Posted on May 6th, 2019






Dallas, TX (May 6, 2019) – More than 300 area high school students will perform on the main stage of the Music Hall at Fair Park on Thursday, May 9 as part of the 2019 Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards (HSMTA).  Winners will be named in 18 categories that recognize artistic and educational achievements of North Texas students and their high school programs.

The winners in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories will have the opportunity to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City.

Broadway veteran Hunter Herdlicka, a graduate of Plano West Senior High School, will also perform and receive the 2019 DSM HSMTA Fullinwider Award, which each year honors a Broadway professional from North Texas who has impacted the community and the theatre industry.  Herdlicka grew up attending DSM Broadway presentations at the Music Hall.

The Leah & Jerome M. Fullinwider Award is named for Leah and Jerry Fullinwider, the founding donors of DSM’s High School Musical Theater Awards. The award was created in 2016 to honor the Fullinwiders for their initial gift of $100,000, which helped fund and produce DSM HSMTA and College Scholarship program in 2012.

“Being honored with the Fullinwider Award means a great deal to me, as Dallas Summer Musicals holds a very special place in my life,” Herdlicka said. “The Music Hall at Fair Park was where I saw my very first show, Cats, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, who, 25 years later, would be the director of my first Broadway show, A Little Night Music. While growing up in Dallas, my family took me see around 160 productions presented by DSM. Some of my favorites were Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly!, Eartha Kitt in Cinderella (featuring the most amazing orchestrations and arrangements by my friend, Andrew Lippa), Parade, Ragtime, and the Deaf West production of Big River, starring Michael McElroy – which I saw four times. I can’t thank this organization enough for providing me a lifelong education in the theatre and for recognizing my achievements in my career thus far.”

Patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards®, the DSM HSMTA celebrate the power of the arts and its ability to significantly improve all areas of education.  DSM HSMTA is the second largest program of its kind in the country. 

The DSM HSMTA ceremony will take place Thursday, May 9, at the Music Hall at Fair Park. The evening will kick off with a red-carpet event at 5:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 7 p.m.

Single tickets for the DSM HSMTA, ranging from $20 to $99 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale at DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1 (800) 745-3000. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


A Dallas native and Plano West Senior High School graduate, Hunter is best known for his nearly two years starring on Broadway as Henrik in the Tony Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, followed by Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch.

Other New York credits include the recent revival of Once Upon a Mattress, as the Minstrel, starring Jackie Hoffman and Jerry Herman’s Dear World, starring opposite Tyne Daly.

In 2012, Hunter appeared as Ariel in The Tempest at the Dallas Theater Center, and has since appeared in around 20 regional productions including Candide (Maximillian) at the Alliance Theatre with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ragtime (Younger Brother) at Barrington Stage, The Pirates of Penzance (Frederic) at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and at the Ordway Center in St. Paul, Cabaret (Cliff) at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Sacramento Music Circus, Fiddler on the Roof (Fyedka) and Titanic (Charles) both with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Othello (Clown) at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Something’s Afoot (Geoffrey) at the Goodspeed Opera House, three seasons with the West Virginia Public Theatre, as well as countless workshops, readings, and concerts in New York working and singing alongside Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman, Michael Feinstein, David Hyde Pierce, Linda Lavin, Nathan Lane and Michael C. Hall, amongst others.

A close friend of legendary actress Elaine Stritch, Hunter appeared in and helped produce the award-winning documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. Hunter has enjoyed two sold-out runs at New York’s famed nightclub Feinstein’s, appeared at the Café Carlyle, Birdland Jazz Club, and debuted his new show with a sold out appearance at Feinstein’s/54 Below. He currently resides in Manhattan. Please visit www.HunterRyanHerdlicka.com for more and follow @HRHerdlicka.


Since 1941, the non-profit Dallas Summer Musicals Inc. (DSM) has presented the Best of Broadway to North Texas audiences. Located in the historic Music Hall at Fair Park, DSM promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through education and community outreach programs, while enriching the cultural landscape of North Texas and the Southwest Region.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to offer affordable ticket prices, preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and develop impactful community programs.

DSM gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors, annual fund donors and corporate partners American Airlines, Texas Instruments, The Dallas Morning News, and WFAA TV Channel 8. For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214-421-5678 or visit our website at DallasSummerMusicals.org.