Tickets on Sale for Best Performance Awards June 30; Last Day June 9 for Guaranteed Group Seating

Brea D. Johnson and Maddie Hewgley are this year’s recipients of $1,000 scholarships each from Arts For Life, to be presented at the 24th Annual Best Performance Awards on June 30.

Johnson, a recent graduate of Fort Zumwalt South High School, lives in St. Peters, Mo., and plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University, where she will major in musical theater.

Hewgley attends Elon University as a musical theater major and is a 2022 graduate of Parkway Central High School.

Both Johnson and Hewgley have extensive performing arts credits in local youth productions and with other theater companies.

Maddie Hewgley

Students who plan to pursue a career in the arts are eligible for an annual Arts For Life scholarship.

Every year since 2012, the AFL board of directors has selected two college-age recipients through an application process. Requirements include pursuing a career in the arts, essays, and letter(s) of recommendation.

Those entering college after high school graduation or continuing their college education in an arts undergraduate program must submit a completed application and cannot have been the primary recipient of a previous AFL scholarship.

AFL is a non-for-profit arts and service organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating community and youth theatre in the St. Louis metropolitan and metro-east Illinois region.

Local performer Donna Weinsting, who has been a popular figure on stage, in films and comedy clubs throughout St. Louis for 60 years, is this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from Arts For Life.

The BPAs recognize excellence in community theater organizations in the St. Louis metropolitan region, including Southwest Illinois.

Tickets are currently on sale for the event set for Sunday, June 30 at the Keating Performing Arts Center at Kirkwood High School, 801 W Essex Ave, Kirkwood, MO 63122

Brea Johnson

If attendees want guaranteed seating with a particular theater group, they must order tickets online by the end of day, June 9. Please let us know which theatre group or individual you would like to sit with in the “notes to seller” section at checkout. After that, tickets will be reserved in general seating.

BPA tickets are $30 and are available online with a service fee of $2 added:

Zion Thomas will be the event’s master of ceremonies. A local performer, he is pursuing a career in film/TV and is a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University.

Paul Pagano will serve as director. A native of St. Louis, he is the executive director and a co-founder of Gateway Center for the Performing Arts.

The ceremony will include performances from the top musicals nominated in the three Best Musical Production categories.

Act Two Theatre’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” and Monroe Actors Stage Company’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” lead all musical productions with 17 nominations apiece.

Gateway Center for the Performing Arts has the most nominations with 31- for “Bare: A Pop Opera” (7) and youth productions “9 to 5: The Musical” (14) and “School of Rock” (10).

All BPA ticket orders will be held at the box office. Please contact us at if you have any special seating needs. Handicapped seating is available.

Nominations are listed on the website,

“These events recognize the incredible talent we have in St. Louis community theater and honor the passion and dedication of those who build this amazing and unique theatrical community,” said Mary McCreight, AFL president.

Participating groups included Act Two Theatre, Alpha Players of Florissant, Christ Memorial Productions, Crusader Players, Curtain’s Up Theatre, Dayspring Arts and Education, Gateway Center for the Performing Arts, Goshen Theatre Project, Hawthorne Players, KTK Productions, Looking Glass Playhouse, Monroe Actors’ Stage Company, O’Fallon Theatre Works, Spotlight Productions and Take Two Productions.

Arts For Life is a local not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to the healing power of the arts through its work with youth, the underserved, and the community, with its goal of “Making a Dramatic Difference.”

AFL is dedicated to promoting public awareness of local community theatre, encouraging excellence in the arts, and acknowledging the incredible people who are a part of it.

For BPA event sponsorship or more information, email or visit the website,

Last year’s winners.