Tampa, Fla. – The Straz Center for the Performing Arts has awarded local high school students Maggie Musco and Christian Meany the prize of performing on Broadway in New York City and to compete in the 2017 National High School Musical Theatre Awards. This opportunity will make them eligible to work with professional directors and producers and to be considered for several recognitions, including a $10,000 college scholarship.
Musco and Meany were selected for this honor on Sunday, June 4, at the Broadway Star of the Future Awards Showcase in Ferguson Hall. Tampa Bay area high school musical theater students and programs were celebrated at this impressive Tony Awards® inspired extravaganza, which featured student talent and musical numbers representing the best of the 2016-17 high school productions. The highest prizes, Best Actor and Actress, were awarded to Musco and Meany, representing H.B. Plant High and Alonso High, respectively. Both will represent the Straz Center in the 2017 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, known as The Jimmys® on June 26 at Minskoff Theatre.
Meany, 18, has been a Patel Conservatory student for several years and was awarded for his role in Big Fish as Will Bloom. Musco, 17, won for her portrayal of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and of Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. The Straz Center also awarded a $500 Spirit of the Straz college scholarship to Blake Royster from Clearwater Central Catholic for his strong work ethic and positivity during the rehearsal process.
The following schools received Outstanding Musical recognition: Clearwater Central Catholic High School for Godspell; Palm Harbor University High School for A Minister’s Wife and Cinderella; Berkeley Preparatory School for Into The Woods; Howard W. Blake School of the Arts for Violet; Alonso High School for Big Fish.
Throughout the school year, high school musical productions in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee Counties were reviewed by a team of theater professionals, college faculty and industry experts, who provided feedback. The most outstanding nominees were acknowledged at the Broadway Star of the Future Awards Showcase. The program’s goal is to provide experiences and opportunities for local high school students and faculty and to engage local families and community members in a celebration of educational theater.
This year’s Broadway Star of the Future Awards was hosted by Josh Grosso, who represented the Straz Center at the 2012 Jimmy® Awards and who won that year’s competition. He went on to earn a BFA in musical theater from Carnegie Mellon, and recently acted in Under the Bodhi Tree off Broadway.
Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, The Jimmys® are a national celebration of outstanding student achievement, recognizing individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance and elevating the importance of theater arts education in schools.
The accredited Patel Conservatory offers classes in dance, music and theater for students of all ages and experience levels. Each year, the Patel Conservatory and the Straz Center’s arts education programs enrich the lives of more than 70,000 students in our classrooms, on our stages and through the community.
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The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its programs are funded in part by the City of Tampa; the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners; the Tourist Development Council/Hillsborough County; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.