Footlighters Scholarships

Please support Musical Theatre West’s Scholarship Programs by donating to future awards. Donations can be made by emailing Gloria Nelson at or by clicking the button below.

Each year, the MTW Footlighters award scholarships to local high school students.  Since the program’s inception over $120,000 in scholarships have been awarded to deserving students.  Many of our awarded students have attended premiere musical theatre programs across the country.  The scholarship is open to high school students in the local area.

The following is a list of some of our scholarships. 

Jan Ritschel Scholarship – In memory of one of Southern California’s preeminent voice teachers and musical directors.

Ken and Dottie Reiner Scholarship – In honor of two of our most devoted benefactors and the founders of MTW’s Reiner Staged Reading Series.

John Bisom Scholarship – In memory of a frequent MTW performer who was one of the kindest, most loving souls in Southern California musical theatre.

Don Knabe Scholarship – In honor of a great arts supporter during his time serving the community on the LA County Board of Supervisors.

Garman Family Scholarship – In honor of the parents of MTW’s Executive Director, Paul Garman.

Dr. Frances Grover Scholarship – In memory of this exceptional woman and legendary philanthropist of the Arts in Long Beach.

Don Temple Family Scholarship – In memory of the self-made man who was a true philanthropist in our community.

Dramatic Allied Arts Guild Scholarship – To promote and advance the study of the dramatic fine arts and allied arts in the city of Long Beach.

James H. Ackerman Scholarship – In memory of a local lawyer who was a great supporter of the arts through the Evalyn M. Bauer Foundation.

Mu-ZAK Scholarship – Given by Leslie Tinnaro in loving memory of her son Zak for his creative artistry on and off the stage.

MTW Scholarship History

Since the Musical Theatre West Footlighters scholarships were established in 2005, we have awarded over $120,000 to 118 deserving local high school students from throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. In addition to the Footlighters scholarships, several named scholarships have been established to honor MTW donors by their families and friends, allowing us to double the number of scholarships we can give each year.

Past Scholarship Winners


Travis Ammann, OC School of the Arts
Kate Dixon, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Megan Mekjian, OC School of the Arts
Rodrigo Rodriguez, St. John Bosco HS
Brian Veith, Irvine High School


Kayla Cavaness, Oxford Academy
Rebecca Fisher, Millikan High School
Gabrielle Levy, Los Alamitos High School
Danny Theyer, Millikan High School
Rachel Viele, OC School of the Arts


Brendan Harnett, St. John Bosco HS
Nina Holland, OC School of the Arts
Justine Leon, Los Alamitos High School
Tayler Mettra, OC School of the Arts
Neil Starkenberg, Huntingon Beach HS – APA
Jessica Wilson, Huntington Beach HS – APA


Karrington Chaney, OC School of the Arts
Siedah Dinkins, Renaissance High School
Jared Marino, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Nick Miranda, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Joann Smith, Lakewood High School
Rory Woodbury, Millikan High School


Caitlin Fuller, OC School of the Arts
Daniel McGrew, Crystal Cathedral
Katie Perry, OC School of the Arts
Alex Syiek, Huntington Beach HS – APA
E’mon White, Renaissance High School


Erica Beck, Millikan High School
Emily Rowan, OC School of the Arts
Kyle Selig, Huntington Beach HS – APA
John Williams, Renaissance High School
Shea Gomez, Dana Hills High School


Jessamyn Arnstein, Central LA HS
Jacob Gonzalez, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Bren Johnson, San Juan Hills High School
Elizabeth Romero, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Landon Zwick, OC School of the Arts


Adam Levy, OC School of the Arts
Sarah Marion, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Alexa Russo, LA County HS for the Arts
Erica Schaeffer, Connelly High School
Clara Jordan Cox, Pennisula High School


Chloe Horner, OC School of the Arts
Connor Berkompas, OC School of the Arts
Danielle Hall, Wilson High School
Devin Cortez, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Erin Theodorakis, Tesoro High School
Haley Smith, Costa Mesa High School


