“We’ll see you here next year for the 20th Annual Freddy Awards.”
With that, State Theater President and CEO Shelley Brown closed Thursday the second consecutive year of a Freddy Awards experience unlike the first 17 editions.
Once again, the Easton Center for the Arts was unable to assess and honor the musical theater productions and performers at Lehigh Valley High School for the annual awards show which began in 2003.
Instead, the state partnered with WFMZ-TV 69 for a celebration of the prepackaged Freddy Awards.
The 90-minute TV show featured musical numbers, recorded a week ago as students gathered for masked and socially distant performances in the parking lot atop the State Theater, around the exterior of the building and at the interior of the venerable arts center.
The celebration also aired clips from local musical theater performances from this school year, as well as highlights from past Freddy Awards nights.
Brown acknowledged that it was another tough year for the performers, choreographers, directors, backstage workers, supporters and more who make high school musical theater possible.
“The pandemic restrictions will again impede our assessment process, so this will be another creative year,” Brown told freddyawards.org. “Through our partnership with WFMZ, we will continue to produce a television special that celebrates the work of high school students, but we will not be able to rate high school programming in our traditional way.
Eve Russo, on-air WFMZ personality, noted that this year’s awards still distribute more than $ 200,000 in scholarships, and urged those who support the local high school musical theater to donate for them. price at freddyawards.org.
The scholarship winners are as follows, according to Jamie Balliet, senior vice president of marketing at the State Theater:
- University of West Virginia – Marcus Shin, Parkland High School
- Muhlenburg College – Kyle Barkis, Emmaus High School
- DeSales University – Ellie Higgins, Warren Hills Regional High School
- Northampton Community College – Anna Soldano, Nazareth Area High School
- Ballet Guild of Lehigh Valley / Pennsylvania Ballet Guild – Zoe Breininger, Parkland High School and Madison Evans, Salem Christian School
the the awards are nominated for J. Fred Osterstock, director of the company which owned the theater from 1936 to 1965 and whose appearance has reportedly been seen many times in the years since.
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Kurt Bresswein can be reached at [email protected].