Awards

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.

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 and Moss Hart, as well as new plays and original works.

For the first time in Theatre Night Awards history, we will be accepting musicals as long as they were performed and recorded after January 1, 2020. Because of the difficult nature of producing theatrical work while following COVID-19 restrictions, we have decided to make this change for this year only.

We will be evaluating musicals based off of direction, technical elements, choreography, acting ability and ensemble work. Vocal quality and technique will not be considered when evaluating performers.

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.

Theatre Night Awards 2019-2020 was the first time we had a virtual ceremony. A broadway star studded event, the virtual ceremony was well-received by all and made local headlines. We are happy to announce that we will have a virtual ceremony again this year for the 2021-2022 season, and that we can continue to support, promote and give a platform to the arts in middle and high schools during these difficult times. 

To see our 2020-2021 ceremony, please click the links below:

Outcomes

There is a significant ripple effect that results from Theatre Night Awards. In addition to many individuals receiving well-deserved recognition for their commitment to excellence in play production, state legislators and district administrators take notice of the achievements of the talented students and educators in their communities and further appreciate the importance of supporting arts programming.

By sharing their work with peers throughout the state, students and teachers have the opportunity to observe and learn from the high standards, extraordinary creativity and risk-taking artistic choices made by outstanding theatre educators and their students.

Teachers participate in a valuable educational network that has developed as a result of the University’s professional development programs. Teachers and students are introduced to the excellent opportunities in the BA, BFA, and MA programs in the Theatre and Dance Department at Montclair State University. When theatre students arrive as freshmen or as graduate students at Montclair State, they encounter professors who are already familiar with their considerable achievements as theatre artists in their secondary school communities.

 

Theatre Night Awards Submission Guidelines

Theatre Night Awards Submission Guidelines

  • This year, we are accepting straight plays and musicals. 
  • Only the first 100 middle & high schools registered will be accepted.
  • Judging will be based on the submitted video performance of your theatrical production. You may submit your video via UNLISTED youtube link, vimeo link, weTransfer, or google drive link. 

Please see important dates below:

  • January 15, 2023: Last day to register productions. All registration fees due
  • February 1, 2023: Production videos, Director’s Notes, and nomination timestamps are due
  • April 15, 2023: Nominees are announced and tickets go on sale for the in-person awards ceremony
  • **May 16, 2023: Live Theatre Nights Awards Ceremony in Memorial Auditorium on MSU’s campus

**Please note that this date is TENTATIVE right now, but the ceremony will be on or around this date in May. 

RULE CHANGE: If you or a representative from your school cannot make the live ceremony, you will still be eligible to receive awards. More details on this to follow after nominations are announced.  

How to Register
    • The registration fee includes:
      • Rubrics and professional assessment of one theatrical production and 4 actors in that production
      • At least two nominations of recognition for each production submitted 
      • One complimentary ticket to the 2023 Theatre Night Awards Ceremony for the director of each production. Additional tickets may be purchased to the ceremony when tickets go on sale April 15, 2023. 
      • Access to a virtual version of the Theatre Night Awards Ceremony the day after the live ceremony for anyone who could not make the live ceremony.Fill out the registration form 

  • Link Submission
  • Please upload the video of your performance to YouTube, Google Drive, Vimeo, or WeTransfer. If using YouTube, please upload your performance to YouTube as an UNLISTED video to ensure the privacy of your performance. This can be done as your video is uploading or after it has uploaded. When made unlisted, only those who have the specific URL can access the video. The YouTube URLs will only be shared with the judging panel. Please do not make the videos public for copyright purposes. Please do not make the videos private because only the YouTube account holder responsible for the upload is able to see private videos.Please keep all videos accessible until the day after the awards ceremony as the judges sometimes need access to your productions up until the ceremony.  DVDs will NOT be accepted this year.

Director’s Notes Submission

Each year, we ask every director to submit Director’s Notes to share with us their dramaturgical research, inspiration, and rehearsal process. We also ask for every director to nominate 4 actors from their productions with timestamps of their actors’ performances as well as timestamps for key moments of their productions for the judges to evaluate. More details will be announced about the specifics for this year’s director’s notes and nomination submission.

  • Theatre Night Awards Deadlines
    • January 15, 2023 – Registration Online Form & Payment Deadline
    • February 15, 2023 – Link, Director’s Notes Submission, and Jo Anne Fox Nominations Deadline
    • April 15, 2023 – Nominations are announced. 
    • May 16, 2023 – The 2023 Theatre Night Recognition & Awards Ceremony
    • May 17, 2023 – All evaluations & winner certificates received via email

The Evaluation Process

Over 75 middle schools and high schools participate in the Theatre Night Awards every year. The theatrical works are evaluated by panels of Montclair State University graduate students, undergraduate theatre majors and professors as well as industry professionals. The nominees and recipients of the Theatre Night Awards are selected through a rigorous, multi-stage adjudication process.

