Mater Dei Prep Seraph Players receive 16 nominations for the 13th Annual Basie Awards

The biggest night for high school theater in Monmouth County is the Basie Awards. On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, the Mater Dei Prep Seraph Players were honored to learn that they were nominated for 16 awards at the upcoming 13th Annual Basie Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

The 16 Basie Awards nominations tied a Mater Dei Prep record and the Seraph Players production of "Les Miserables" received the most nominations of any musical this year. The production of “Les Miserables” had an unforgettable run that included three sell out performances and the largest number of tickets sold in Mater Dei Prep history.

The Basie Awards began in 2005 as a way to honor and recognize high school-level actors, actresses and productions in the Monmouth County area. This year, a record 22 dramas and 29 musical performances were evaluated by the Basie Awards nomination committee, which produced nominations for students, productions and schools in various acting and production categories.

The nominations received by the Seraph Players were for various categories in both the fall drama “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” and the spring musical “Les Miserables.” The list of nominations for the Seraph Players included: Carole Malik Award for Outstanding Costume Design in a Drama, Outstanding Direction in a Drama, Outstanding Set Design in a Musical, Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical, Carole Malik Award for Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical, Outstanding Musical Direction, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Student/Adult Orchestra, Outstanding Chorus, Outstanding Featured Male Performer, Outstanding Featured Female Performer, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical, Outstanding Direction in a Musical, and Outstanding Production – Musical.

“Les Miserables” was the first production under the recently established Performing Arts Institute at Mater Dei Prep. Expanding on its rich 50-year history of outstanding performing arts, Mater Dei Prep recently announced the Performing Arts Institute beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Students will have the opportunity to progress in various courses to nurture their artistic talent and participate in performing arts through musical and dramatic theater, chorus, instrumental ensemble, piano, music theory and dance.

What makes this memorable year for the Seraph Players unique is that students in the Performing Arts Institute also participated in many other school activities such as sports, community service, and academic clubs. Mater Dei Prep prides itself on offering flexible curriculum which allows students to explore areas of genuine interest as they prepare for a post-secondary education. Currently 97% of students participate in extracurricular activities at Mater Dei Prep. Students have the opportunity to present at the United Nations, perform on the big stage, and shine on the athletic field all at the same time. The flexible curriculum and individualized learning approach at Mater Dei Prep makes students better-rounded and helps them get into the college of their choice and exceed their goals.

Cindy J. Dwyer, the longtime Director of Mater Dei Prep’s award-winning shows, will also be the Director of the Performing Arts Institute. “We’ve always had students at Mater Dei with great musical and artistic talent,” said Dwyer, who has taught several future performers and Broadway stars. “The institute will give our students more opportunities to expand their skills and experiences, and reach their potential as performers.”

The 13th Annual Basie Awards will take place on the Asbury Park Press stage on Wednesday, May 23rd at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. For more information about the Mater Dei Prep Performing Arts Institute, or about the other recently established Academic Institutes at Mater Dei Prep, please call 732.671.9100 or visit

Mater Dei Prep

Mater Dei Prep

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Phone 732-671-9100  Fax 732-671-9214

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