Footlighters Scholarships


Saturday, June 26 live outdoors the Grand
11:00am – Cocktail Hour
11:30am – Performances
12:30pm – Lunch

Reserve your tickets to this event ($50 donation) by emailing Toni Ellis at classiclady99@yahoo.com or click the button below.

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

Jan Ritschel Scholarship – Drew Dela Llana

Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts – 11th grade

A current junior and rising senior at the Huntington Beach Academy of the Performing Arts (APA), Drew is grateful for this opportunity and excited for her future in theatre after high school. The past year at APA she’s appeared as Sophie in Robin Hood and the minstrel in Something Rotten!.

Don Knabe Scholarship – Fintan Swift

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts – 12th grade

Fintan Swift is a recent graduate of LACHSA’s theatre and musical theatre departments. Previous musicals include West Side Story (Riff), Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus), Spring Awakening (Hanschen), Once On This Island (Papa Ge). Fintan is taking a gap year before applying for BFA in theatre for the fall of 2022.

Ken and Dottie Reiner Scholarship – Dylan Bernstein

Woodrow Wilson High School – 12th grade

Dylan Bernstein, a 2021 Wilson High School Valedictorian, has been featured as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Jafar in Aladdin, Papa Ge in Once on this Island, among other roles. As someone who grew up watching MTW performances, he is so excited for the opportunity the Footlighters have provided!

Dramatic Allied Arts Guild Scholarship – Kaylee Brubaker

Woodrow Wilson High School – 12th grade

Kaylee Brubaker, a Class of 2021 Wilson High School graduate, will be attending California State University, Long Beach in the Fall and continue her love for performing in the Disney parks and through school/community theatre. She is so grateful to the MTW Footlighters for supporting her in this endeavor.

Garman Family Scholarship – Cindy Blanco Flores

Buena Park  High School – 12th grade

A current senior and will be attending the University of Long Beach. Cindy is grateful for this amazing opportunity and she is excited to see what college has for her in music! Her Junior year, Cindy appeared as sister Sophia in the Sound Of Music 

Don Temple Family Scholarship – Aidan McGuiness

St. Anthony High School – 12th grade

Aidan McGuiness is thrilled to have been presented with this amazing opportunity. He plans to continue in the performing arts throughout college and beyond. Some of his favorite credits include: Into The Woods (Jack), Peter And The Starcatcher (Peter), and Godspell (Nick). He would like to thank his family and friends for their support, as well as the Footlighters Foundation for giving students a chance to shine on stage.

James H. Ackerman Scholarship– Olivia Aniceto

Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts – 12th grade

Olivia is a Senior at the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts.  BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Belle), SOMETHING ROTTEN(Portia), OKLAHOMA (Laurey), SWEENEY TODD (Johanna), SIDESHOW (Violet), GYPSY (Dainty June), MARY POPPINS(Jane), ONCE ON THIS ISLAND(TiMoune).  She thanks her Mom, Dad and Sister, for their support.

Dr. Frances Grover Scholarship – Samuel George

Trinitas Arts Conservatory – 12th grade

Samuel George lives in Anaheim, California, where he attends Servite High School. Within his high school, he partakes in the school’s theatre program, Trinitas Arts Conservatory. Since his Freshman year, he’s performed as lead in numerous productions such as Into the Woods, Oklahoma!, and The Fantasticks.

John Bisom Scholarship – Saylyrr Toilolo

Renaissance High School for the Arts – 12th grade

Saylyrr Toilolo is currently a senior at Renaissance High School for the Arts. She has been in shows such as You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Our Town, The Wiz, The Lion King, and A Dream Play. A writer, singer, and actress, she is excited for what the future holds.

Mu-ZAK Scholarship – Sean Kato

Marina High School – 11th grade

Sean Kato is a Junior studying Musical Theatre at the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts. Some recent credits include Anthony in Sweeney Todd and Robin Hood in Robin Hood and the White Arrow. He is thankful for all of the love, support, and effort from his teachers and family throughout the years!

Footlighters Scholarship – Olivia Ostlund

St. Margarets Episcopal High School – 11th grade

Olivia Ostlund is pursuing her dreams, honing her craft with regular classes for musical theatre. She recently starred as The Woman on The Ledge in Songs For A New World, and has been the finalist in many vocal competitions. Olivia is honored to be part of the Footlighters Scholarship!

Footlighters Scholarship – Brittany Fisheli

Fullerton Union High School – 12th grade

A 2021 Fullerton Union High School Triple Threat Student, has been featured as Miss Honey in Matilda The Musical, Women in Love/Sick, Lucy in The Girl In The White Pinafore, Euges in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Fritzie in Cabaret and so many others. Brittany is so excited to perform alongside the other Footlighter Scholarship winners and in front of an audience!

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.)

The 2021 winners are being mentored by the following past scholarship winners:

Emily Cardona received the John Bisom Scholarship in 2020. She is attending The Long Beach City College Honors Program, majoring in Political Science, minoring in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on Musical Theatre.

Gaby Garcia received the Footlighters Scholarship in 2020. She is attending CSU Fullerton and is actively participating in theatre programs. 

Hayden Kharrazi received the Footlighters Scholarship in 2020 and recently completed his senior year at Palos Verdes High School.  He is represented by Authentic Talent Agency while pursuing a career in TV and Film. 

Mikayla Procter received the Footlighters Scholarship in 2020 and recently finished her Junior year at Tesoro High School. She plans to pursue musical theatre at a yet determined college.

Elizabeth “Libby” Shull received the John Bisom Scholarship in 2020. She is finishing her Freshman year at the University of Colorado Boulder pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre and a BA in History.

2005

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

2006

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

2007

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

2008

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

2009

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

2010

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

2011

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

2012

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

2013

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

2014

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

2015

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

2016

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

2017

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

2018

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

2019

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

2020

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

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