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2018 Basie Award Winners

originally published: 05/24/2018

2018 Basie Award Winners

(RED BANK, NJ) -- Winners were announced at the 13th annual BASIE AWARDS on May 23rd.  The event honors excellence in high school theater in Monmouth County. This year’s ceremony, presented by RWJBarnabas Health – Monmouth Medical Center, once again drew a sold out crowd of more than 1500 people to the historic Red Bank, NJ landmark, which was recently renamed Count Basie Center for the Arts.

The BASIE AWARDS began in 2005 as a way to honor and recognize high school-level actors, actresses and productions in the Monmouth County area. This year, a record 22 dramas and 29 musical performances were evaluated by the BASIE AWARDS nomination committee, which produced nominations for students, productions and schools in various acting and production categories. A complete list of nominees is located at the end of this release.

“This was such a fabulous, sold out night,” said Yvonne Lamb Scudiery, Vice President, Education, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “The audience of students and their enthusiastic supporters, cheering one another’s success – it’s so much more than a competition. The Basie Awards have raised the level of excellence and professionalism in Monmouth County high school theater programs and has created a community that relishes the celebration of the arts.”         

In addition to recognizing the county’s top high school talent, the BASIES’ Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Middletown’s Tom Bernard, co-founder and co-president of Sony Pictures Classics and a longtime Count Basie Theatre board member.

“I am honored to be recognized with the Basie’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” Bernard said. “I am continuously inspired by the art and performances found in high schools across New Jersey. There is a lot of talent within our state, and I am honored to be a part of a program that helps discover and encourage aspiring artists.”

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“It is always very difficult to select a winner,” said Adam Philipson, President and CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts, “The talent that assembles and performs during the Basies makes this award ceremony like no other. But it’s not just the talent we admire, it is the supportive theater community from Monmouth County’s high schools that comes together in celebration. We are grateful to our special guests, our nominees and families, and our very own Yvonne Lamb Scudiery. Her team, our sponsors and the talented performers have done it again!”

Additionally, recipients of the Count Basie Center for the Arts’ Arts Impacts Scholarships were recognized onstage: Erica Wu of Holmdel High School received the Steven and Jaime Schultz Arts Impact Scholarship; Shelby Pickelny of Ocean Township High School was awarded the Moser-Taboada Arts Impact Scholarship); Abigail Karl of Communications High School took home the RWJBarnabas Health Arts Impact Scholarship; and Isabella Mingino of Middletown High School South received the Monmouth County Freeholders Basie Scholarship for Continuing Education, which is awarded to a Monmouth County senior attending college in New Jersey. The Basie’s Arts Impact scholarship program recognizes high school seniors whose life, academic, and career choice has been impacted by the arts.

For the fifth consecutive year, the BASIE AWARDS was sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health – Monmouth Medical Center, a partnership that promotes awareness of the importance of the arts in physical and mental well-being.

“Monmouth Medical Center is proud to partner with the Count Basie Theatre to support arts in our local schools and community and promote awareness of the importance of the arts in students’ physical and mental well-being,” said Margaret Fisher, M.D., chair of pediatrics and medical director of The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center.  “Every year, we’re impressed with the incredible level of talent of Monmouth County high school theatre students and are proud to be involved with this effort and help shine the spotlight on students.”

2018 Basie Award Winners

Winners – 2018 Basie Awards

Dramatic Presentations:

Outstanding Production – Drama
Linda Walling – Matawan Regional High School – Noises Off

Outstanding Direction in a Drama
Alana Herron – Red Bank Catholic High School – Moon Over Buffalo

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Sean Gassaway - Howell High School – Twentieth Century

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Jacqueline Hennessy – Red Bank Catholic High School – Moon Over Buffalo

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
Carmine Mastrokostas – Ranney School – The Killing Game

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama
Camille Pugliese – Middletown High School South – Pygmalion

Carole Malik Award for Outstanding Costume Design in a Drama
Freehold Township High School – Boeing Boeing – Kim Richardson & Laura Cugini

Outstanding Set Design in a Drama (Tie)
Red Bank Catholic High School – Moon Over Buffalo – Carla Valentino
Howell High School – Twentieth Century – Stephen Kazakoff

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Drama
Monmouth Regional High School – Ghosts – Dave Ahlers

Musical Presentations:

