High school musicals awards show Sunday

Roll out the red carpet because it’s time for The Isaacs.

The annual award show honoring high school musical theater in the region is back for a ninth year Sunday evening at the Mishler Theatre, Altoona.

This year’s sold-out show will feature 12 school district’s productions: Altoona Area High School, “Anything Goes;” Bald Eagle Area High School, “Shrek;” Bedford Area High School, “Anything Goes;” Bellefonte Area High School, “Aida;” Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, “Little Shop of Horrors;” Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown;” Central Cambria High School, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast;” Hollidaysburg Area Repertory Players, “Oklahoma!” Moshannon Valley High School, “Back to the 80’s;” Philipsburg-Osceola High School, “Seussical;” State College Area High School, “Children of Eden;” and West Branch Area High School, “Guys and Dolls Jr.”

Production manager Eric Wolf, who is also the committee chairman, said he always looks forward to the musical numbers the students perform at the show.

“The awards themselves are very exciting, but we found that really early on that the kids just love seeing each other perform. Each of the 12 schools brings a musical number from their musical and they perform it on stage at the Mishler Theatre,” he said Monday. “There’s also the opening number which is two students from every school so that’s 24 kids up on stage. They had their first rehearsal yesterday, and that’s always fun because that gets it started on a very energetic note, that’s the very first thing that happens on stage.”

This year at the show, presented by Altoona Community Theatre and Reliance Bank, the excitement is also coming in the form of more scholarship money for students.

Corporate sponsors have increased six individual scholarships from $500 to $1,000, Wolf said.

Scholarships go to the student who wins the awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Featured Role and Achievement in Design.

The Isaacs have awarded more than $15,000 in college scholarship money through the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation for any field of study at an accredited institution since its inception, Wolf said.

Jonathan O’Harrow, who has written the script for all the Isaacs so far, will also host this year’s show.

“It’s always just such a great event,” he said. “I always look forward to seeing the students, seeing how excited they are and really how amazingly supportive they are of each other. This is kind of their athletics banquet or this is their chance to come out and hang out with people who all share the same passion and they’re all excited about it so really getting to see the students interact with each other is probably my favorite part.”

Wolf said the mission of the Isaacs “is to encourage and support excellence in high school musical theater in our region through an annual awards event that recognizes student achievement. And I emphasize the student achievement, there is no best director or anything like that because this truly is about the kids.”

The Altoona Access Channel will broadcast The Isaacs on a future date.

Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.