Essay contest to be part of Vereen awards


Ben Vereen and Broadway/San Diego announce the inaugural Student Health Initiative Essay Contest as part of the 2015 Ben Vereen Awards High School Musical Theatre Competition.

All San Diego County high school students are invited to enter and share their story, titled “The Moment I Changed My Life for the Better.” The focus will be on key topics of obesity, diabetes, low self-esteem or bullying, and can be submitted via a written or video essay.

“I am so pleased to be working with Broadway/San Diego and the community on something that’s dear to my heart: helping our young people to change their life for the better through the performing arts,” says Vereen. “My hope is that the Inaugural Student Health Initiative Essay Contest will create a new path for them to find the theatre as a welcoming, nurturing, and supportive environment to excel in, and that these stories will in turn help others live a better life as a result of the arts.”

Written and video essays can be submitted by completing the entry form online. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 28. For details, rules and guidelines, visit the Student Health Initiative page at

Selected essays may be used to create a live musical theatre piece for presentation at the 2015 Ben Vereen Awards, to take place at 5 p.m. April 26 at the Balboa Theatre.

Tickets are now on sale to the second Ben Vereen Awards San Diego Competition, where 20 student nominees will perform, and the top 10 will then compete in Tucson on May 24. The two top students from that competition go on to compete at The National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York this June. The two top national winners each will receive a $10,000 award towards a college scholarship.

Tickets or the 2015 Ben Vereen Awards San Diego competition can be purchased online at or in-person at the San Diego Theatres Advance Ticket Sale Windows at 1100 Third Ave. at B Street, or by calling 858-570-1100 weekdays.