Outstanding Production – Musical
Mater Dei Prep – Les Misérables – Cindy J. Dwyer

Outstanding Direction in a Musical
Cindy J. Dwyer – Mater Dei Prep – Les Misérables

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Michael Guarino – Christian Brothers Academy – Fiddler on the Roof

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical (Tie)
Julia Forsyth – Henry Hudson Regional High School – Little Women
Sarah Coleman – Red Bank Catholic High School – Thoroughly Modern Millie

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Ethan Black – Ocean Township High School – Bye Bye Birdie

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Isabella Antoon – Shore Regional High School – The Wedding Singer

Outstanding Featured Female Performer
Arianna Mubanda – Howell High School – Mary Poppins

Outstanding Featured Male Performer
Matthew Curti – Mater Dei Prep – Les Misérables

Outstanding Featured Ensemble Group
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School – The Secret Garden – The Snake Charmers

Outstanding Chorus (Tie)
Red Bank Catholic High School – Thoroughly Modern Millie
Mater Dei Prep – Les Misérables

Outstanding Student/Adult Orchestra
Long Branch High School – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – Robert M. Clark

Outstanding All Student Orchestra
Marlboro High School – 1776 – Patrick M. Dalton

Outstanding Choreography
Middletown High School South – Heathers – Jacqui Fischer

Outstanding Musical Direction (Tie)
Christian Brothers Academy – Fiddler on the Roof – Matthew Anderson
Mater Dei Prep – Les Misérables – Cindy J. Dwyer

Carole Malik Award for Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical
Mater Dei Prep – Les Misérables – Peggy Baumgartner

Outstanding Set Design in a Musical
Freehold High School – Once Upon a Mattress – Kevin Gunther

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical
Marlboro High School – 1776 – Jim Lyle & Anthony Greco

The Count Basie Center for the Arts is located at 99 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, New Jersey.

PHOTOS: (TOP) Christian Brothers Academy's presentation of Fiddler On The Roof 

(BOTTOM) Mater Dei Prep's presentation of Les Miserables

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Luna Stage Launches “Short & Show” with Midnights on Screen Then Pirira on Stage
(WEST ORANGE, NJ) -- Luna Stage’s newest program, Short & Show, joins the screening of a short film with a MainStage Luna production. In a distinctive Luna move, the theater company is offering a double bill of two works of art in two different disciplines: the showing of a thrilling new short film, Midnights, directed by NJ-based Alvaro Donado, and Pirira on the MainStage. Midnights was filmed on location in nearby Paterson, and this screening will be its West Orange premiere. Both works of art deal with decent people in dangerous situations who, against the odds, attempt to do the right thing. Luna’s Short & Show will be Friday, October 19 (Midnights at 7:15pm, Pirira at 8:00pm) and Sunday, October 21 (Midnights at 2:15pm, Pirira at 3:00pm).
Women's Theater Company Presents "Love/Sick"
(PARSIPPANY, NJ) -- The Women’s Theater Company, a professional theater company in Parsippany, NJ, presents Love/Sick written by John Cariani from October 26-November 4. Sometimes love is messy in this romantic comedy where a unique cast of characters battle for love with heart warming optimism.
Fool Moon Theatre Company Presents "London Suite" by Neil Simon
(SOMERS POINT, NJ) -- Fool Moon Theatre Compay presents Neil Simon’s London Suite in November.  America's premier comic playwright crosses the Atlantic for a suite of hilarious comedies set in a deluxe London hotel, a sedate place until these characters check in.  Performances are November 2-4 and November 9-11 at the Gateway Playhouse in Somers Point.
Two River Theater Presents "King Hedley II"
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Playwright Walter Anderson Talks About "The Trial Of Donna Caine"
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Bram Stoker's Dracula
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House On Haunted Hill
House On Haunted Hill is a classic B-movie by William Castle that came out in 1959.  It starred Vincent Price as a millionaire who offers $10,000 to five people who agree to spend the night locked in a house he’s rented on Haunted Hill.
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Event calendar
Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018


DON FELDER @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

The Tenors: Fan Favorites Tour @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 7:30pm

An Evening with Emily Saliers @ Pollak Theatre, West Long Branch - 7:30pm


The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

The Color Purple @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 7:30pm

Auditions: A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 7:00pm


So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018 @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:00pm

View all events


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