Since 2005, Musical Theatre West Footlighters has sponsored an annual scholarship program in which 12 high school students from across Southern California are awarded $1,000 each to help further their studies in the arts.

This year, Irvine High School senior,  Jake Akita, was one of the 12 scholarship recipients. 

Jake has starred in numerous productions at Irvine High School, including Into the Woods, Romeo and Juliet, Bring It On, and Cinderella. 

As an Asian artist, Jake’s goal is to spotlight and encourage diversity within the world of theater.

A second high school senior from Irvine, Annabella Gill, who attends the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts  (OCSA), was awarded the Dr. Frances Grover Scholarship from Footlighters.  Anabella’s credits include She Loves Me,  The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sweeny Todd, and The Secret Garden.  Annabella says, “If I can inspire just one person by my performance, then I will know I have done my part in changing lives.”

Irvine Community News & Views congratulates both young actors on their theatrical awards.

Footlighters provides crucial financial support for Musical Theatre West through their activities, including luncheons, Opening Night dinners, and other special events. Footlighters scholarships are presented annually to support and cultivate young artists and to assist with college expenses and professional performing arts training.

ICNV Staff

ICNV staff writers are local Irvine journalists who are personally familiar with the events and issues they write about.
ICNV Staff