'Raunchy' performance gets her the win

July 09, 2013|By Anthony Clark Carpio
  • Sarah Lynn Marion, 17, poses for a photo at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster on Monday. Marion, a Huntington Beach High School class of 2013 graduate, won best performance by an actress in the National High School Musical Theater Awards, which was held in New York on July 1.
Sarah Lynn Marion, 17, poses for a photo at the Rose Center… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

At some point, the 17-year-old competing in the national high school theater competition in New York had to let her training and lifetime love of performing take over. In the end, all her time at the Huntington Beach High School Academy for the Performing Arts didn't fail her, she brought home the top prize.

"When I performed my solo, I wasn't thinking about winning the competition or being better or worse than the other contestants," Sarah Marion said about her musical theater performance at the Minskoff Theatre in New York. "I walked onto the stage and I said to myself, 'This is just about me. This is about having fun. They can take it or leave it and at this point, I don't really care.'"

That's what the recent graduate told herself before performing the piece "Raunchy" from the musical "110 in the Shade" and winning best performance by an actress at the fifth annual National High School Musical Theater Awards.


Sarah, of Westminster, became the third student from the program on July 1 to win the Jimmy, named after the Broadway theater owner James M. Nederlander.

She was one of 62 students across the nation vying for the award which comes with $10,000 from the Nederlander Organization and access to a four-year scholarship to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, should she be accepted.

"It's unreal right now. I'm still kind of in a daze," Sarah said. "It's been two days and it feels like five minutes. It's so hard to take in."

With her on her trip to New York was APA's musical director Tim Nelson. He sat in the audience during the performances and said Marion had them in the palm of her hand.

"You looked like a Broadway star. You commanded the stage like a Broadway performer," Nelson told Sarah as they sat in the Rose Center Theater in Westminster Wednesday afternoon.

"I remember when she had her first audition when she was in eighth grade," he said. "We've come a long way."

Huntington's APA has a history of sending students to fight for the Jimmy.

Kyle Selig clinched the first Jimmy for the APA in 2010 and Elizabeth Romero in 2012, Nelson said. There has always been a representative from the school since the competition first started in 2009, he added.

Nelson and APA artistic director Diane Makas credit the program's success to the fact they are one of the few high schools in the nation with a musical theater program.

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