Our Rubric

Each year, we reevaluate our rubric to best reflect the productions received this year. We will release our rubric ASAP, but until then, please feel free to review our rubric from 2019-2020.

Download the 2020 Theatre Night Awards Rating Sheet

The Jo Anne Fox Award

Mahwah High School theatre teacher Jo Anne Fox, co-founder of Theatre Night Awards, passed away suddenly shortly after the 1st Theatre Night Awards in 2009 following a rehearsal at her school. The Jo Anne Fox Award has been given in her memory for the past four years to a theatre teacher who is an inspiration to his/her students, whose passion for theatre is infectious, and who creates a community, a loving extended family in his/her school in the process of producing high quality productions. The trophy received by all award winners was dubbed the Foxy in 2014 in honor of the late Jo Anne Fox. In 2019, we split the Jo Anne Fox Award into two categories – Newcomer & Veteran. 

If you have registered for Theatre Night Awards, you are eligible to be nominated by your principal. 

2022-2023 Nominees

Nominees will be announced April 15, 2023. 

 

The Theatre Awards Ceremony History

Award nominations are posted in April, and teachers and students participate in preparing for the event by creating short videos, rehearsing selected moments for live presentation and purchasing tickets. Over nine hundred students, teachers and family members attended the 11th annual Theatre Night Awards in Memorial Auditorium on the Montclair State University campus. The 12th, 13th and 14th ceremonies were held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions and concerns. 

The 2022-2023 Theatre Night Awards Ceremony

The 2022-2023 Theatre Night Awards Ceremony

Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance Presents:

The 15th Annual Theatre Night Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 7:00 pm

The Theatre Awards Ceremony History

Award nominations are posted in April, and teachers and students participate in preparing for the event by creating short videos, rehearsing selected moments for live presentation and purchasing tickets. Over nine hundred students, teachers and family members attended the 11th annual Theatre Night Awards in Memorial Auditorium on the Montclair State University campus.

Our 12th Annual Theatre Night Awards was held virtually. The 13th Annual Theatre Night Awards will be held virtually as well. 

Over the years the event has become increasingly student-driven as well as influenced by the opportunities afforded by video technology. The event begins with a professionally produced video montage of exciting moments from all participating productions. Scattered throughout the evening short videos submitted by the teachers express the students’ meaningful personal and artistic growth through participation in their school productions. A highlight of the evening are collages of 90-second scenes chosen from productions identified as outstanding in several categories and rehearsed with Professor Susan Kerner on the day of the event.

Past presenters of the Theatre Night Awards have included stars of stage, screen and television.  Award-winning author and theatre critic Peter Filichia served as the emcee of the 2014-2022.  Montclair State alums and working actors presented awards to students and educators along with Broadway stars who presented awards to outstanding actors on video.

         Theatre Night Awards 2019-2020 was the first time we had a virtual ceremony and then             again for the 2020-2021 & 2021-2022 seasons. A broadway star studded event, the                   virtual ceremony was well-received by all and made local headlines. We are happy to                 announce that the ceremony will resume live for the 2022-2023 season. 

Contact Us

Please note that we do understand that many things can happen during the registration process, whether it be issues with your video, videographer, administration, payment, etc. In order for our reviewing process to go as smoothly as possible, please make sure to be in communication with us. That’s what we’re here for! If you need to contact us for any reason, please email Christina Cruz at theatrenightawards@gmail.com with any questions you may have. 

2021-2022 Winners

2021-2022 Winners

We’d like to personally thank you for the time, talent, and patience that have clearly gone into making theatre come alive and inspiring your communities.

View the 2021-2022 Foxy Award Winners

2020-2021 Winners

2020-2021 Winners

We’d like to personally thank you for the time, talent, and patience that have clearly gone into making theatre come alive and inspiring your communities.

View the 2020-2021 Foxy Award Winners

2019-2020 Winners

We’d like to personally thank you for the time, talent, and patience that have clearly gone into making theatre come alive and inspiring your communities.

