With the aim of inspiring performance and recognizing the importance of musical theater and arts education in Northeast Ohio high schools, Playhouse Square proudly held its second annual Dazzle Awards ceremony on Saturday, May 20. The Dazzle Awards are affiliated with the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (“The Jimmy Awards”) presented by The Broadway League Foundation.

This regional program offered arts education opportunities throughout the school year and culminated with an awards showcase staged by Broadway director/choreographer Rommy Sandhu and hosted by Natalie Herbick of Cleveland’s Own Fox 8. 200 students performed in fully choreographed opening and closing numbers. Each school nominated in the Connor Family Best Musical categories performed a song from their musical in full make-up and costumes, and the John and Patricia Chapman Best Actor and Actress nominees performed together in medleys.

At the start of the show, Playhouse Square President and CEO Art J. Falco announced that the Dazzle Awards would from this time forward be known as the “Dazzle Awards presented by Patricia and John Chapman.” Longtime supporters of Playhouse Square, the Chapmans rallied behind the Dazzle Awards as soon as Playhouse Square began developing the program. John has been a Playhouse Square trustee for nearly 30 years, and in that time, he has served with distinction. He was instrumental in starting the young professionals group Playhouse Square Partners. He has served as a Vice Chair of Development, and was on the committee to originally acquire what is now the KeyBank Broadway Series, then expand it to two weeks, and most recently expand it to three. His wife Pat serves on the Community Engagement & Education committee.

“John and Pat were active with their high school musical theater program – Pat, on stage and John, behind the scenes – so the Dazzle Awards are really near and dear to their hearts,” said Falco. “We could not be more grateful for their support and believe Northeast Ohio high school musical theater is fortunate to have them as champions.”

The Connor Family awarded $1000 to the recipients of The Connor Family Best Musical Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories, Rocky River and Hawken Upper School, for use toward their next high school musical productions.

As recipients of the John and Patricia Chapman Best Actress and Actor Awards, Reyna Moran (junior) and Brandon Schumacker (senior) will represent Northeast Ohio at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (“The Jimmy Awards”) on June 26. Playhouse Square presented Reyna and Brandon each with checks for $1000.

Public, private and charter high schools located in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit Counties were invited to apply for participation in the Dazzle Awards. Information and applications for the 2018 Dazzle Awards will be available online at playhousesquare.org/dazzleawardsin late summer.

The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

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Greg Drugan has been attending concerts since 1982 and has seen everyone from AC/DC to ZZ Top. Classic rock is his forte, but he is also well versed in alternative and pop music. When not attending concerts, Greg can be found teaching history, psychology and the history of rock n roll at a rural high school where he also serves as the head track coach. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with his family.