The Jerry Herman Awards is a local celebration dedicated to recognizing, encouraging, and rewarding achievements and excellence in high school musical theatre. Each year a group of people, known as our adjudicators, travel all over the Los Angeles area to evaluate the performances of each participating school. I asked our very own Michael Angel to share his experience as an adjudicator for The Jerry Herman Awards.
(Above Best Actor and Actress nominees open the 4th Annual Jerry Herman Awards)
I became a Jerry Herman Awards Adjudicator in our 2012-2013 season and I am still, to this day, so grateful for this experience. I believe that there are many wonderful steps we take in life, but the High School experience is incredibly memorable and can help form what you become in the future. Theatre has left the biggest stamp in my life and it continues to stick with me every day. In High School, we did not have any opportunities such as the Jerry Herman Awards and I am so glad that these students get to have a part of this experience, even if it’s just a small part. I am a huge advocate for theatre education in our schools, which is why I continue to contribute my time each and every year. These kids are the future of theatre and it is such a pleasure to watch and EXPERIENCE the energy and gifts they feed to the audience.
(Above Brianna Bryan and Joshua Velez compete for the title of Best Actor Actress)
Two of my fellow classmates, Andrew Chappelle and Corbin Bleu, have moved on to star in films and on Broadway in “High School Musical, “In the Heights”, “Mamma Mia!” and “Hamilton”. This just proves that you never know where these high school kids will end up and that is very exciting to me! The future is so bright. The talent is so impressive and these kids continue to blow me away each year.
(Below on left Chaminade Preperatory School performs a number from Beauty and The Beast; Below on right New Community Jewish High School performs a number from Spelling Bee)
(Above on left Oak Park High School performs a number from Evita; Above on right Palos Verdes Peninsula High School performs a number from Young Frankenstein)
These students get to perform on the stage of the HOLLYWOOD PANTAGES THEATRE! How fantastic is that?! That fact alone is so rewarding to the students and it is truly something special. If you get the chance, I would highly suggest attending a show at your local high school or the actual Jerry Herman Awards at the end of our season. These kids work so hard and they are all so proud of everything they have put together for their audience. One of most rewarding things that I experience is when I get to talk to a teacher or student and they thank me for my time, with such joy on their faces. It shows that they do appreciate our time and this experience and THAT is why I do what I do.
For more information about The Jerry Herman Awards and how you can participate, visit our website CLICK HERE.