by Jaimie Leasure
April 25, 2013
Broadway may have the Tony Awards, but the Lehigh Valley can boast the Freddys, an annual awards ceremony that recognizes outstanding high school musical theatre in the area. This year's Freddy Awards will be broadcast live on Thursday, May 23, on WFMZ.
Northampton Community College (NCC) offers scholarships to students from regional high schools who participate in the Freddy program. The deadline to apply is May 1. Applications can be found on the Freddy Awards website.
"It is really helping me achieve my dreams," current student Shawna Bernecker said of receiving the Freddy scholarship. She is a 2011 graduate of Pen Argyl High School.
Freddy scholarship recipients are not required to major in theatre, but they are required to participate in theatre productions while attending NCC. In fact, NCC productions are open to students from all majors.
"Being in a show pushes you past every boundary you've ever had," says Alisha Andino, a secondary English education major from Bethlehem. "It's really amazing to see how far you progress from auditions to closing night."
The NCC Theatre department puts on several productions each semester. During this semester, students performed in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Anna in the Tropics, and the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Angels in America.
Throughout the year, theatre students are part of a family atmosphere that includes cookouts, parties and even their own awards celebration. Northampton graduates have transferred to a wide range of four-year institutions, including Temple University, DeSales University, Cedar Crest College, Albright College, Brooklyn College, University of Iowa, University of Missouri at Kansas City, and University of Connecticut
"I plan on earning a master's degree in drama and art therapy so that I can start my own program for children," Bernecker says of continuing her education. She most recently appeared in Angels in America.
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