New Musical Comedy

Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Meadowdale High School, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Roosevelt High School, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella

Sammamish High School, Shrek The Musical

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Sunnyside High School, Zombie Prom

Thomas Jefferson High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Timberline High School, Young Frankenstein

Outstanding Music Direction

Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Olympia High School, The Pirates of Penzance

The Overlake School, Big Fish

Redmond High School, Chicago

Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Honorable Mention

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Edmonds Heights K-12, Jane Eyre

Inglemoor High School, Annie

Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Sequim High School, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Thomas Jefferson High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

University High School, Legally Blonde The Musical

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Outstanding Choreography

Capital High School, Grease

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Kentridge High School, A Year with Frog and Toad

Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Redmond High School, Chicago

Ridgefield High School, Urinetown

Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Auburn Riverside High School, 42nd Street

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Clarkston High School, Singin’ in the Rain

Ferndale High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Ingraham High School, Hairspray

Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Sequim High School, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Timberline High School, Young Frankenstein

Woodinville High School,  Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Outstanding Orchestra

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Meadowdale High School, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Redmond High School, Chicago

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Auburn Riverside High School, 42nd Street

Bellarmine Preparatory School, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

HM Jackson High School, Hot Mikado

Liberty High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Monroe High School, Little Women

Roosevelt High School, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella

Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

WF West High School, The Lady Pirates of Captain Bree

Outstanding Scenic Design

Auburn High School, Hairspray

Hanford High School, Seussical

Kentlake High School, A Christmas Story, The Musical

Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Lincoln High School, Hairspray

Sequim High School, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Skyline High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Capital High School, Grease

Eastmont High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Eisenhower High School, Guys and Dolls

Enumclaw High School, Urinetown

Everett High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Gig Harbor High School, My Fair Lady

The Overlake School, Big Fish

Redmond High School, Chicago

Sultan High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Outstanding Lighting Design

Auburn High School, Hairspray

Eastmont High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Everett High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Kamiak High School, Footloose

The Overlake School, Big Fish

Redmond High School, Chicago

Roosevelt High School, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella

Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Sultan High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Honorable Mention

Ballard High School, Les Misérables

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Kentlake High School, Sister Act

Lewis & Clark High School, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach

Meadowdale High School, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Sammamish High School, Shrek The Musical

Sunnyside High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Outstanding Costume Design

Capital High School, Grease

Chelan High School, Disney’s The Lion King JR

Everett High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Kentridge High School, A Year with Frog and Toad

Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Redmond High School, Chicago

Thomas Jefferson High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Honorable Mention

Blaine High School, Seussical

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Gig Harbor High School, My Fair Lady

Kentlake High School, A Christmas Story, The Musical

Lincoln High School, Hairspray

Mount Si High School, Pippin

Newport High School, Guys and Dolls

Sunnyside High School, Zombie Prom

Woodinville High School, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design

Edmonds Heights K-12, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Everett High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Hanford High School, Seussical

Kentridge High School, The Wiz

Lewis & Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Shrek The Musical

Sultan High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

University High School, Legally Blonde The Musical

Honorable Mention

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Ferris High School, The Addams Family—A New Musical Comedy

Inglemoor High School, Annie

Mount Rainier High School, The Addams Family—A New Musical Comedy

Roosevelt High School, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella

Skyline High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Timberline High School, Young Frankenstein

Woodinville High School, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Outstanding Stage Crew

Auburn High School, Hairspray

Auburn Riverside High School, 42nd Street

Eastmont High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Kentlake High School, A Christmas Story, The Musical

Lewis & Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

The Overlake School, Big Fish

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Honorable Mention

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Gig Harbor High School, My Fair Lady

Liberty High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Meadowdale High School, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Sultan High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Timberline High School, Young Frankenstein

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Outstanding Lobby Display

Blaine High School, Seussical

Edmonds Heights K-12, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Everett High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

HM Jackson High School, Hot Mikado

Lake Stevens High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Liberty High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Newport High School, Guys and Dolls

Sunnyside High School, Zombie Prom

Honorable Mention

Eastlake High School, Urinetown

East Valley High School, Donovan’s Daughters

Glacier Peak High School, The Wizard of Oz

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Lincoln High School, Hairspray

Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Shrek The Musical

Snohomish High School, Les Misérables

Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Brooke Multrum as Ella, Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Sierra Hutton as Miss Adelaide, Eisenhower High School, Guys and Dolls

