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. 

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
    • $125 for the first production submitted
    • $100 for each subsequent production
    • Registration forms submitted after January 15, 2022 will be charged a $15 late fee and will only be accepted if the 100 production maximum has not been reached.
    • A $25 discount will be offered to every teacher who registers for the virtual 2021 Theatre Day for Teachers workshops. Please click here for more information. 
      • This year, we are accepting what we’re referring to as “theatrical works”. This includes but is not limited to:
        • Plays and musicals performed live and recorded
          • Performed outdoors with social distancing & with or without an audience
          • Performed indoors with social distancing & with or without an audience
        • Plays and musicals performed as radio plays
        • Plays and musicals performed via zoom and other video platforms
        • Plays and musicals filmed and edited together
        • Classroom work
        • Collections of monologues, scenes, and/or songs
        • Play festivals (student or otherwise)
        • Devised work is always welcomed as well
      • Only the first 100 middle & high schools registered will be accepted.
      • Judging will be based on the submitted video performance of your theatrical work. You may submit your video via UNLISTED youtube link, vimeo link, weTransfer, or google drive link. 
      • Nominations will be announced on our website April 15, 2022.
      • The Theatre Night Awards Virtual Ceremony viewing link will be released by 7pm on Monday, May 23, 2022
Registration

Fill out the registration form 

 

Payment Information

Types of Payment Accepted:

  • Personal checks
  • Purchase orders/school checks 
  • Credit Cards
    • Visa
    • Mastercard
    • Discover 

You will receive an invoice via email 3-7 business days after your submission as confirmation. Please make all checks payable to Montclair State University. A credit card form will be attached to each invoice. 

 

Please send purchase orders/checks to:

Theatre Night Awards
Attn: Christina Cruz
Montclair State University
Theatre and Dance Department – Life Hall 050
Montclair, NJ 07043

Please scan and email credit card forms to Christina Cruz at theatrenightawards@gmail.com.


  • 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, 2022 – Registration Online Form & Payment Deadline

    • February 15, 2022 – Link, Director’s Notes Submission, and Jo Anne Fox Nominations Deadline

    • April 15, 2022 – Nominations are announced.

    • May 23, 2022 – The 2021 Theatre Night Virtual Recognition & Awards Ceremony

    • May 24, 2022 – 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. 

    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 2014-2020 Theatre Night Awards.  Montclair State alums and working actors presented awards to students and educators along with Broadway stars who presented awards to outstanding actors on video.

    The 2020-2021 Theatre Night Awards Ceremony

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

    The 13th Annual Theatre Night Virtual Recognition & Awards Ceremony

    Monday, May 17, 2021 by 7:00 p.m

    If you have registered for Theatre Night Awards, you will receive the link to view the ceremony by Monday, May 17, 2021 by 7:00 p.m. via email. 

    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. 

    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)