MTW awards thousands in scholarships to area teens

Several area students among the recipients

Musical Theatre West 2021 Scholarship Winners at the 2021 Footlighters Luncheon.

Musical Theatre West (MTW) recently recognizes the outstanding musical theatre achievements of fourteen high school students from Los Angeles County and Orange County with scholarships for the upcoming 2022-2023 year. On Saturday, June 25, each student was recognized with a $1,000 USD scholarship and performed LIVE at the MTW Footlighters Luncheon outdoors in Long Beach.

“Many of our awarded students have attended premiere musical theater programs across the country and each year the talent continues to astound us,” shared Musical Theatre West Executive Director and Producer Paul Garman. “It is with great pride that we reward and encourage the development of careers in the performing arts. The arts are such a critical part of a student’s overall education as well as continued personal development.”

Each year, the MTW Footlighters award scholarships to local high school students. Since the program’s inception in 2005, over $120,000 in scholarships have been awarded to deserving students. Many scholarship recipients go on to pursue careers in the performing arts, including 2010 scholarship winner Kyle Selig. Selig went on to win Best Actor in the National High School Scholarship aka the Jimmy Awards that same year in New York and has since starred in The Book of Mormon and Mean Girls on Broadway.

This year, MTW awarded scholarships in Technical Theatre and Dance for the first time, as well as adding two new scholarships: the Stevi Meredith Scholarship and the Jane Netherton Scholarship. MTW also grew its Mentorship Program, which connects scholarship winners from previous years with the newest awardees, fostering a community of emerging theatre artists.

In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship, students must be nominated by their performing arts teachers, followed by an audition in front of executives from MTW and other musical theater professionals. After much deliberation upon seeing all the talented students nominated this season, MTW would like to congratulate the 2022 Scholarship winners listed below:

• Scarlet Bailey, Palos Verdes High School

• Nick Daniel, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts

• Neela David, Palos Verdes High School

• Ruby Denmion, Wilson High School

• Caiden Falstrup-Finney, Palos Verdes High School

• Angelina Garcia, St. Anthony High School

• Naomi Groleau, Orange County School of the Arts

• Amanda Guevara-Blanco, Los Alamitos High School

• Haven Hanson, Orange County School of the Arts

• Brock Lichthardt, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts

• MJ Ordinario, Bellflower High School

• Jordan Spena, Orange County School for the Arts

• Natalia Vassilian, Tesoro High School

• Landon Wouters, Orange County School of the Arts

About Musical Theatre West

The story of Musical Theatre West is the 70-year journey from a group of volunteers performing in a high school auditorium to one of the largest and most respected theatrical production companies in Southern California. Utilizing professional talent and producing regional and even world premiere musicals while continuing to honor the tradition of classic musical theatre, MTW is the largest arts producer in the Long Beach area. The company continues to receive critical acclaim and national recognition – and many performers who cut their teeth on the MTW stage have gone on to successful careers on Broadway and in television and film. Just as importantly, stage and screen veterans now come to Musical Theatre West to perform, finding it to be one of the friendliest and most fun venues to work in. A key aspect of the company is its dedication to education, and the Education and Outreach Programs of Musical Theatre West bring the joy and magic of musical theater to over 17,000 children each year through special morning performances, traveling shows and school assemblies, and the Summer Youth Conservatory. Musical Theatre West has a mission to enrich the community with Broadway-quality productions, preserve musical theatre as a unique American art form, and expose people of all backgrounds to the excitement of musical theatre.