The Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank, has announced that the 2020 Basie Awards, the annual celebration of Monmouth County high school theater presented by Bank of America, will take place online on June 9 at 8 p.m. exclusively on theBASIE.org and Facebook.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing outstanding commitment to the arts in the community, will be presented to New Jersey Governor and First Lady, Phil and Tammy Murphy. The First Lady is a former Basie Center trustee, according to a press release.
“The Basie Awards have celebrated the extraordinary talent in Monmouth County for over a decade,” said Adam Philipson, president and CEO of the Count Basie Center for the Arts.
“In doing so, we have created a deeply supportive and connected artistic community. Though we won’t be in the theater screaming and cheering, by being virtual, the accolades will be celebrated far and wide. We can’t thank enough our title sponsor, Bank of America, for helping us pivot this year’s award ceremony,” he said.
“We recognize the difficulties faced by students this year – and that for many student actors, hours of hard work went into productions that never made it to opening night,” said Alberto Garofolo, New Jersey Market President, Bank of America.
“It is extra special that we can be part of this great annual tradition and this year’s virtual celebration of Monmouth County high school theater. Bank of America is proud to be the sponsor of the 2020 Basie Awards,” he said.
Schools in New Jersey were shuttered at the onset of high school musical season. This year’s Basies will reveal nominees and winners from performances reviewed last fall, while paying special tribute to the work students and advisers put into spring productions affected by the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. The broadcast will also include surprise appearances by up-and-coming Broadway stars, according to the press release.
“This has been a challenging year for students and teachers alike, and we know the arts play an important role in feeding students’ hearts, minds and souls,” said Yvonne Lamb Scudiery, the Basie Center’s vice president of education and originator of the Basie Awards program. “With that, we couldn’t be happier to have found a way to keep the Basie Awards tradition alive in this new, online format.”
Schools nominated for fall productions include: Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft (“Arsenic And Old Lace”); Collier High School, Marlboro (“Moon Over Buffalo”); Communications High School, Wall Township (“Almost, Maine”); Colts Neck High School (“DNA”).
And, Freehold High School, Freehold Borough (“The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood”); Freehold Township High School, (“Chemical Imbalance: A Jekyll And Hyde Story”); Howell High School (“Love/Sick”); Long Branch High School (“The Rose Garden Affair”).
Also, Manalapan High School (“Noises Off”); Marlboro High School (“Brighton Beach Memoirs”); Matawan Regional High School (“Lend Me A Tenor”); Mater Dei Prep, Middletown (“The Three Musketeers”); Middletown North High School (“Our Town”);
Middletown South High School (“U-A Play”).
And, Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls (“Almost, Maine”); Neptune High School (“Ghosts In The Machine”); Ranney School, Tinton Falls (“Metamorphoses”); Raritan High School, Hazlet (“Cheaper By The Dozen”); Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver (“Moby Dick Rehearsed”); Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (“The Hunchback Of Notre Dame”); and Trinity Hall, Tinton Falls (“Blue Stockings”).
The Count Basie Center for the Arts is dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and a creative exchange of ideas, according to the press release. The Basie mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its cultural and artistic offerings that reflect the diversity of the region. For more information, visit www.thebasie.org