Footlighters Scholarships

The next Scholarship luncheon will be

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Stay tuned for further information and to RSVP.

In the meantime…

Please support Musical Theatre West’s Scholarship Programs by donating to future awards. You can learn more about the scholarships we offer by clicking here. To donate, email Toni Ellis by clicking the button below.

Footlighters Scholarship (Stage Management) – SCARLET BAILEY

Palos Verdes High School – Junior

Most recently, Scarlet stage-managed PETER AND THE STARCATCHER and MATILDA. She has also been Props Master for MOON OVER BUFFALO and URINETOWN. Following graduation, she looks forward to expanding her theatrical knowledge and continuing to stage-manage productions.

Jan Ritschel Scholarship – NICK DANIEL

Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts – Senior

Nick has been delighted to perform in numerous shows like THE PAJAMA GAME (Hines), CABARET (Emcee), TITANIC (Harold Bride), SPRING AWAKENING (Moritz), and SOMETHING ROTTEN! (Nostradamus). Nick is super fortunate and excited to pursue his BFA in Music Theatre this fall at the American Dramatic Musical Academy of the Performing Arts (AMDA).

Don Knabe Scholarship – NEELA DAVID

Palos Verdes High School – Junior

Neela plays an active role in the theatre community. She has performed in PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (Molly), CRAZY FOR YOU (Tess), MATILDA (Ensemble/Dance Captain), and many more. Neela has also choreographed for URINETOWN and PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. In her future, she would like to pursue theatre and choreography.

Don Temple Family Scholarship – RUBY DENMION

Wilson High School – Junior

Ruby has performed in more than 20 musicals. Some of her favorites include ANNIE (Annie), HAIRSPRAY (Lil’ Inez), and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Gretl). Following her graduation, Ruby hopes to continue her musical theatre career more professionally and follow in the footsteps of some of the greats.

Garman Family Scholarship – CAIDEN FALSTRUP-FINNEY

Palos Verdes High School – Junior

Caiden wants to major in Screen Acting at Chapman University. His past productions include: MATILDA (Mr. Wormwood), CINDERELLA (Jean-Michel), PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (Black Stache), CRAZY FOR YOU (Zangler/Billy), MAMMA MIA (Bill), URINETOWN (Officer Barrel), CHICAGO (Lights Crew), FIDDLER… (Perchik), and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (Underling).

Dramatic Allied Arts Guild Scholarship – ANGELINA GARCIA

St. Anthony High School – Senior

Angelina is very grateful to have been chosen as an award recipient. Her favorite roles include INTO THE WOODS (Understudy: Stepsisters) and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Belle). Following graduation, she plans to study at California State University Long Beach for a degree in Business while still performing in shows on the side.

Stevi Meredith Scholarship – NAOMI GROLEAU

Orange County School of the Arts – Senior

Naomi (She/Her) has performed in many shows such as MAMMA MIA (Donna Sheridan), ALL SHOOK UP (Sylvia), and CABARET (Fraulein Schneider). After high school, she plans on attending Cypress College for a year while also applying for a BFA in Musical Theatre.

John Bisom Scholarship – AMANDA GUEVARA-BLANCO

Los Alamitos High School – Senior

Amanda has been a part of many musicals, ranging from BYE BYE BIRDIE to ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. After high school, she will be attending Young Americans College of Performing Arts to continue her career in music and the performing arts. She is honored to have this opportunity!

Footlighters Scholarship (Costuming) – HAVEN HANSON

Orange County School of the Arts – Junior

Haven’s favorite shows to have performed and designed for were LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Seymour and Makeup/ Wigs and specialty prop design), THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Gomez and lead scenic painter), and SHREK (Shrek and Costume Design/creation and scenic painting). Haven’s goal is to be a large-scale costume designer in theater/film.


Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts – Junior

Brock is pursuing a Musical Theater major and Dance minor at HBAPA. Some of his favorite roles: Jean Valjean in LES MISÉRABLES, Thomas Andrews in TITANIC, and Clifford Bradshaw in CABARET. Brock is thankful for the love and support he’s received from his family and friends, as well as this opportunity from the Footlighters.

Dr. Frances Grover Scholarship – MJ ORDINARIO

Bellflower High School – Junior

MJ is a rising high school senior who has been performing in musicals since age seven. Recently, she did THE LITTLE MERMAID (Ariel), HAMILTON (Angelica), and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Belle). Her dream is to play a strong female character like Mulan. She plans to continue in the performing arts after graduation.

Footlighters Scholarship (Dance) – JORDAN SPENA

Orange County School for the Arts – Senior

Jordan has been performing ever since his parents enrolled him in ballet classes when he was five. His favorite roles have included “Harry” in MAMMA MIA!, “Frank-n-Furter” in ROCKY HORROR…, and “Blackstache” in PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. Jordan will be pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre at Texas State University.

James H. Ackerman Scholarship– NATALIA VASSILIAN

Tesoro High School – Junior

Natalia is thrilled to be a part of Musical Theater West Footlighters Scholarships! Her all time favorite roles have been LEGALLY BLONDE (Elle Woods) and THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Alice Beineke). She plans to study business marketing and pursue her aspirations as an artist in musical theater and commercial music.

Jane Netherton Scholarship– LANDON WOUTERS

Orange County School of the Arts – Senior

Landon is a senior at Orange County School of the Arts and has recently played Herbie in GYPSY. He plans to attend the University of Michigan for Musical Theatre in the fall.

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.

This year we had 35 students audition in early April from 19 high schools throughout LA and Orange Counties and we’re very proud of our winners.

The panel of judges this year consisted of Dennis Castellano (former UCI Musical Theatre Program Director and Music Director for many MTW shows), Leslie Tinnaro (Broadway Actress and Local Voice Teacher), Dana Leach ( MTW Education/Outreach Coordinator), Bren Thor (MTW Company Manager) and Paul Garman (MTW Executive Director/Producer.)


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