basie cba fiddler on the roofPHOTO:  Christian Brothers Academy's presentation of Fiddler On The Roof 

RED BANK, NJ -  Winners were announced this evening at the 13th annual BASIE AWARDS, honoring 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.

 

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.”

“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!”

basie mater dei les miserablesPHOTO:  Mater Dei's presentation of Les Miserables

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.”

For more information on THE BASIES or other Count Basie Theatre events and initiatives, contact Jon Vena, Director of Marketing and PR, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 732.225.8778 x 107

 

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 – 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

For more information on the Basie Awards or other Count Basie Center for the Arts programs and initiatives, please contact Jon Vena at 732.224.8778 x 107 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.