Lauren Carlos as Ariel Moore, Kamiak High School, Footloose

Aly Gutierrez as Jo March, Monroe High School, Little Women

Julie Guinasso as Miss Adelaide, Newport High School, Guys and Dolls

Lily Ray as Hope Cladwell, Ridgefield High School, Urinetown

Jessica Furnstahl as Elle, Sumner High School, Legally Blonde The Musical

Morgan Roberts as Molly, Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Honorable Mention

Madison Schimpf as Miss Adelaide, Arlington High School, Guys and Dolls

Haley Hauser as Eliza Doolittle, Gig Harbor High School, My Fair Lady

Caroline Slater as Marian, Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Maya McQueen as Sandra Bloom The Overlake School, Big Fish

Elizabeth Dunn as Rose Fenny, River Ridge High School, Dogfight

Alegra Batara as Campbell, Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Crina Snyder as Fiona, Tahoma Jr High School, Shrek The Musical

Mesgana Yosief as Belle, Woodinville High School, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Skyler Denfeld as Gomez, Battle Ground High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Mitchell Beard as Ren McCormack, Kamiak High School, Footloose

Skyler Verity as Frank Abagnale, Jr, Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Calvin Lieurance as Officer Lockstock, Ridgefield High School, Urinetown

Charlie Stevens as Gomez, Rogers High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Matthew Hervey as Shrek, Sammamish High School, Shrek The Musical

Silas Baird as Adam Pontipee, Sequim High School, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Sam Bennett as Sam Wheat, Tahoma High School, Ghost the Musical

Honorable Mention

Diego Roberts Buceta as Jean Valjean, Ballard High School, Les Misérables

Kameron Bustetter as Danny, Capital High School, Grease

Will Johnson as Henry Higgins, Gig Harbor High School, My Fair Lady

Alex Splattstoesser as Emile de Becque, Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Dylan Sabine as Eddie Flagrante, Lake Washington High School, Zombie Prom

MJ Smith as Harold Hill, Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Alex Kilian as Pippin, Mount Si High School, Pippin

Riley O’Shea as Jean Valjean, Snohomish High School, Les Misérables

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Analei Holt as Mother Abbess, Aberdeen High School, The Sound of Music

Sophie Bustetter as Jan, Capital High School, Grease

Tea’Ning LaFleur as Alice Beineke, Eastmont High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Amanda Ades as Sister Mary Robert, Kentlake High School, Sister Act

Maleah Haverly as Marmee, Monroe High School, Little Women

Kat Rodriguez as Danielle, Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Michaela Bingham as Motormouth Maybelle, Stadium High School, Hairspray

Regina Bower as Aunt Eller, Zillah High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Honorable Mention

Addison Holloman as Little Sally, Eastlake High School, Urinetown

Darian Conn as Mrs. Fairfax, Edmonds Heights K-12, Jane Eyre

Camie Randall as Winifred, Hockinson High School, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins

Emily Vaughan as Ethel McCormack, Kamiak High School, Footloose

Angelica Hines as Evillene, Kentridge High School, The Wiz

Elle Fisher as Miss Dorothy, Meadowdale High School, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Paris Elliott as Brenda Strong, Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Jaidyn Lam as Linda, Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Wedding Singer

Hailey Phipps as Inga, Timberline High School, Young Frankenstein

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Ryan Mayfield as Madame, Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Tristin Nelson as Caldwell B. Cladwell, Enumclaw High School, Urinetown

Caden Brauch as Rooster, Inglemoor High School, Annie

Jeff LaSorella as Willard, Kamiak High School, Footloose

Nolan Gunter as The Wiz, Kentridge High School, The Wiz

James Fahey as Farquaad, Sammamish High School, Shrek The Musical

Alex Nguyen as Wilbur, Stadium High School, Hairspray

Max Tammen as Gaston, Woodinville High School, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Honorable Mention

Ammon Palmer as Benny, Burlington-Edison High School, In the Heights

Alberto Lechuga as Nicely Nicely, Eisenhower High School, Guys and Dolls

Micah Robertson as Lord Sebastian, Ferndale High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Tru Stites as Lt. Cable, Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Max Kendall as Snail, Kentridge High School, A Year with Frog and Toad

Nathan Vincenti as Donkey, Sammamish High School, Shrek The Musical

Raviv Cohen as Ali Hakim, Skyline High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Jacob Polley as Lord Sebastian, Sultan High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Ensemble Role

