Two Center Stage students advance to National High School Musical Theatre Awards


The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is proud to announce the recipients of the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards Best Actor and Best Actress recognition. Matthew Wautier of Green Bay Southwest High School and Kyra Hietpas of Little Chute High School will represent the program at The Jimmy Awards®/National High School Musical Theatre Awards® this June. 

Nominated for their leading performances at their high schools and chosen through a separate process at the Center, they will represent the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards at the national level and have the opportunity to learn from professionals in a week of workshops, compete for scholarships and perform on stage at the Minskoff Theatre (currently the Broadway home to Disney’s The Lion King). 

Kyra Hietpas was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress for her role as Gertrude McFuzz in Little Chute's production of Seussical. Hietpas is a senior at Little Chute High School with plans to study Music Education at Carroll University in the fall. 

Matthew Wautier was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actor for his role as Ren in Green Bay Southwest's production of Footloose. Wautier is a senior at Green Bay Southwest High School with plans to study Musical Theater at UW-Stevens Point in the fall.

Throughout the 2018-19 school year, 17 local high schools have participated in the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards program, an education initiative that celebrates and supports the achievements of high school theater programs in Northeastern Wisconsin.

During the program year, participating students had the opportunity to attend seven workshops with professional artists at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and had the opportunity to ask questions and explore different aspects of theater, giving them a deeper understanding of the live performing arts industry.

A team of trained adjudicators attended the participating schools' musical productions and provided educational feedback. Scores for each production were tabulated and the top qualifiers were recognized with an award in their category at the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards on May 18.  

This year's participating high schools included: Ashwaubenon, Brillion, Denmark, Fond du Lac, Fox Valley Lutheran, Green Bay East, Green Bay Preble, Green Bay Southwest, Green Bay West, Hortonville, Kaukauna, Little Chute, Luxemburg-Casco, Mishicot, Neenah, St. Mary Catholic and Winnebago Lutheran Academy.

The Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards program is an educational initiative of the Fox Cities P.A.C. with support from corporate partner Fox Communities Credit Union.

Additional partners in this program include Nicolet National Bank, Angelo and Jennifer Ninivaggi, Schneider Foundation, WE Energies Foundation and Wipfli. 

Grant support for the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards program is provided by Octoberfest, an event of the Fox Cities Chamber and by Jewelers Mutual Charitable Giving Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

Center programming is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and National Endowment for the Arts.

Programs like the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Awards are also supported in part by contributions to the Center's Annual Partner Campaign. 

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions to New York for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on Broadway. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships. The tenth annual Jimmy Awards® will take place on Monday, June 24, 2019 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Coaching and rehearsals for this one-of-a-kind event will be held Monday, June 17, 2019 through Monday, June 24, 2019 in New York City. For more information, please visit

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