View the 2019-2020 Foxy Award Winners
2018-2019 Winners

Superior Scoring Productions: 

Academy of the Holy Angels Peter and the Starcatcher
Bergen County Academies LLF: Don’t Trust the Boyz!
Cherry Hill High School East The Man Who Came to Dinner (Both Casts)
Church Hill Junior High Insanity of Mary Girard
Columbia High School Shakespeare in Love
Cranford High School The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Delbarton School Metamorphoses
Gloucester School of Technology The Scarlet Letter (Both Casts)
Hopewell Valley Central High School A Midsummer Night’s Dream
LCJSMS Our Town
Madison High School Clue: On Stage!
Mater Dei Prep Clue on Stage
Memorial High School Stand Up
Montclair Kimberley Academy Our Town
Montclair Kimberley Academy No Body Like Jimmy
Moorestown High School Theater Clue
Morris County School of Technology Mr. Burns a post-electric play by Anne Washburn
Mount Saint Dominic Academy A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

Mountain Lakes High School Pride & Prejudice
OCVTS-PAA Alice in Wonderland
Orange Avenue School The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Pascack Valley HS Brainstorm (Kiwi)
Pascack Valley HS Brainstorm (Kumquat)
Princeton Day School Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
Rahway High School The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Ramapo High School Peter/Wendy
Rancocas Valley Regional High School Stairs To The Roof
RIdge High School 12 Angry Jurors
Summit High School Peter and the Starcatcher
Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy Laramie Project
Verona High School The Secret in the Wings
Watchung Regional High School The Crucible
West Morris Central High School Mermaid
Westfield High School Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
2017-2018 Winners

FOXY WINNERS – Design and Technical Categories


Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Summit High School

Outstanding Achievement in Properties

You Can’t Take It With You

Pearl River High School

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

Who Will Carry the Word?

BCIT Medford

Pride & Prejudice

JP Stevens High School

Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design

Ghosts

Monmouth Regional High School

Outstanding Achievement in New Media/Special Effects

Girls Like That

Princeton Day School

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design

Antigone

Rahway High School

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography or Movement

The Curious Incident of The Dog at Night

West Morris High School

Outstanding Achievement in Stage Combat

Peter and The Starcatcher

Mountain Lakes High School

Outstanding Achievement in Stage Crew

Suite Surrender

Governor Livingston High School

Outstanding Achievement in Live or Original Music

Mother Courage

Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy

Peter and the Starcatcher

Union Catholic High

Excellence in Educational Impact and Community Outreach

Stan Cahill

Princeton Day School

Girls Like That

Outstanding Achievement in Stage Direction

Stephen Kaplan

Bergen County Academies

Elektra

The Peter Filichia Award for Pushing the Envelope in Academic Theatre

Beth Bauer

Memorial High School

Who We Are

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Comedy

James Zitelli

St. Joseph Regional High School

Rumors

Julian Mazzola

Westfield High School

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Comedy

Annika Helgeson

Ridge High School

Peter and the Starcatcher

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Liam Gerard

Montclair Kimberley Academy

Lost in Yonkers

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Emma Marsters

Peter and the Starcatcher

Ridge High School

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama

Lars Olsen

West Morris HS

The Curious Incident of The Dog at Night

Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress in a Drama

Juliet Van Dusen-Gross

Columbia High School

Alabama Story

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama

Connor Conlin

Bloomfield High School

The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama

Madeline Carlton

Picnic

Hopewell Valley Regional High School

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Classical Play

Mitchell Sink

Summit High School

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress in a Classical Play

Erin Manion

Summit High School

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Classical Play

Iain Jaeger

Morristown Beard

Sense and Sensibility

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Classical Play

Isabella Porraro

Morristown Beard High School

Sense and Sensibility

Outstanding Achievement by an Acting Ensemble of a Comedy

Peter and the Starcatcher

Ridge High School

Outstanding Achievement by an Acting Ensemble of a Drama

Picnic

Hopewell Valley Regional High School

Outstanding Achievement by an Acting Ensemble of a Classical Play

Elektra

Bergen County Academies

The New Heights

The Madwoman of Chaillot

Morris County VoTech

Outstanding Production of Middle School Play

The Government Inspector

Lawton C. Johnson SMS

Outstanding Work of Innovation and Invention

Who We Are

Memorial High School

Outstanding Production of Comedy

Rumors

St. Joseph Regional High School

Outstanding Production of a Drama

Dracula

Watchung High School

Outstanding Production of a Classical Play

Antigone

Rahway High School

Outstanding Overall Production of a High School Play

The Curious Incident of The Dog at Night

West Morris High School

Excellence in Dramaturgy

Tom & Merielle Lupfer

The Jo Anne Fox Award

Daniel Devlin

2016-2017 Winners

Did something special happen on the Montclair State University Campus on Monday, May 15th, 2017? It sure did! The best and brightest of New Jersey’s theatre educators, designers and young artists gathered in Memorial Auditorium to celebrate the phenomenal work of the 2016-2017 performing season. It is our distinct pleasure to encourage and recognize the passion, drive, and dedication of so many talented teachers, designers, and students!

