Mechanicsburg High School musical receives awards


Submitted story

MECHANICSBURG – For six consecutive years, Mechanicsburg High School has been a participant in the Miami Valley High School Theatre Awards (MVHSTA), a program designed to celebrate, support, and advocate for high school theatre education throughout the Miami Valley region.

The MVHSTAs celebrate high school plays, musicals, students, and educators by formally recognizing the extraordinary achievements of our community’s productions. The program is organized through Dayton Live, based in Dayton, Ohio. MVHSTA is also one of 51 regional high school musical theatre competitions to team up with The Jimmy Awards, or the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, giving area students the opportunity to travel to New York City to compete on a national level.

In March of this year, Mechanicsburg High School staged “Fiddler on the Roof” as its spring musical, which was submitted for adjudication through MVHSTA. This allows the actors and directors to receive scores and comments based on all aspects of the production. Based on results of adjudication, a show could be presented with awards at the MVHSTA Showcase, held annually in late spring.

For the 2023-2024 school year, MVHSTA adjudicated 27 plays and 31 musicals that were produced at 30 participating high schools from across the Miami Valley. Mechanicsburg High School’s musical was adjudicated by theatre professionals from the region during the show’s run.

Based on the scores and comments given by three separate adjudicators, several honors were presented at this year’s MVHSTA Showcase on Thursday, May 30, at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton:

*Jon Luke Blanton: outstanding lead actor in a musical (Tevye)

*Cambryn Tom: merit award for student choreographer

*Jasalyn Sartin: merit award for featured dancer in a musical

*Robert Righter: merit award for supporting actor in a musical (Perchik)

*Lily Sorensen: outstanding featured student musician (The Fiddler)

*Aila Bradley: merit award for supporting actress in a musical (Tzeitel)

Overall Production: merit award

Each student, as well as the overall production, received a certificate and medal. In addition, Blanton was honored with a solo performance on the stage of the Schuster Center and was a finalist for a nomination to the Jimmy Awards.

Both Righter and Ava Johnson (Yente) were invited to perform as a part of the opening and closing acts at the Showcase. Blanton, Tom, and Sartin have just finished their senior year at MHS. Righter and Johnson have just finished their junior year, and Bradley and Sorensen their freshman year.

“We have been blessed with some truly remarkable talent at Mechanicsburg High School,” said Matthew Smith, director of the spring musical. “We decided to participate in the MVHSTAs to showcase the work being done in musical theatre at MHS, and these students are wonderful ambassadors for that work. We are so thankful to the parents, community members, and administration who support the theatre program at Mechanicsburg High School.”

Amy Marsh teaches fifth grade, is the producer of the musicals, and teaches theatre at MHS. She expanded on participation in the MVHSTAs: “It is important to us as a production team to highlight the value of theatre education in our school district, and to give our very worthy students an additional opportunity to shine and be recognized for the incredible work that they are doing. We are so proud of these students.”

For more information on the MVHSTA program, visit

Info from Matthew Smith

No posts to display