School Bulletin: Wauwatosa theater programs earn state spotlight

School Bulletin: Wauwatosa theater programs earn state spotlight

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Hometown theater students will take another bow this month after receiving several honors at the state level.

"It's a real team effort," Adam Steffan, Theatre Director of Wauwatosa West High School, said.

The Jerry Awards recognize excellence in Wisconsin's theater programs. It's like the Tony Awards, but for student performances.

This year, Wauwatosa East and West high schools each received several Jerry Awards, and West earned the top prize. Its production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" was named the "Outstanding Musical." The choreography, costumes and lighting also received high praise from the judging committee.

For Steffan, it's a testament to the hard work of everyone on stage and behind the scenes, but the program he leads is also about building opportunities and making connections.

"I work with students who have done tons of shows and are real theater kids, but some students have never done a show before," Steffan said. "I welcome those students as well to help create that really meaningful experience."

In recent years, the kids have performed "Into the Woods," "A Chorus Line," "Cats" and more. Steffan said some students have kept performing after high school, but the program's mission is also to foster a lifelong love of the arts.

"I think creating a place where students feel comfortable being themselves is really important," Steffan said.

On Sunday, June 11, the Wauwatosa West students will perform "Cinderella" again as part of the Jerry Awards celebration ceremony at the Overture Center of the Arts in Madison. Then in November, the school will be the first in Wisconsin to perform "Disney's Frozen: The Broadway Musical."

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