Jade Guillory as Alma Hix, Lake Stevens High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Emmaline Savidge as Pinocchio, Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Shrek The Musical

Cassidy Huff as Grandmama, Mount Rainier High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Kennedi Bartell as Ethel Toffelmeier, Omak High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Betsy Button as Jenny Hill, The Overlake School, Big Fish

Monty Rozema as Bridget, Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Jade Hill as Little Inez, Stadium High School, Hairspray

Katy Payne as The Witch, Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Denver Rogers as Andie, Auburn Riverside High School, 42nd Street

Olivia Elliott as Helen, Edmonds Heights K-12, Jane Eyre

Lucy Guyer as Brooke, Everett High School, Legally Blonde The Musical

Katie Orr as Molly, Inglemoor High School, Annie

Brittney Cash as Madame De Le Grande Bouche, Squalicum High School, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Lauren Nelson as Matron, Stadium High School, Hairspray

Taylor Johnson as Grandmama, Stanwood High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Lexie Love as Dragon, Tahoma Jr High School, Shrek The Musical

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Ensemble Role

Clayton Lukens as Lord Pinkleton, Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Austin Ipsen as Chef Louis, Everett High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Trevyn Wong as Henry/Sailor, Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Simon Jones as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Inglemoor High School, Annie

Matthew Silva as Monsignor O’Hara, Kentlake High School, Sister Act

Jake Mangino as Sergeant of Police, Olympia High School, The Pirates of Penzance

Nick Griep as Grandmaster Chad, University High School, Legally Blonde The Musical

Peter Hoffman as Ensemble Dancer, Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Carlos Roques as Sonny, Burlington-Edison High School, In the Heights

Robert Jones as Harry/Zoltan, Gig Harbor High School, My Fair Lady

Emilio Torres as Gatekeeper, Kentridge High School, The Wiz

Robert Clifton as James, Klahowya Secondary School, Disney’s High School Musical

Will Matney as Zeke Baylor, Klahowya Secondary School, Disney’s High School Musical

Tiger Trac as Principal/Spritzer/Mr. Pinkey/The Flasher, Lincoln High School, Hairspray

Bailey DePuis as Hotel Manager/Dr. Wanamaker, Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Austin Fuentes as Bidwell, WF West High School, The Lady Pirates of Captain Bree

Mason Bower as Andrew Carnes, Zillah High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Non-Singing Role

Dylan Rivers as Ralph Sheldrake, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Elli Vegdahl-Crowell as Zazu, Chelan High School, Disney’s The Lion King JR

Kanako Kawabe as Liat, Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Sierra Noble as Betty Blast, Kamiak High School, Footloose

Collin Snell as Narrator/Jean Shephard, Kentlake High School, A Christmas Story, The Musical

Maddy Coots as Mrs. Darbus, Klahowya Secondary School, Disney’s High School Musical

Lucy Price as Dream Laurey, Skyline High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Malachi Ryan as Charlie Cowell, West Valley High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Honorable Mention

Amaya Udagar as Dora Bailey, Bonney Lake High School, Singin’ in the Rain

Caleb Macduff, Captain Brackett (Understudy), Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Tristen Yepez as Principal Clark, Kamiak High School, Footloose

Tornadoes and Poppies, Kentridge High School, The Wiz

Garrett Betzing as Jack Scott, Klahowya Secondary School, Disney’s High School Musical

Ben Broughton as MC, Redmond High School, Chicago

Hannah Frederikson as the Moon, Rogers High School, The Addams Family–A New Musical Comedy

Abby Brooks as Guard, Stadium High School, Hairspray

Marcello Russo as Harry Spritzer, Stadium High School, Hairspray

Spencer Hawkins as Kyle, University High School, Legally Blonde The Musical

Outstanding Performance by a Chorus

Hanford High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Kamiak High School, Footloose

Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

The Overlake School, Big Fish

Prairie High School, Catch Me If You Can

Shorecrest High School, Bring It On The Musical

Timberline High School, Young Frankenstein

Walla Walla High School, Big Fish

Honorable Mention

Auburn Riverside High School, 42nd Street

Camas High School, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Eastlake High School, Urinetown

Eastmont High School, The Addams Family—A New Musical Comedy

Edmonds Heights K-12, Jane Eyre

Kentridge High School, A Year with Frog and Toad

Olympia High School, The Pirates of Penzance

Redmond High School, Chicago

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Group

Bun Foo and Ching Ho, Cashmere High School, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Flotsam and Jetsam, Everett High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

