Rising Star

Michigan teen represents Wharton Center in national competition


Antonio Cipriano represented the Wharton Center for Performing Arts Monday, June 26 at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, or “Jimmy Awards.” Presented by The Broadway League Foundation in New York City, the award show recognizes high school students for outstanding student achievement, highlights individual artistry in vocal, dance, and acting performance and makes known the importance of theatre arts education in schools.

Seventy-two high school students from 37 regional programs across America, including Cipriano from University Liggett School, competed for the “Jimmy” for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress at the ninth annual presentation.

Cipriano collected the Sutton Foster Ovation Award as one of six finalists, and received a $2,500 scholarship from the Barry and Fran Weissler Foundation to go towards his future education.

The panel of judges to select the various winners included notable theatre professionals such as Tony Award-winning producers and industry professionals such as Kent Gash, Montego Glover, Rachel Hoffman, Kevin McCollum, Alecia Parker, Tara Rubin, Bernard Telsey, and Charlotte Wilcox. Additional judges during the week were Paul Canaan, Wayne Cilento, Stephanie Klapper, Cesar Rocha, and Tara Rubin.

Each of the 74 nominees performed in a talent showcase for the audience, with select finalists showing off in solos on the Broadway stage. This followed eight days of rehearsals led by the New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama and other professionals.

Cipriano, 17, boasts an impressive resume of actor, performer and musician. His album “Never Gonna Be the Same” is available on his website along with many music videos.


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