Photos courtesy of Musical Theatre West.

Congratulations are in order to the Long Beach youth who have somehow managed their time so wisely that they make performing in starring musical theater roles along with maintaining stellar GPAs look like a piece of cake. Musical Theatre West’s (MTW) Footlighters, a nonprofit auxiliary organization, presented 10 students with $1,000 scholarships at its annual awards luncheon on Saturday, March 21, in an effort to highlight these impressive young creatives. Of the 10 award recipients of the over 40 students who applied, two of them herald from Long Beach.

This year, 43 students applied for the scholarship, each of them nominated by their performing arts teachers. The awardees were selected after auditions judged by MTW’s Executive Director and Producer, Paul Garman among other professionals from the musical theater industry. Both Kara Stribling and Brianna Liddi were selected for having shown exemplary dedication to both their academic and creative endeavors in musical theater.

footlightersMillikan High School senior Stribling (pictured left) was awarded the Dramatic Allied Arts Guild Award (DAAG) for her outstanding academic record as a 4.47 GPA student and her hard work and dedication toward musical theater. She starred in South Bay Conservatory’s production of Legally Blonde the Musical, while at Millikan, she portrayed Zaneeta Shinn in The Musical Man. For more than two years, Stribling also played Michelle in the American Girl Revue in Los Angeles.

footlighters1Long Beach resident Liddi (pictured right), a student at Orange County High School for the Arts, will receive the John Bisom Award. Last year, Liddi played Tricia in A Chorus Line, directed by Broadway veteran Krysta Rodriguez. This year will mark her 12th performance with MYART, with her swimmingly serene role as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She has also starred as Sandy in Grease! with Orange County Children’s Theatre and Belle in Beauty & the Beast with MYART.

The Footlighters was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit auxiliary organization to support Musical Theatre West and its educational outreach efforts. The scholarship program was created in 2005 and has awarded $60,000 in scholarships over the past 11 years.

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].