Congratulations on another great season! We look forward to seeing what profound and fabulously creative theatre you generate in 2017-2018!

Tell stories! Create Art! And by all means; Stay Foxy!

Award Show School Recipient
Outstanding Achievement in Costume
Design
Stardust Morris County
VoTech School
Outstanding Achievement in Properties One Flew Over
the Cuckoo’s Nest
Moorestown High
School
Outstanding Achievement in Light
Design
Too Much
Light…Go Blind
BCTI Medford
Outstanding Achievement in Scenic
Design
You Can’t Take It
with You
Chatham High School
Outstanding Achievement in New
Medial/Special Effects
The Giver Lawton C. Johnson
Middle School
Outstanding Achievement in Sound
Design
Peter and the
Starcatcher
North Brunswick High
School
Outstanding Achievement in
Choreography or Movement
A Midsummer
Night’s Dream
Mountain Lakes High
School
Outstanding Achievement in Stage
Combat
Game of Tiaras Cranford High School
Outstanding Achievement in Stage
Crew
Noises Off Cranford High School
Outstanding Achievement in Live or
Original Music
Our Town Rahway High School
Excellence in Educational Impact and
Community Outreach
Charlotte’s Web Cedar Grove High
School
Outstanding Achievement in Stage
Direction
The Skin of Our
Teeth
Ocean County
Performing Arts
Academy
Douglas
Bollinger
The Peter Filichia Award for Pushing the
Envelope in Academic Theatre
Macbeth Princeton Day School Stan Cahill
Outstanding Performance by a
Lead
Actor in a Comedy
You Can’t Take It
with You
Summit High School Matt Wilson
Outstanding Performance by a Lead
Actress in a Comedy
The Skin of Our
Teeth
Ocean County
Performing Arts
Academy
Sarah Osman
Outstanding Performance by a
Supporting Actor in
a Comedy
Peter and the
Starcatcher
Mater Dei Prep Sean Mollicki
Outstanding Performance by a
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
You Can’t Take It
with You
Summit High School Anne Borzner
Outstanding Performance by a Lead
Actor in a Drama
August: Osage
County
Passaic Valley High
School
Alex Sanchez
Outstanding Performance by a Lead
Actor in a Drama
Ordinary People St. Joseph High School Chris Marzulla
Outstanding Performance by a Lead
Actress in a Drama
Irene’s Vow West Morris Central
High School
Kathryn Platt
Outstanding Performance by a
Supporting
Actor in a Drama
Dracula Arthur L. Johnson
High School
Anthony
Whitman
Outstanding Performance by a
Supporting Actress in a Drama
33 Variations Saddle River Day
School
Kat Katriel
Outstanding Performance by a Lead
Actor In a Classical Play
Hamlet JP Stevens High
School
Rutvik
Ashtikar
Outstanding Performance by a Lead
Actress in a Classical Play
Ondine County Prep High
School
Alexia
Velazquez
Outstanding Performance by a Lead
Actress in a Classical Play
Macbeth Morristown

Beard
School
Sydney
Morris
Outstanding Performance by a
Supporting Actor in a Classical
Play
Cymbeline Bergen County
Academies
Darien Fiorino
Outstanding Performance by a
Supporting Actress in a Classical Play
Romeo and Juliet Westfield High School Abigail
Connolly
Outstanding Achievement by an Acting
Ensemble of a Comedy
Noises Off Hopewell Valley High
School
Outstanding Achievement by an Acting
Ensemble of a Drama
Metamorphoses Pascack Valley High
School
Outstanding Achievement by an Acting
Ensemble of a Classical Play
Eurydice Northern Highlands
High School
Outstanding
Production of a Middle
School Play
The Miracle
Worker
Orange Avenue
School
The New Heights Award Rumors Montclair Kimberley
Academy
Outstanding Work of Innovation and
Invention
El Otro Lado Memorial High School Performing Arts
Academy
Outstanding
Production of a Comedy
Peter and the
Starcatcher
Mater Dei Prep
Outstanding Production of a Drama Irene’s Vow West Morris Central
High School
Outstanding Production of a Classical
Play
Cymbeline Bergen County
Academies
Outstanding Overall Production
of a
High School Play
You Can’t Take It
with You
Summit High School
Outstanding Achievement in
Scholarship and Directional Insight
El Otro Lado Memorial High School Performing Arts
Academy
The Jo Anne Fox Award Brandon Doemling

TNA2017-Winners (PDF)