Overture Announces 2018 Jerry Award Recipients
Overture Center for the Arts announced the 2017/18 Jerry Award recipients who will be honored at the Awards Show on Sunday, June 10, 2018. Each of the 89 participating schools/community theaters received an award and have an opportunity to participate in the award ceremony.
“Each year as the program progresses, the newly added and alumni schools continue to amaze us and what we award in excellence grows,” said program founder Tim Sauers, Overture’s vice president of programming and community engagement. “We are very pleased at what we’re honoring – from schools of all sizes, cities of ranging populations and school musical budgets across the board. All of the participating schools strive for excellence whether they’re performing classic or contemporary titles, which we’re proud to bring to the Overture Hall stage for the award show in celebration of the hard work and accomplishments of the students, directors, designers and community that supports this work.”
Overture’s Jerry Awards program encourages, recognizes and honors excellence in high school musical theater since 2009/10. Throughout this time, the program has grown into one that is recognized nationally and several recipients have grown into career musical theater professionals.
Participation Statistics for the 2017/18 Season:
- 95 productions
- 89 schools/community theater organizations
- 42 schools are represented in the 57 Outstanding Lead Performance Award recipients
- 30 counties
- 35 reviewers (three reviewers attended each production)
- 450+ students performing in annual awards show in Overture Hall
- 95,000 people involved in the Tommy Awards through engagement with their local high school musical
In honoring excellence, there are multiple award recipients in each award category, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Orchestra, Outstanding Leading Performance, Outstanding Supporting Performance, Outstanding Dance Performance, and Outstanding Musical Direction.
The 2017/18 season saw the highest number of Spirit Award recipients in program history with the opportunity for 93 students from 83 schools to participate in the June 10 Awards Show. Spirit Award Recipients are selected by their peers in their cast and honors the cast or crew member who is the heart and soul of their production inspiring others and stepping up to take the lead. The Spirit Award Group performance in the Awards Show is always an audience favorite.
Group numbers & Performances at the Awards Show by:
Jerry Ensemble (Central WI and Southern WI Ensembles) with the Opening Number
- New this year is the Central Wi Ensemble run by program partner The Grand Theater
Outstanding Supporting and Dance performers will perform “Finale” from Something Rotten, number will be choreographed by Karl Miller
Outstanding Lead, Supporting and Dance performers will perform “Embrace Your Inner Geek” from Band Geeks, number will be choreographed by Marsha Heuer
Spirit Award and Youth Performance Award Recipients will perform “We’re All Made of Stars” from Finding Neverland, number will be choreographed by Sabra Michelle
Outstanding Lead Performance recipients will each perform a 32-bar (max of 1min long) solo
Outstanding Musical recipients will each perform a four-minute medley
Outstanding Musical Distribution Throughout Wisconsin:
Seven of the 18 schools are receiving their first Outstanding Musical Award*
Wausau Area: (One of 10 in region)
*Antigo High School – How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying
La Crosse Area: (One of five in region)
*Aquinas High School – Godspell
Milwaukee Area: (Eight out of 42 in region)
*Bradford High School – Next to Normal
Dominican High School – Big Fish
*Greendale High School – Oklahoma!
New Berlin Eisenhower High School – Into the Woods
*Nicolet High School – The Addams Family
Oconomowoc High School – Cabaret
Wauwatosa West – Chicago
Whitefish Bay High School – Legally Blonde
Madison Area: (Seven of 34 in region)
Edgewood High School – She Loves Me
*Lake Mills High School – The Drowsy Chaperone
Monona Grove High School – Crazy For You
Parker High School – Disney’s Beauty & the Beast
Parker High School – Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
St. Ambrose Academy – Mary Poppins
Sun Prairie High School – Seussical The Musical
*Verona Area Community Theater – Hairspray
In April, Overture Center announced today that the high school musical theater awards program was renamed “The Jerry Awards” (aka “The Jerrys”) for local philanthropist and arts supporter W. Jerome Frautschi. In 1997, Frautschi, a fifth-generation Madisonian, and Rowland commissioned Madison’s new arts center by pledging $50 million to build what he called Overture Center for the Arts. Two years later, he pledged another $50 million. When all was said and done, he had donated $205 million — one of the largest single gift to the arts in American history to date.
Overture Center is pleased to collaborate with the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and The Grand Theater, expanding the reach of the Jerry Awards to the greater Milwaukee and Wausau area schools.
Overture and Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) will partner again this year and a one-hour program featuring performances from the upcoming awards show in June will be aired in fall of 2018. This partnership is a part of WPT’s Young Performers Initiative which celebrates Wisconsin’s young artists and those who inspire them.
This program is supported in part by American Girl’s Fund for Children, A. Paul Jones Charitable Trust, Kuehn Family Foundation, Wahlin Foundation LLC on behalf of Stoughton Trailers, Milwaukee Bucks, Konya and Matt Schuh, and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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