2017 Festival Details

Over 130 students and adults from three high schools and one community theater groups across four counties in New York’s Central and Southern Tier regions gathered at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, NY on Saturday, April 8 for CNY Arts’ 2017 Annual Michael Harms Theater Festival.

Each year, the festival celebrates talented teenagers in theater through a combination of musical and dramatic theater performances, professional adjudication and responses to the shows, and professionally-led workshops for both young performers and behind the scenes artists and crew.

Auburn High School (performance piece- Robin Hood: The Next Generation); Oswego Children's Theater (performance piece- (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe); Skaneateles High School Drama (performance piece- (The Addams Family), and Whitney Point High School Drama Club (performance piece- Crying Out) participated in this year’s day long festival.

Awards and scholarships were presented for notable performances and technical work:

Festival Awards:

  • The Award of Excellence was presented to Skaneateles High School for their production of The Addams Family, directed by Mickey Kringer. 
  • The award for Outstanding Technical Achievement was Whitney Point High School Drama Club for their production of Crying Out, directed by Ken and Lyndsie Jones 
  • The F. Michael Harms Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Stephanie Jeker – Whitney Point High School Drama Club  

Certificates of Achievement:

  • Rosalind Gender-bending award: Donovan Tanner (Auburn High School: Robin Hood: The Next Generation
  • Chameleon Award (Multiple characterization): Mackenzie St. John (Whitney Point High School: Crying Out
  • Excellence in Physical Story Telling: Ethan Shambo & Caroline Gray (Oswego Children’s Theater: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Excellence in Individual Performance: Stephanie Jeker (Whitney Point High School: Crying Out
  • Excellence in Individual Performance: Calvin Blackwell (Skaneateles High School; The Addams Family
  • Excellence in Individual Performance: Sierra Sander (Skaneateles High School; The Addams Family
  • Outstanding Comedic Performance: Noah Rigby (Auburn High School: Robin Hood: The Next Generation)
  • Honorable Mention Comedic Performance: Tyler Atwater (Skaneateles High School; The Addams Family
  • Outstanding Non-verbal Performance: Ben Blackwell (Skaneateles High School; The Addams Family
  • Excellence in Ensemble Work: The cast of Crying Out (Auburn High School) 
  • Excellence in Ensemble Work: The cast of The Addams Family (Skaneateles High School)
  • Excellence in Backstage Versatility: Cameron Trumbell (Auburn High School: Robin Hood: The Next Generation
  • Excellence in Voice and Diction: Mikayla Purcell-Bolha (Auburn High School: Robin Hood: The Next Generation
  • Excellence in Voice and Diction: Maya Foos (Auburn High School: Robin Hood: The Next Generation


The Michael Harms Theater festival was inspired by the Harms Family in honor of F. Michael Harms and produced by CNY Arts (then the Cultural Resources Council) in 1976 to foster greater interest in theater work by students and teachers in secondary schools. The program has gained wide recognition as a theater experience of great educational value as well as creative fun. Students participate in skill-building workshops such as Dance Auditioning, Improvisation, the Meisner Acting Technique, Lighting, Stage Management, and Mask Making.

Rose Bonczek from Brooklyn College, Maria Marrero from Syracuse University, and Mark Cole from SUNY Oswego were the theater educators who provided constructive feedback to the student performances and, along with Technical Director Bob Frame from Cayuga Community College, chose the recipients of the awards and scholarships.