Broadway League announced an award recently that honors companies that give support, promote, and enrich the Broadway Series in hometowns; and, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) has been awarded the Star of Touring Broadway Award for its work with Starlight Theatre of Kansas City.
Blue KC has been a partner of Starlight Theatre for many years and a proud supporter of the Starlight’s Blue Star Awards program, a spokesman for Starlight Theatre said. The company was the naming sponsor when Starlight started the program 11 years ago. Broadway League made the announcement at its annual meeting in New York.
“Modeled after Broadway’s Tony Awards, Starlight’s Blue Star Awards recognize achievement and excellence in high school musical theatre and is the second largest of its kind in the nation. The program serves approximately 5,000 area students annually who contribute either on the stage or behind the scenes in their schools’ musical theatre productions. Blue KC is now in its eleventh year as the presenter of Starlight’s Blue Star Awards,” Starlight spokesman said.
“We are especially proud of our involvement as the presenting sponsor of Starlight’s Blue Star Awards. This program is just one example of why Starlight Theatre remains such a community treasure and a valuable community partner,” David Gentile, president and chief executive officer at Blue KC, said.
Concerning Starlight Theatre’s active role in local high school musical theater, Blue Star judges attend the musical productions of each participating high school and provide performance and production critiques. At the end of each school year, Starlight invites nominees to a special award program at the theatre. The culmination of the program each year is the annual Blue Star Awards Ceremony at Starlight where local art and community leaders hand out awards in 20 categories.
Starlight Theatre’s Grand Prize acknowledges one male and female recipient of a special Rising Star Scholarship of $2,500 Rising Star Scholarships high school senior and the presentation of the Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Lead Role who were then escorted by Starlight’s education director to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City. For the 2012-13 school year, 43 metropolitan high schools producing 50 musicals participated in the program, the spokesman said.
“Thanks to Blue KC, this educational program exposes and teaches high school students throughout the metropolitan area about musical theatre, encourages their participation, and helps recognize achievements in this art form,” said Denton Yockey, Starlight President and Executive Producer.
“Blue KC is a longtime supporter, sponsor, friend and invaluable advocate of Starlight Theatre and the performing arts in Kansas City,” Yockey said. “The company’s commitment to Starlight is a true example of outstanding corporate philanthropy. We are thrilled that Blue KC has been nationally recognized for its contributions.”
According to a press release from Starlight Theatre, the Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League's 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada.