Sutton Foster Awards
The Sutton Foster Awards are a celebration of high school musical theatre across the State of Michigan. A program of Wharton Center for Performing Arts, the Sutton Foster Awards is open to all high schools in the state, regardless of location, budget, or school size.
The year-long program consists of four main components:
1. Learning Opportunities with Theatre Professionals
Workshops offered throughout the year help students grow in their theatre craft. Whether students are performers, technicians or on the creative team, these skill-building workshops are designed to offer any/all participants of the school musical production an opportunity to learn. Many workshops will be led by visiting Broadway professionals.
2. Professional Review
All participating musicals receive a professional review. A panel of adjudicators, comprised of performing arts educators and professionals, attend each musical and provides feedback on everything from individual performances to technical elements. The scores and review are based on each school’s own merit and is not a competition between schools. Teachers and students use the feedback to learn for future productions.
3. Workshop and Audition Weekends
All nominees will participate in a Sutton Foster Awards Workshop and Audition Weekend. Students will receive individual vocal coaching with professional voice teachers, learn music and choreography for a production number to be performed during the showcase, and audition for a panel of judges. All of these experiences are meant to help the students grow as performers and prepare them for a career in musical theatre.
4. Awards Showcase
The year culminates in a professionally produced Sutton Foster Awards Showcase. In addition to celebrating the schools, the two nominees for the National High School Musical Theater Awards will be revealed. The 2024 Showcase will be held at Wharton Center in East Lansing.
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 one of two SFA workshop and Audition weekends as well as the Sutton Foster Awards Showcase. Additionally, adjudicator reviews and tabulations determine honors in technical and creative achievement.
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 June 2024, held at Wharton Center, 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 finalists will earn a $1,000 cash prize.
Saturday June 1, 2024, 6:30pm at Wharton Center
Adrian High School
Alma High School
Avondale Senior High School
Bloomfield Hills High School
Brighton High School
Byron Center Senior High School
Chippewa Valley High School
Coopersville High School
Cranbrook High School
Dakota High School
Detroit School of Arts
Dundee High School
East Grand Rapids High School
Everett High School
Grand Ledge High School
Grand Rapids Christian High School
Greenhills High School
Grosse Pointe North High School
Grosse Pointe South High School
H.H. Dow High School
Harper Creek High School
Henry Ford II High School
Heritage High School
Holt High School
Howell High School
John Glenn High School
Laker High School
Lapeer High School
Loy Norrix High School
Manistee High School
Melvindale High School
Mercy High School
Milford High School
Mount Pleasant High School
North Farmington High School
Northville High School
Pioneer High School
Portage Central High School
Portage Northern High School
Portland High School
Regina High Schol
Regina High School
Rockford High School
Romeo High School
Royal Oak High School
Saint Johns High School
Seaholm High School
Skyline High School
Stony Creek High School
Swartz Creek High School
Traverse City Central High School
Traverse City West High School
Troy High School
University Ligget School
Walled Lake Central High School
Walled Lake Northern High School
Walled Lake Western High School
West Bloomfield High School
Winston Churchill School
Sponsored by Piper & Gold Public Relations with additional support from Nancy Passanante.
Questions? Contact Ben English at email@example.com or (517) 884-3171.
Greyson Taylor, from Interlochen Center For The Arts and Ashely Woytal, from Portage Northern High School, competed in and won the 10th annual Sutton Foster Awards at Wharton Center on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
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