MECHANICSBURG – For four consecutive school 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 each community’s productions. The program is organized through the Office of Education and Engagement at Dayton Live (formerly the Victoria Theatre Association), based in Dayton. MVHSTA is also one of 46 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 “The Addams Family” 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, and in turn nominates the show for possible awards at the MVHSTA Showcase, held annually in June.
For the 2021-2022 school year, MVHSTA adjudicated 21 plays and 20 musicals that were produced at 21 participating high schools from across the Miami Valley. Mechanicsburg High School’s musical was adjudicated by trained 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 Awards Showcase on June 7 at the Benjamin & Marian Performing Arts Center in Dayton:
· Emry Acton: merit award for lead actress in a musical (Wednesday Addams)
· JL Blanton: merit award for supporting actor in a musical (Uncle Fester)
· Lilly Marsh: merit award for supporting actress in a musical (Alice Beineke)
Each student who was honored received a certificate and medal. In addition to these honors, both Acton and Taylor Miller (Morticia Addams) were invited to perform on stage at the Schuster Center as a part of the Showcase. Acton, who just finished her senior year, will be attending Kent State University in the fall, majoring in musical theatre. Marsh and Miller have both just finished their junior year at MHS, and Blanton his sophomore year.
“During these few years of the new musical theatre program at Mechanicsburg High School, we have been blessed with some truly remarkable talent,” said Matthew Smith, director of the spring musical at Mechanicsburg High School. “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.”
Amy Marsh, who works as the producer for the musical, 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 mvhsta.org.
Information from Mechanicsburg schools