May 21, 2018

Playhouse Square Holds Third Annual Dazzle Awards; Awards Given in 14 Categories

With the aim of inspiring performance and recognizing the importance of musical theater and arts education in Northeast Ohio high schools, Playhouse Square proudly held the third annual Dazzle Awards presented by Patricia & John Chapman on Saturday, May 19. The Dazzle Awards are affiliated with the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (“The Jimmy Awards”) presented by The Broadway League Foundation.

This regional program offered arts education opportunities throughout the school year and culminated with an awards showcase staged by Broadway director/choreographer Rommy Sandhu and hosted by Todd Meany of Cleveland’s Own Fox 8. 250 students performed in fully choreographed opening and closing numbers. Each school nominated in the Connor Family Best Musical categories performed a song from their musical in full make-up and costumes, and the John and Patricia Chapman Best Actor and Actress nominees performed together.

Prior to start of the show, students walked the “PNC Red Carpet” as they entered the Connor Palace. Student reporters representing participating high schools interviewed and photographed their classmates for school news programs, newspapers, social media channels and yearbooks.

Throughout the evening, Dazzle Awards were presented to outstanding musical theater productions and students in 14 categories, including the new “Spirit of the Dazzle Awards” category, awarded to the student who most embodies camaraderie, passion and an infectiously positive attitude throughout rehearsal week as identified by the Dazzle Awards creative team.

The 2018 Dazzle Awards recipients are:

The Nancy and A.J. Stokes Best Student Orchestra

Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC, Chicago

Best Scenic Design

Solon High School, The Secret Garden

The Nancy and A.J. Stokes Best Technical Execution

Solon High School, The Secret Garden

Best Costume Design

Rocky River High School, Monty Python’s Spamalot

Best Choreography Execution

Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC, Chicago

Best Ensemble/Chorus

Euclid High School, In the Heights

The John and Patricia Chapman Best Featured Performer

Miraya Russell, CMSD All-City Arts Program (‘Nautica’ in Bring It On)
Miraya won a Best Supporting Actress Dazzle Award last year for her portrayal of ‘Addaperle’ in The Wiz.

The John and Patricia Chapman Best Supporting Actress

Brianna Mosley, Mayfield High School (‘Flotsam’ in The Little Mermaid)

The John and Patricia Chapman Best Supporting Actor

Stephen Hall, CMSD All-City Arts Program (‘La Cienega’ in Bring It On)

The Connor Family Best Musical (Tier 1 – Budget less than $10,000)

Rocky River High School, Monty Python’s Spamalot
(Rocky River also won the 2016 and 2017 Dazzle Awards in this category.)

The Connor Family Best Musical (Tier 2 – Budget $10,000 or more)

Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC, Chicago

The Spirit of the Dazzle Awards

Payton St. John, Magnificat High School

The John and Patricia Chapman Best Actress

Reyna Moran, Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLE (‘Velma Kelly’ in Chicago)
Reyna won in this category last year for her portrayal of Vanessa in In the Heights.

The John and Patricia Chapman Best Actor

J.R. Heckman, Solon High School (‘Archibald Craven’ in The Secret Garden)
J.R. won in this category in 2016 for his portrayal of Donkey in Shrek the Musical.

The Connor Family awarded $1000 to the recipients of The Connor Family Best Musical Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories, Rocky River and Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC, for use toward their next high school musical productions.

As recipients of the John and Patricia Chapman Best Actress and Actor Awards, Reyna Moran (senior) and J.R. Heckman (junior) will represent Northeast Ohio at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (“The Jimmy Awards”) on June 25. Playhouse Square presented Reyna and J.R. each with checks for $1500.

Public and private high schools located in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit Counties were invited to apply for participation in the Dazzle Awards. Information and applications for the 2018 Dazzle Awards will be available online at playhousesquare.org/dazzleawards in late summer.

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The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA) program impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theater competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions to New York for a week-long theater intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on Broadway. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships. The tenth annual Jimmy® Awards will take place on Monday, June 25, 2018 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Coaching and rehearsals for this one-of-a-kind event will be held Monday, June 18, 2018 through Monday, June 25, 2018 in New York City. For more information, please visit JimmyAwards.com.