Newark High School’s spring musical production, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” recently won awards and recognition at Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s 20th annual Stars of Tomorrow recognition ceremony at Auditorium Theatre in Rochester.
Newark’s awards in Division B included outstanding dance ensemble, outstanding supporting actor for Jaston Brooks as Cookie McGee, outstanding supporting actress for Natalie Acquista as Jeannie Muldoon and Lindsay Whiting as Eileen Evergreen and adjudicator’s tip of the hat to stage managers Amanda Williams and Kayla Williams.
Newark is one of five schools to participate in Stars of Tomorrow for 20 consecutive years. RBTL awarded the theater program with a $1,000 check to acknowledge their participation.
“I am incredibly proud of our musical, and especially want to congratulate our individual winners,” said Emily Howard, director and choreographer. “Receiving the dance ensemble acknowledgment was a real source of pride, because I know how hard our cast worked to learn to tap dance for this show.
“I am beyond grateful to RBTL for their very generous gift to our program of $1,000. This was a true full circle experience for me as a director at Newark. I was a senior at NHS when the Stars of Tomorrow program began. I represented Newark in the opening number, and was acknowledged in the supporting actress category. Now, 20 years later, I stood on stage again to accept an award on behalf of our theater program. I am so thankful that Jean Bendix said ‘yes’ to participating in Stars of Tomorrow 20 years ago. I am proud to continue to offer this opportunity to our students, and look forward to growing our theater program for many years to come here at Newark.”
NHS vocal music teacher Kate Flock served as vocal director for the show. NHS instrumental music teacher Bob Humphrey was the pit band director, and Mary Lou Bonnell was the piano accompanist.
The jewel of RBTL’s education programs, Stars of Tomorrow gives recognition to high school musicals and its performing arts students in a nine-county area.
Participating schools are divided into four divisions based on population and geographic area. Judges are assigned to specific divisions to score individual schools in 10 categories: dance, acting and singing ensemble, supporting actor/actress, production crew, student orchestra, musical production and leading actor/actress.
At the annual recognition ceremony, participating schools performed a selection from their musical on stage. The event started with an opening production number starring performers from each participating school. NHS students Isabella Bailey, Benjamin Cepulo, Madison Chandler, Carson Jordan, Deborah Szarek and Medina VanDuyne participated in the opening number.