ST. CHARLES – Taylor Marie Sherry’s first visit to New York City will be spent this summer in Broadway workshops, learning from Broadway choreographers, directors and actors.
Although the 18-year-old will have the chance to win an award at the National High School Musical Theater Awards held that week, the St. Charles North High School senior said she’s not expecting any accolades.
“I’m just going to go and work really hard,” Sherry said. “Everyone there is so extremely talented.”
She and John Clay III of Oak Park are representing Illinois in the national competition because they were the recipients of the second annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards.
Held in April in Chicago, the statewide competition featured 12 actors and 12 actresses.
Each finalist submitted a video and pictures from a performance he or she did at their school, Sherry said, noting she was Millie in “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
The finalists learned the number “Anything Goes” for the statewide awards program and received coaching from Sean McKnight, cast member from the “Anything Goes” national tour.
Sherry said she was blessed to have such an incredible experience.
“I learned a lot working with those choreographers,” Sherry said.
In New York, Sherry and other students will perform at the Minskoff Theatre, and a panel of judges will pick two students for the awards of best performance by an actor and best performance by an actress, according to a news release from Broadway In Chicago.
Sherry hopes to one day make it on Broadway, she said.
The daughter of Equity actors, Sherry has performed in musicals since she was about 4, she said.
What started as a fun hobby has become something she has grown to love.
“It’s just become my life,” Sherry said.
In addition to performing at North, she has acted in Elgin Community College productions and in community theater.
Her most professional experience was at American Girl Place in Chicago, where she said she modeled and worked in the store’s musicals.
Sherry plans to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater from Florida State University.
“I’m really just going to take it as it comes,” Sherry said of the future. “My main goal is Broadway. That’s what I’m working up to.”