Quintan Craig, Valley Christian High School
D’arcy Green, Tesoro High School
Rosie McDonald, OC School of the Arts
Shiloh Orr, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Shane Satterfield, La Habra High School
Kelsey Smith, LA County HS for the Arts
Tovi Wayne, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Zofia Weretka, OC School of the Arts


Ryan Axberg, Palos Verdes Peninsula HS
Lillian Buonocore, Huntington Beach HS-APA
Samantha Ramos, Rosary High School
Anthony Skillman, Orange Lutheran HS
Cole Wachman, Huntington Beach HS-APA
Zoya Martin, La Habra High School
Austin Tebay, La Habra High School
Kara Stribling, Millikan High School
Emily Abeles, Marina High School-APA
Brianna Liddi, OC School of the Arts


Taylor Aragon, Huntington Beach HS
Jisel Ayon, Millikan HS
Audry Bivens, Orange Lutheran HS
Katherine Chatman, Huntington Beach HS
Shaila Essley, LACHSA
Autumn Kirkpatrick, Huntington Beach HS
Emily LaSalle, Millikan HS
Madison Ligtermoet, OC School of the Arts
Alisa Melendez, OC School of the Arts
Chanel Morehead, OC School of the Arts


Shaden Ahadi, University High, Irvine
Joshua Bates, La Habra HS
Amanda Dayhoff, Orange Lutheran HS
Austin Kelly, Palo Verdes Peninsula HS
Yoomi Kim, OC School of the Arts
Wyatt Manolakas, Sage Hill HS
Victoria Mulock, Lakewood HS
Katherine Paladichuk, Northwood HS
Justine Sombilon, La Habra HS
Juianna Yonis, Palo Verdes Peninsula HS
Makeala Zeran, OC School of the Arts


Allison Bossart, Huntington Beach HS-APA
Aiden Flaherty, St. John Bosco HS
Zachary Fogel, La Habra High School
Samantha Gault, OC School of the Arts
Lucas Grenda, Palos Verdes Peninsula HS
Maegan Hood, Redondo Union HS
Kailee Kakazu, Palos Verdes HS
Emma Kremer, Fullerton Union HS
Cassidy Love, Huntington Beach HS
Abby Mohaddes, Palo Verdes HS
Mercy Thornton, La Habra High School
McKenna Wells, OC School of the Arts


Jake Akita, Irvine High School
Cassidy Amberg, Palos Verdes HS
Amanda Angeles, Long Beach Poly HS
Annabella Gil, OC School of the Arts
Kate Kresser, Palos Verdes HS
Carmella Manapat, OC School of the Arts
Sean McCrimmon, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Anika Perera, Aliso Niguel High School
Bianca Porciuncula, St. Anthony High School
Mica Ramos, Long Beach Poly HS
Marlee Tierney, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Daisy Tye, Huntington Beach HS – APA


Juliette Boland, OC School of the Arts
Emily Cardona, Renaissance High School
Michael Iskander, Marina High School
Noi Maeshige, OC School of the Arts
Mikayla Procter, Tesoro High School
Gaby Garcia, Laguna Hills High School
Hayden Kharrazi, Palos Verdes High School
Cooper Miller, Fullerton Union HS
Tyler Serrano, Marina High School
Dane Camacho, Long Beach Poly HS
Rashida Garcia, St. Joseph High School
Jaedynn Latter, Huntington Beach HS – APA
Bradley Nolan, Palos Verdes High School
Elizabeth Shull, Woodrow Wilson High School


Drew Dela Llana, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts
Fintan Swift, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
Dylan Bernstein, Woodrow Wilson High School
Kaylee Brubaker, Woodrow Wilson High School
Cindy Blanco Flores, Buena Park High School
Aidan McGuiness, St. Anthony High School
Olivia Aniceto, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts
Samuel George, Trinitas Arts Conservatory
Saylyrr Toilolo, Renaissance High School for the Arts
Sean Kato, Marina High School
Olivia Ostlund, St. Margarets Episcopal High School
Brittany Fisheli, Fullerton Union High School