Theatre Night Awards

Theatre Night Awards recognizes excellence in the production of high school and middle school straight plays throughout New Jersey.

Our Mission

Our goal is to promote and advance the commitment to high quality straight play production in New Jersey’s secondary schools. The awards honor the accomplishments of individual achievement of both students and educators in the areas of performance, direction, design, and technical theatre, as well as outstanding productions in the following genres: Drama, Comedy, Classical, and New Work.

We endeavor to raise the bar in the area of straight play production in New Jersey schools. Theatre Night Awards has positively affected the level of directing, acting, design, and production work in straight plays. Educators are choosing from a wider and more sophisticated range of plays for production and are experimenting with updated methods and styles of staging plays.

By rewarding challenging choices in the production of new plays and classics, we have observed that more school theatre programs are producing Greek and Shakespeare plays, challenging works by such modern writers as Bertolt Brecht, Brian Friel, Arthur Miller, George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart, as well as new plays and original works.

Our History

Theatre Night Awards has been an increasingly significant and well-attended event each year since its inception in 2009. Theatre and Dance Department professor Susan Kerner and Mahwah High School teacher JoAnne Fox conceived the event to provide a balance for the popularity of the high school musical and its celebration at well-established awards ceremonies in New Jersey and the region.

The event is a positive educationally based community building experience.  Students are able to share their work with other students and to be recognized outside their own high schools.  This outside recognition has direct benefits for students and teachers in districts throughout the state.  In a time when theatre arts programs are in peril this outside recognition helps maintain and even build quality high school theatre programs.  

Message from the Directors:

Hello Colleagues!

Well, it’s been another great season of work from the educational theatre community of New Jersey!  Please find below the listings of all the nominations for the 2015-2016 Foxy Awards—Theatre Night Awards at Montclair State University.

2015_2016 Theatre Night Awards Final Nomination List

We can’t wait to see you and your students on Monday, May 16th at Memorial Auditorium at 7:00 PM!

Below are some instructions for going forward with scenes, student testimonials, and backstage helpers.

90 Second Scenes

 Please note: all productions nominated in the following categories are eligible to submit a 90 second scene to Professor Susan Kerner by May 2nd, to be performed by your kids on the evening of May 16th at the ceremony.

They are: Outstanding Production of a Comedy; Drama, Classical, or Innovative Work; and Middle School Production.
PLEASE-no more than three students per scene. Please cut the scene and time it before you send it to Susan. Please include the names of the students who will be performing, as we need their name for ticketing purposes.

Scenes chosen by Professor Kerner will need to check in on Monday, May 16th no later than 3:30 for a rehearsal.  We appreciate time constraints and great distances, so please plan accordingly.

Here is her e-mail:

Please copy me on it as well:

And Christina Cruz:


Should you opt not to submit a scene (crazy time of year, we get it), but your kids would like to submit a video where they speak to the rehearsal process, doing theatre, specifics about how doing this particular play effected their community, they are welcome to do so!

Please submit it no later (this must be firm date, I’m afraid), than May 2nd.

Please submit these to me at



So, you have a student that you trust with your keys?!  We need ‘em!  Seeking terrific junior stage manager types that can follow direction, self-start, and not gossip and flirt on headset! Seriously, mature and thoughtful students only. Please submit a short recommendation e-mail to me by

May 2nd at



Tickets for students and parents for Theatre Night Awards are available



Thank you again everyone for your time, patient, and passionate commitment to making art and telling stories with young people. It matters.


The Theatre Night Awards Senior Production Team

Christina Cruz, Robin Irwin, and Susan Kerner

Have you been nominated for an Award?

If so, you are invited to:

MSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance Presents:

The 8th Annual Theatre Night Awards

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 7:00pm

 Memorial Auditorium

Please use the link below to purchase your tickets for the 8th Annual Theatre Night Awards. All tickets are general admission. Seating is reserved on a first come, first serve basis the night of the event.

Keyword TNA2016