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Sutton Foster Awards

For aspiring musical theater stars, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime

Each year, high school musical stars from across Michigan are professionally judged in their local productions for the opportunity to participate in the Sutton Foster Awards (SFA). Nominees will come together as a group over the course of two weekends to grow and develop their theatre skills in workshops lead by industry professionals. At the end of the SFA Showcase Weekend participants will present a live show for friends, family and the community.  
From this performance, two winners for Outstanding Performer in a Leading Role will take their A-game to New York City to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards–also known as the Jimmy Awards. 

Named for Broadway star and Tony winner Sutton Foster, this program recognize individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performances as well as the commitment of Michigan teachers and schools to excellence in performing arts education. 

How it works

To be considered for the Sutton Foster Awards, schools must nominate their fall and/or spring musical theatre production. 

There is a $225 fee per nominated musical production. If the fee is a barrier to participation, please contact Ben English at Ben.English@whartoncenter.com.

Wharton Center will send a team of adjudicators to attend a performance of your musical. Adjudicators will nominate two or more students for “Outstanding Performer in a Leading Role” from each qualifying production, who will then be invited to participate in the Sutton Foster Awards. Additionally, adjudicator reviews and tabulations determine awards in technical and creative achievement, as well as best musical. 

Each school will receive a professional assessment of their show, meant to support the teacher, school, and students in growing their production values and recognizing excellence. 

This year’s Sutton Foster Awards Showcase is a public performance in May 2023, held at Fisher Theatre in Detroit, where judges will determine Michigan’s two Outstanding Performers in a Leading Role. The winners fly to New York to compete for the National High School Musical Theatre Award. 

The Sutton Foster Award Showcase winners also earn a $1,000 cash prize and free tuition to Take It From The Top, our summer Broadway performance workshop. 


May 21, 2023, 6:30pm at Fisher Theatre, Detroit, MI

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2023 Participating Schools

DeWitt High School Newsies
Alma High School Addams Family, YOUNG @ PART
Bloomfield Hills High School Newsies
Bloomfield Hills High School  25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Brighton High School Guys & Dolls
Byron Center High School Cinderella (Enchanted Edition)
Chippewa Valley High School  Beauty and the Beast
Coopersville High School Mamma Mia!
Cranbrook Schools Cinderella (2013 Broadway Edition)
Dakota High School Shrek The Musical
Detroit School of Fine & Performing Arts Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Dundee High School Footloose the Musical
East Lansing High School  Chicago: Teen Edition
Everett High School You're A Good Man Charlie Brown 
Grand Ledge High School  Mamma Mia!
Grand Rapids Christian High School Into the Woods
Grosse Pointe North High School Beauty and the Beast 
Grosse Pointe South High School  Mamma Mia!
H.H. Dow High School Into the Woods
Henry Ford II High School Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella
Heritage High School Beauty and the Beast
Holt High School 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Interlochen Center for the Arts Jesus Christ Superstar
Interlochen Center for the Arts An Amerian in Paris
John Glenn High School The Little Mermaid
John Glenn High School Anastasia
Lakewood High School Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Lakewood High School Les Miserables
Lapeer High School Mama Mia
Loy Norrix High School Legally Blonde
Marshall High School Newsies
Mercy High School Matilda
Milford High School White Christmas
Mt. Pleasant High School Mamma Mia!
Northville High School Seussical
Oakland Christian School All I need to know I've learned in Kindergarten
Pioneer High School Into the Woods
Portage Central High School SpongeBob: the musical
Portage Northern High School Footloose, the Musical
Portland High School Addams Family, School Edition
Regina High School A My Name Is Alice
Rockford High School Shrek
Romeo High School Mean Girls
Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy  Annie Jr. 
Shepherd High School Seussical
St Johns High School Matilda
Swartz Creek High School The Addams Family 
Traverse City Central High School Into the Woods
Traverse City West High School Kiss Me Kate
Troy High School Curtains
University Liggett School Aida
W.E. Groves High School Chicago High School Edition 
Walled Lake Northern High School Matilda
West Bloomfield High School Urinetown

Application and Guidelines

Sponsored by Piper & Gold Public Relations with additional support from Nancy Passanante.

Questions? Contact Ben English at ben.english@whartoncenter.com or (517) 884-3171.

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