WHO WE ARE
The John Raitt Awards for Youth (JRAY) “Supporting High School Performing Arts Education in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties and the Inland Empire Since 2008.”
The JRAY mission is to promote and support high school education by recognizing musical theater excellence in all performance and technical production categories, and to provide outstanding students with unique opportunities and professional exposure through the granting of awards and educational scholarships.
The JRAYs were named to honor John Raitt, a successful stage, film, and television actor who, in his early days, sang and danced as a student attending Fullerton Union High School. He also performed for Fullerton Civic Light Opera (FCLO) Music Theatre, the organization under which JRAY operates.
JRAY Awards are given for on stage and behind the scenes work. Qualified judges view and rate each of the participating schools’ shows during the school year, which culminates in the JRAY Awards Ceremony at the end of the high school season. JRAY gives over 200 awards for achievement.
Both the Male Performer of the Year and Female Performer of the Year are awarded $1500 each and sent to New York for a one-week, all expenses paid, intensive workshop with Broadway Professionals. Their experience finishes with a showcase before Broadway Agents and Casting Directors. For details see broadwayartistsalliance.org.
Fullerton Civic Light Opera (FCLO) Music Theatre
The JRAY program operates under the umbrella organization of FCLO Music Theatre, which was founded as a nonprofit organization in December 1971, under the organizational name of Fullerton Civic Light Opera Music Theatre. FCLO was a fixture in the Orange County Performing Arts scene for decades. They won numerous awards for their productions, provided a platform for performers young and old, and produced live musical theater for over 45 years.
Today, the exclusive focus of FCLO is on JRAY Awards, which is managed by a Board of Directors, all of whom are volunteers.
2018-2019 JRAY PARTICIPATING HIGH SCHOOLS
The award show will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at 1:00 PM at Plummer Auditorium, 201 East Chapman, Fullerton, CA 92832.
Up to 40 tickets will be provided free of charge to each participating school. If additional tickets are needed, they will be pre-sold for $15 per student and parent/family member. The general public and “Day of Award Show” ticket fee will be $20. In addition to funding the JRAY Program, the proceeds will help send our winning actor and actress to New York to participate in the Broadway Artists Alliance (BAA).
The participating schools will be invited to perform on stage for a 2-5 minute cutting of their adjudicated musical. A guest panel of professional performers will adjudicate these performances, and there will be a trophy presented to the winning show of the day.
AWARD FORMAT FOR JRAY
Each category will have nominees as voted upon by the panel of judges. All nominees will be presented with an award. The first place winners will receive beautiful JRAY trophies. The award-winning performances and recognition for students and schools include, but not limited to the following categories.
Actress of the Year (Lead)
Actor of the Year (Lead)
Cameo – Male
Cameo – Female
Dancer – Male
Dancer – Female
Soloist – Male
Soloist – Female
Student Stage Manager
Director of the Year
Comedy Musical of the Year
Dramatic Musical of the Year
Discretionary Awards (as applicable): To recognize a student-driven production of excellence in various categories, such as costuming, choreography, scenic design, lighting, etc. The determination will be made by the judges on a school-by-school basis when adjudicating the musical.
BAA WINNERS: Each year JRAY will send two winners (one female and one male) to Broadway Artists Alliance (“BAA”) in New York City to attend their one-week summer workshop intensives and master classes conducted by Broadway professionals – culminating in solo performances before industry professionals and casting agents. Additionally, the two winners will receive a cash award from JRAY for $1,500 each.
JRAY’S WINNING DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Wins both a prestigious JRAY Trophy and a cash award of $1,000 to their school theatre arts’ department.
This season we are offering the following $1000 scholarships:
- The Jan & Griff Duncan Memorial Scholarship
- The Michele Leighton Memorial Scholarship
- The FCLO Scholarship
- The Sun Dragon Great Cause Foundation Scholarship
- The Jerry Mackey Memorial Scholarship
- The Doris Winters Scholarship
- The K. Lee Peck Stage Manager’s Scholarship
We also offer the INVENT “Take Your Skills to the Big Stage” Scholarship, which is a very special opportunity for a student who specializes in some aspect of technical theater, to attend a unique training course in SenovvA/INVENT’s Hollywood studios.
We are also very pleased to offer the 2nd Annual “Broadway Artists Alliance Scholarship, which pays for one more student to attend BAA’s summer workshop (Air fare and lodging not included.)
All of our scholarships are made possible by our generous donors and sponsors, both private individuals and corporate. Scholarship recipients are determined by a scholarship review panel and are based on merit/ grade point/ school participation and need. Nominations must be made from a participating school to be eligible. The names of scholarship recipients are announced on the day of the Awards show.
JRAY TEAM JUDGES
Neil Caplin – Technical background including set design, set construction, set execution, lighting, graphic design
Bob Curley – Educator/Principal in the Irvine School District
Tiffany Dacuycuy – Musical Theatre Director with additional experience in stage managing, backstage crew, choreography, makeup, hair, marketing, advertising, performance, and music.
Leslie Trayer Harvey (Lead Judge)– Leslie is a professional musical theater performer having 20+ years between Broadway, national tours and regional theater, in addition to currently being a choreographer, a director and a dance & drama instructor for kids and adults. She is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA .
Roberta Kay – Emmy award winner and Emmy nominee for her work on PBS SoCal/KOCE. Singer/dancer/actress who has worked with Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton, Andy Williams, Harvey Korman, Debbie Reynolds, Dionne Warwick, Big Bird, among others! She has 29+ years directing and/or choreographing musicals at all levels.
Holly Pearson-Chorengel – Professional musical theater performer and dancer. Credits include Film, Studio work as a vocalist in Italy, Featured performer in Cats (Hamburg Germany) and countless productions in regional, professional, and dinner theater in the States. Holly is currently a certified Music Together instructor, and she teaches Dance.
Erika Schindele – Professional actress/singer/dancer. Has performed in many theaters all over California. She has also spent numerous years choreographing, directing and teaching at various schools in Orange County.
Matthew J. Schwartz – Technical background including set construction and execution, prop design and construction, specialties construction, marketing, advertising, and design
Heather Stafford – Heather Stafford has spent the last 24 years at the Orange County School of the Arts. She began as a teacher, teaching acting, make-up, improv, and Shakespeare. She then became the director of the Integrated Arts Conservatory, that she created from it’s inception. She was the resident make-up artist for the Fullerton Civic Light Opera Company for 30 years, and she has a Master’s Degree in Theatre from University of California, Davis. She also studied Theatre in the doctorate program at Tufts University. She is now happily retired.
Susan Takeda – Technical background assisting in costume design and wardrobe maintenance for Youth Theater
JRAY EXECUTIVE TEAM
Neil Caplin, JRAY Award Show Coordinator
Tiffany Dacuycuy, JRAY Board Secretary, Publicity and Social Media Coordinator
Laura Dean-Richardson, JRAY Board Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer
Kyle Duncan, JRAY Program Director, Board President and Executive Producer
Walt DeJong, JRAY Technical Advisor
Roberta Kay, JRAY School Coordinator and Liaison
Marilyn Gianetti, JRAY Executive Producer, Board Vice President, Grant/Scholarships/Patrons Coordinator
Vicki Schindele, JRAY Award Show Director, Board Member
Matthew Schwartz, JRAY TalkBack Coordinator
Leslie Trayer-Harvey, Lead Judge and Board Member
Our goal is to help promote each school’s theater program and encourage community involvement/support through media releases.