The Corny Collins’ Council Members, Ingraham High School, Hairspray

The Birds, Kentridge High School, A Year with Frog and Toad

The School Board Quartet, Lewis and Clark High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

The Cell Block Girls, Redmond High School, Chicago

The Brothers, Sequim High School, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

The School Board Quartet, West Valley High School, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man

Honorable Mention

The Wedding Band, Decatur High School, The Wedding Singer

The Rebels, Eastlake High School, Urinetown

The Wedding Guests, Franklin High School, The Wedding Singer

The Orphans, Inglemoor High School, Annie

The March Sisters, Monroe High School, Little Women

The Motorwise Guys, Mountlake Terrace High School, Zombie Prom

The Rebels, Ridgefield High School, Urinetown

The Urchins, Tumwater, Little Shop of Horrors

The Greek Chorus, University High School, Legally Blonde The Musical

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast

Anacortes High School, Avenue Q School Edition

Grandview High School, Hollywood Hillbillies

Roosevelt High School, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella

Special Honors: Educational Impact

Chelan High School, Disney’s The Lion King JR

Hanford High School, Seussical

Peninsula High School, Fiddler on the Roof

Stadium High School, Hairspray

Sunnyside High School, Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Wenatchee High School, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Special Honors: Student Achievement

AC Davis High School                                   Naomi Rottman

Auburn Riverside High School                       McKenna Webb

Ballard High School                                       Alex Howell

Bellarmine Preparatory School                       Elizabeth Blodgett

Cashmere High School                                   Hope Erdmann

Edmonds Heights K-12                                  Sophie Burnett

Eisenhower High School                                Citlali Mendez

Ingraham High School                                    Aidyn Stevens

Issaquah High School                                     Julia Lilly

Kentridge High School                                   Marie Gonzalez

Meadowdale High School                              Conor McLaughlin

Mercer Island High School                             Tessa Czech

The Overlake School                                       Elle Parks

Ridgefield High School                                  Michaela Cloyd

Sammamish High School                                Matthew Hervey

Stadium High School                                      Abby Miller

Tahoma Jr. High School                                  Alyssa Burkhead

Timberline High School                                  Melissa Martin

Wenatchee High School                                 Abby Phipps

Yelm High School                                          Sybil Kappert

Special Honor: Outstanding Educators

Briane Green, University High School

Greg Pschirrer, Lewis and Clark High School

Special Honor: Outstanding Parent Support

Dave Neumayer, Hanford High School


We apologize for any typos or misspellings. For corrections, please email ccorrick@5thavenue.org.

Find out more about 5th Avenue Awards here.

The Secret Garden and Frances Hodgson Burnett

By GRETCHEN H. GERZINA for D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company

Few people realize that The Secret Garden, the book that most readers associate with Frances Hodgson Burnett, was only one of the 53 novels she wrote and published, and that most of her books were for adults, not children. Although she had a lifetime love for children and gardens, she would be amazed to know that this book, which began as a magazine serial late in her life, is the one for which she is most remembered today— even though it was one that was closest to her heart.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s love affair with gardens began when she was a small child living in Manchester, England. In 1852, when she was just three, her family moved to St. Luke’s Terrace, which backed onto fields owned by the Earl of Derby, leading Frances to recall it later in life as the “back garden of Eden.” She remembered it as a place of gardens and perpetual summer, where a small child could daydream beneath the trees and beside the flowers, ignoring the industrial city that surrounded this suburb of light and air. There were farms and country cottages close by and she became friendly with a family of market gardeners who kept pigs. Just a year later, however, her father, Edwin Hodgson, died, and his widow and five children embarked upon a decade of moving house, each time to a slightly less desirable neighborhood. Each move took Burnett further and further away from gardens, until in 1865, her mother decided to make the riskiest move of all: to join her rogue of a brother, who boasted of his accomplishments in America, in the American South during the last months of the Civil War. There the Hodgson family found itself ensconced in an unexpected place: a log cabin in a very small town outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. There, but for the generosity of their neighbors, they would have starved.

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Their financial difficulties were quite real, but young Fanny (a name she quickly abandoned) found Tennessee a true Garden of Eden after the pollution of Manchester and the smuts that floated down like snow from its factory chimneys.

