Recipients Announced for 20th Anniversary 5th Avenue Theater Awards: Honoring High School Musicals


The 5th Avenue Theater has announced the 20th anniversary recipients of the 5th Avenue Theater Awards: Honoring High School Musicals, the highly anticipated awards show sponsored by Wells Fargo, streaming live online at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 26, 2022.

The 5th Avenue Theater Awards create a space for musical theater students across Washington State to meet, celebrate, and honor outstanding in-person performances or broadcast/pre-recorded musical theater productions presented during the school year 2021/22. This annual Tony Awards-style ceremony was created by 5th Avenue Theater Production Artistic Director Bill Berry in 2003 to provide theater students with the kind of support and recognition that accomplished high school athletes have received for decades. . Each year, high schools across Washington State submit their musicals for consideration by the 5th Avenue Theater Awards Committee. A committee-selected panel of renowned theater professionals visited high school productions across the state, from urban districts to rural communities as remote as Spokane, Sequim, Walla Walla and Vancouver.

About recipients

A grand total of 11 high schools received awards in 10 categories among the recipients of the 20th Annual 5th Avenue Theater Awards. Mercer Island High School took home the most awards of the night (three in total), including three of the four awards for Outstanding Work by a Performer in a Leading Role: Molly Atkinson for their performance as Olive, Devon Benaroya for their performance as Barfee, and Kyle Gerstel for their performance as Barfee. Ellensburg High School also won several awards (two in total) for its production of Legally Blonde.

In addition to the three Mercer Island High School students recognized for their outstanding performances, Tahoma High School student Victoria Evans received the award for her performance as the title role in Anastasia.

The recipients of the 20th Annual 5th Avenue Theater Awards

Outstanding Student Work in Conducting
Thomas Jefferson High School, work

Outstanding work by music direction students
Decatur High School, Godspell

Outstanding Work by Choreography Students
Cedarcrest High School, Matilda the Musical

Outstanding Work by Stage Design Students
Kentwood High School, Mamma Mia!

Outstanding Work by Lighting Design Students
Meadowdale High School, Matilda the Musical

Outstanding Student Work in Costume Design
Snohomish High School, Once Upon a Mattress

Exceptional work by hairdressing and makeup students
Ellensburg High School, legally blonde

Outstanding Work by a Performer in a Leading Role
Molly Atkinson as Olive, Mercer Island High School, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Devon Benaroya as Barfee, Mercer Island High School, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Kyle Gerstel as Barfee, Mercer Island High School, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Victora Evans as Anastasia, Tahoma High School, Anastasia

Outstanding Work by a Performer in a Supporting Role
Carol Ritzenthaler as Paulette, Ellensburg High School, legally blonde
Gabriel Raskind as Chip, Sammamish High School, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Outstanding Student Work in a Production Number
Bishop Blanchet High School, “Toledo Surprise”, The Sleepy Escort

Special Honors: Outstanding Educator
Jennifer Grajewski, Kentridge High School

Special Honors: Student Success
Bellevue Christian School, Kris Hatley
Capital Secondary School, Sydney Linville
Cashmere High School, Isaac Peyton
Ferndale High School, Tyler Nelson
Academy of the Holy Names, Nia Fletcher
Inglemoor Secondary School, Ash Reynolds
Kentwood High School, Nikki Domingo
Mercer Island High School, Emily Elbaum
Mercer Island High School, Lydia Hogg
Mount Si Secondary School, Pippin Leiper
Overlake School, Ben Wyler
Sammamish High School, Faye Shipp
High School Stadium, Avalon Gibbons
Tahoma High School, Emily Brestle
Thomas Jefferson High School, Maximus Sing

Special Honors: Outstanding Student Achievements
Academy of the Holy Names, Nia Fletcher
Tahoma High School, Emily Brestle

Special Distinctions: Educational Impact
Cashmere Secondary School, The Addams Family
Kent-Meridian High School, unstable connection
High School Stage, Grease
Wenatchee High School, Disney’s Frozen JR.

Special distinctions: support for parents
Auburn High School, Drama Mamas
Kentwood High School, Katie Inscho and Shane Huyser
Mount Si High School, Amanda Fischer and Liz Cruikshank
Prairie High School, Linda Gould
Stadium High School, Susie Turner

You have reached the highest score! Recognize the work of student orchestras
Archbishop Murphy High School, Disney’s High School Musical
Auburn High School, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka
Eastlake High School, Chicago, School Edition
Hanford High School, Matilda the Musical
Inglemoor High School, The Addams Family
Kamiak High School, Chicago, School Edition
Lake Stevens High School, All Together Now
Lake Washington High School, Chicago, School Edition
Mercer Island High School, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Monroe High School, The Addams Family
Mount Si High School, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Olympia High School, Curtains
Redmond High School, Little Shop of Horrors
Richland High School, Rock School
Skyline High School, Disney Newsies
Walla Walla High School, Cinderella by Rodgers & Hammerstein

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