Apr 17, 2023

53 Michigan High Schools to be Celebrated at the Sutton Foster Awards

Wharton Center for Performing Arts proudly presents the 11th annual Sutton Foster Awards. The awards program is a state-wide educational initiative celebrating Michigan high school musical theatre and is a flagship educational initiative of Wharton Center.

Wharton Center is thrilled to partner with fellow Michigan Broadway presenter—Broadway In Detroit—to host this year’s Awards Showcase on Sunday, May 21, 2023, at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre. The program features 130 high school students performing selections from their school musicals and a variety of Broadway medleys. Fifty-three schools are participating in this year’s program, which was open to all Michigan high schools regardless of location, school size, or musical budget.

“We are thrilled to showcase the extraordinary talents of high school students all across Michigan” Wharton Center’s Executive Director Eric Olmscheid says, “and we are excited to partner with the Ambassador Theatre Group to host the 2023 Sutton Foster Awards in Detorit, truly taking this state-wide program to the next level.”

Leading up to the showcase, three adjudicators comprised of theatre professionals attended each school’s full musical production. They provided feedback directly to the schools and nominated students to participate in the Awards Showcase. Production recognition was given to schools based on merit rather than direct competition.

This year’s Sutton Foster Awards also included multiple year-long learning opportunities. Participants worked directly with touring Broadway professionals in musical theatre performance master classes and technical and creative workshops. From shows like Pretty Woman: The Musical to Beetlejuice, Michigan students were able to work with some of the best in the business!

The entire year-long program culminates in the Awards Showcase. The 130 high school thespians participating will work with a Broadway musical director and choreographer to rehearse and stage the show. Two performers will be selected to represent Michigan at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (Jimmy Awards) in New York City this June. Cash scholarships and tuition to Wharton Center’s summer Broadway experience, Take It From The Top, will also be awarded.

View a complete list of participating high schools and their productions.

The Sutton Foster Awards is a program of Wharton Center for Performing Arts, sponsored by Piper & Gold Public Relations with additional support from Nancy Passanante.