Article Tools

Font size
Share This

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Abby Mappes of Abington Heights High School won the award for best female lead in a musical for her performance as “Maria” in “The Sound of Music” during the inaugural ESTA awards, held last year at the Ramada Clarks Summit. Mappes is now a theater major at Baptist Bible College.

The audience wanted more.

Last year’s ESTA awards, for excellence in school theater arts, were so successful that they are back for a second year. The awards were started by Clarks Summit resident Jillian Kemmerer, who is a member of Ghostlight Productions, a local theater troupe known for its annual Shakespeare in the Park series.

This year’s ESTA awards will be held on Tuesday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m., at the Inne of the Abingtons, 239 Kennedy Creek Road, North Abington Twp. Tickets are $15 and are available for purchase at

Kemmerer explained that the rationale behind the ESTA awards is to highlight the hard work and dedication that go into creating a high school musical production.

“I believe that hard work, dedication, and talent should be rewarded,” she said. “Sports have seasons of their sports being played and most teams are usually also involved in tournaments that allow them to meet other people with like passions and talents. At the end of sporting seasons, there are usually banquets to thank the student athletes and their parents for their hard work and dedication throughout the season. Choirs, bands and orchestras have regional and statewide festivals and competitions as well. But what about the students who participate in the performing arts? There is not much for them here in northeast Pennsylvania. I think they deserve and need more recognition than the two or possibly three shows that they get to perform in. They deserve their own awards and I wanted to give that to them.”

This year’s ESTA awards will feature students from Lackawanna Trail High School, Mid Valley High School, Old Forge High School, Riverside High School, Scranton High School, Valley View High School and West Scranton High School. Abington Heights High School did not participate this year because its drama department did not choose to put on a musical this year.

“We only had five schools participate last year, so it is exciting to have seven this year,” Kemmerer said. “The general public ought to support the arts because they are deeply impacted by the arts every day, everywhere they look. The arts, in all forms — music, painting, sculpture, dance, writing, acting — are what make life worth living. The arts make life beautiful.”

For more information on the ESTA awards, call Jillian Kemmerer at 631-357-1463.