It’s an honor just to be nominated.
The Metropolitan High School Theater Awards — honoring participating productions in across the Lower Hudson Valley — will return June 1 to Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, marking the end of the high school musical season that is now just beginning.
A week later, the Tony Awards will honor Broadway’s best, and this year a theater teacher will take home a Tony of their very own.
Only schools that enter their productions are judged for the Metros, which this year adds schools in Putnam County to its list of eligible productions. In past years, schools were limited to Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties.
Three judges are dispatched to each production, evaluating work in 28 categories, from lobby display and graphic design to the top honor, outstanding overall production.
Last year, 36 schools participated and the winner for overall production was Bergen’s Fair Lawn High School for “Cabaret.”
Westchester and Rockland were well-represented in the acting categories: Pleasantville’s James McCarthy was named outstanding actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Frenchman Emile de Becque in “South Pacific”; Stepinac’s Christine Turturro was named outstanding actress in a leading role as the practically perfect nanny in “Mary Poppins”; Rye Neck’s Justin Sturgis won for actor in a supporting role as Donkey in “Shrek”; and Tappan Zee’s Siobhan Noonan won for best supporting actress as Mrs. Paroo in “The Music Man.”
The Journal News Media Group is the media sponsor of the Metros and will once again webcast the nominations, pre-show red-carpet interviews and the ceremony live.
Qualified judges can apply, and schools can enter the Metros, at the Metropolitan High School Theater Awards website
The Tonys and Carnegie Mellon University announced this month that they’re taking nominations for the inaugural “Excellence in Theatre Education Award” for one current theater teacher in K-12 or community theater in the U.S. The announcement says: “he or she must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to and/or includes aspects of theatre education.” See the award criteria and nominate a teacher.
Teachers can nominate themselves or be nominated by students or their audiences. The application requires a form, photo, three letters of reference, and supporting materials (either a video of less than three minutes or a 500-word essay). The deadline is 11:59 p.m. March 31.
The winner gets a $10,000 donation to his or her school, a flight to New York, a hotel stay and a pair of tickets to the Tonys, to be held June 7 at Radio City Music Hall and televised on CBS. Finalists get a flight to New York to attend a pre-Tony event and $1,000 for their school.
This won’t be an edge-of-the-seat honor; the winner will know before arriving in New York whether he or she has won. The Tonys are suggesting people take to social media to praise their teachers, with the hashtag #nominatemyteacher.
Photo: Overall production nominee Rye Neck High School performs a number from “Shrek the Musical” at the 2014 Metro Awards at Stepinac High School in White Plains. Rye Neck’s 2015 musical is “The Music Man,” running Feb. 26-28. Photo by Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News