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San Clemente’s Carmella Manapat received top honors at the Musical Theatre West Footlighters Scholarship Awards. Celebrating excellence in theatre, 12 students from San Clemente, Long Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Irvine, Huntington Beach and Aliso Viejo earn $1,000 Scholarships for musical theater performance excellence.

Musical Theatre West Footlighters scholarships were established in 2005. Since then, the organization has awarded more than $109,000 to deserving high school students from Los Angeles and Orange Counties. In addition to the Footlighters, several named scholarships were established to honor MTW donors by their families and friends. This year, winners were selected from submissions from students attending more than 20 high schools. As a student at Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) and later Orange County High School of the Arts, Manapat co-starred in Les Misérables (Eponine) and Disney’s Beauty and The Beast (Mrs. Potts) with APA, as well as Seussical the Musical (Mayzie) and Grease (Sandy) with Broadway on Tour. Manapat’s plans include studying musical theater in college, which she says will “give me the right tools to become my unique self and the best performer I can be.”

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