She had read in the back of ladies’ magazines that they paid money for stories and, having invented them for her friends back in England, she thought she might take a chance at being paid to write. The first story she sent came back with comments, but instead of revising she mailed it again to another magazine. The editor was puzzled and surprised to find an accomplished work with an English setting coming out of Tennessee; was she English or American? That evening she sat down and wrote a second one for him. Both stories were accepted immediately, and with the check that arrived she launched a career that saw her eventually become America’s highest-paid woman writer. She was only 18 and none of her work was ever rejected.

By 1886, Frances had married a Tennessee doctor, had two sons and had written the blockbuster novel Little Lord Fauntleroy—her 18th novel, which made her hugely famous on both sides of the Atlantic. Now as Frances Hodgson Burnett she had money of her own, and bought, in cash, a 17-room house in Washington, D.C. From the moment of its first appearance as a serial in Saint Nicholas Magazine to its publication as a book a year later in 1886, Fauntleroy became a household name. Largely forgotten or ridiculed today, it was the Harry Potter of its day. The image of a sturdy and very masculine little boy in a velveteen jacket shot around the world and was to haunt her son Vivian, from whose photograph it was taken, for the rest of his days. The story—and the plays and films it spawned—started a fashion craze that mothers loved and boys hated, as they were forced into wide lace collars and long curls, probably not helped when girls were always given the stage and film role.

Even though writing was how she had to make her living, it also enabled her to travel, buy beautiful clothes and furnish houses in England and America. However, Burnett was not only a writer of novels and stories, she was also a producer of plays. Thirteen of her works appeared in West End theaters in London and on Broadway, generally written and produced by her. Prescient enough to understand the increasing role of movies, she later built clauses guaranteeing her the film rights to her books. It’s fascinating, therefore, that The Secret Garden did not become a stage musical or a popular film until late in the twentieth century, although apparently a now-lost film was made in 1919, five years before Burnett’s death.

 

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Although writing and gardening could not shield her from life’s tragedies, they did help her get through some of her life’s greatest sorrows. When her 16-yearold son Lionel tragically died of tuberculosis in her arms in Paris in 1890, she had his casket covered in violets. When her second marriage ended—a marriage that she was probably blackmailed into by a young English doctor and aspiring actor ten years her junior—she and her sister Edith retreated to a house that would become Frances’s most cherished home: Maytham Hall, in Rolvenden, Kent, which she first leased after her divorce from her American husband.

Rumors always surrounded her and there were plenty of reasons for her wanting to escape. From the time that Little Lord Fauntleroy first made her famous, she was constantly in the press and in the public eye. She crossed the Atlantic 33 times in her lifetime, and whenever one of the ships she traveled on docked, she was met by a crowd of newspaper and magazine reporters who wanted to know about her difficult health, her latest book and her love life. When she filed for divorce, her lawyer made sure she was safely on board a ship heading for England before serving the papers. Gardens were, for her, a retreat.

At Maytham, she had set up an outdoor study, with a table and chair under the trees near the rose garden, and wrote each morning in the company of a robin that grew tame, the later inspiration for Mary Lennox’s robin in The Secret Garden, which was, in fact, written in America. When she moved back to America for good she built a beautiful house with spacious gardens in Plandome on Long Island, and next door built a cottage for her surviving son Vivian and his family. As she grew older she spent her winters in Bermuda with her sister Edith and kept a full-time gardener.

Burnett claimed that The Secret Garden was the first children’s story to appear in an adult magazine. The first installment made its appearance in The American Magazine late in 1910. She wrote to her friend Ella Hepworth Dixon after the story’s serial publication that “it was our Rose Garden as it would have been locked up for years and years and years—and some hungry children had found it. You cannot think how everyone loves that story. People write to me with a sort of passion of it.”

The Secret Garden begins and ends in gardens, one a garden of death in India, and the other a garden of revitalization and resurrection in England. Burnett believed to the end of her own life in the healing and resurrecting power of gardens. The last chapter of The Secret Garden is called “In the Garden,” and the last thing that Burnett wrote, on her deathbed, was a magazine article by the same name. As in The Secret Garden, she always saw gardens as places of healing and return to health.

After she died, the little article was republished as a book, with watercolor pictures and photographs of her own gardens at Plandome. It ends with the words that have come to symbolize her other life’s work: “As long as one has a garden one has a future,” she wrote, “and as long as one has a future one is alive.”


Artwork by Becky Kelley.

This article originally appeared in ASIDES, the production program and publication of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Visit ShakespeareTheatre.org/Asides to learn more.

Click here to read more about and purchase tickets to The Secret Garden.