LOCAL STUDENTS WIN NATIONAL AWARDS AT 2019 JUNIOR THEATER FESTIVAL ATLANTA
Students from Community Theatre of Greensboro in Greensboro and High Point Community Theatre in High Point won national awards and earned recognition at the 2019 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta, which happened January 18-20, 2019 at The Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. The Junior Theater Festival Atlanta united 6,600+ students and educators from 133 educational musical theater groups representing 28 states, Australia, China, New Zealand, and the U.K.
ABOVE PHOTO – Pictured in Community Theatre of Greensboro Sister Act 1 – Students from Community Theatre of Greensboro and Adelaide Youth Theater in Australia previewed Sister Act JR. for all 6,600 festival attendees during the New Works Showcase, in which students present selections of new titles soon to made available from Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior library of titles.
Community Theatre of Greensboro won a Freddie G Award for Excellence in Music.
Students from Community Theatre of Greensboro also joined students from Adelaide Youth Theater (from Australia) to preview Sister Act JR. for all festival attendees during the festival’s New Works Showcase. The students also joined 13 other educational musical theater groups to present an opening number from Oliver JR. at the New Works showcase. The event is an evening of student-run performances which showcase upcoming releases from Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior library of titles.
Additionally students from Community Theatre of Greensboro collaborated with Adelaide Youth Theater and PS 124 (in New York City) to perform a medley from Honk! JR. on the mainstage on Sunday to honor Music Theatre International co-chairman Freddie Gershon when he was awarded the Broadway Junior spirit award.
The Community Theatre of Greensboro students presented selections from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR. and The High Point Community Theatre presented Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR. for Australian dancer and choreographer Scott Anderson Morris, who has served as assistant dance captain on show’s including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz, My Fair Lady directed by Julie Andrews) and Shay Rodgers, a choreographer who created and managed the Academy at Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars for over a decade and who currently teaches at Wildfish Theatre and Houston High School for Theatre.
Shay Rodgers said of Community Theatre of Greensboro, “Community Theatre of Greensboro’s harmonies were flawless. They worked as a team to create an amazing world on stage.”
Shay Rodgers said of High Point, “High Point Community Theatre’s presentation was creative, funny, delightful to watch. This group has a clever director who was able to make the peach truly come alive on stage.”
Community Theatre of Greensboro’s Madison Barrier, Trinity Evans, Regan Heberle, and Carlie Shaner and High Point Community Theatre’s Lauren Redding and Jack Sargeant made it to the call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be released Broadway Junior musicals. The shoots will be taped in New York City this summer. The Broadway Junior scouts were on the lookout for outstanding students, out of 6,600 people at the festival, 181 were invited to audition for iTheatrics resident choreographer Steven G. Kennedy. The final cast will be determined later this year. These videos will be used in tens of thousands of schools across the country and internationally.
Community Theatre of Greensboro’s Joshua Thompson and Abigail Farlow and High Point Community Theatre’s Julianna Byerly and Jack Sargeant were named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, made up of outstanding performers attending the festival. The All-Stars performed a song during the closing ceremony for all 6,600 festival attendees.
Produced by the Junior Theater Group in partnership with iTheatrics, a leading educational theater company that creates innovative experiences and products for the public and private sector, the Junior Theater Festival Atlanta is the world’s largest festival celebrating young people and the transformative power of musical theater. This year’s title sponsors were Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Group, and Playbill, Inc®. The Junior Theater Festival was founded in 2003. In 2010 the festival became an annual event.
About Community Theatre of Greensboro – Founded in 1949, the Community Theatre of Greensboro is the oldest arts organization in Guilford County. The organization works to bring its diverse community together to learn about, experience, and celebrate the joys of theatre. Its goal is to help everyone in its community share in the excitement of participating in theatre—as actors, backstage crew, or audience members. Community Theatre of Greensboro cherishes diversity and non-traditional casting is a priority.
The Community Theatre of Greensboro has enjoyed many past successes at the Junior Theater festival. At the 2018 and 2017 Junior Theater Festivals Atlanta, the Community Theatre of Greensboro won a Freddie G Award for Excellence in Music.
At the 2017 Junior Theater Festival, Community Theatre of Greensboro received a Freddie G Outstanding Production award. Community Theatre of Greensboro student Maddie Conti also won a Freddie G Award for Excellent Individual Performance by a Female. In addition, Community Theatre of Greensboro joined students from Inspiration Stage to perform a surprise musical tribute of “Why We Tell the Story” to Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, when the Tony-award-winning creative team received the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival Legacy Award. Furthermore, Community Theatre of Greensboro student Richmond Parrish made it to the call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be released musicals.
At the 2016 festival, Community Theatre of Greensboro won a Freddie G Outstanding Production award. Student Izzy DuMond received a Freddie G Excellent Individual Performance by a Female award. Community Theatre of Greensboro also presented Madagascar JR. to all festival attendees at the New Works Showcase. Also, at the 2016 festival Community Theatre of Greensboro students Trinity Evans and Kira Arrington were selected as finalists for a callback to film national choreography videos.
In 2015, students won a Freddie G Outstanding Production and performed at the Junior Theater Festival closing ceremonies.
In 2013 students from the Community Theatre of Greensboro earned a Freddie G Outstanding Achievement in Dance award. Student Haile Ferrier made it to the final call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be released musicals.
In 2012 the Community Theater of Greensboro students earned a Freddie G Outstanding Achievement in Dance group award. Student Matt Hanson earned a Freddie G Outstanding Achievement at the Broadway Junior Slam. Furthermore, CTG students Lorin Brunson and Jaylan Evans were cast in Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for musicals, which they taped in New York City in summer, 2012.
In 2011, CTG students won a Freddie G Outstanding Achievement in Acting award, and student Loren Brunson was one of 25 young performers from across the nation who was cast to fly to New York to record instructional choreography videos. Furthermore, teacher Rozalynn Fulton was one of eight educators from across the country selected for the Freddie G Experience award. The Freddie G Theater Experience is a fully-funded weekend for educators in New York City complete with performances, celebrations and workshops.
In 2009 CTG’s young performers were awarded an Outstanding Achievement in Music award. And at the 2007 festival the students earned an Outstanding Achievement in Acting award for the group’s presentation of Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR.
About High Point Community Theatre – High Point Community Theatre is a volunteer-based arts organization dedicated to providing community involvement opportunities, inspiring appreciation for dramatic arts, and educating the next generation. Its 2019 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta team is comprised of 34 students ages 10-18. Auditions for The Troupe were held in August and rehearsals began in September.
The group has also enjoyed success at past Junior Theater Festivals. At the 2018 Junior Theater Festival High Point Community Theatre won a Freddie G Award for Excellence in Music and student Michael Coltrane won a Freddie G award for Excellent Individual Performance by a Male. Abigail Farlow and Jackson Barnes made it to the call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be released Broadway musicals.
About the 2019 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta – The 2019 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta is a monumental weekend of theatrical fellowship rewarding and empowering student-driven musical theater programs.
Disney Theatrical Productions President & Producer Thomas Schumacher, Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and Caissie Levy (Frozen on Broadway), legendary Broadway and West End producer (and Chairman of Music Theatre International) Sir Cameron Mackintosh, songwriting team Pasek & Paul, Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple), Taylor Iman Jones (Head Over Heels), Ryan McCarten (Heathers The Musical), Billy Jenkins (“The Crown,” “Holmes & Watson”), Luca Padovan (School of Rock), and Isabella Russo (School of Rock); New York Times best-selling authors Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things); Rob Rokicki (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, off-Broadway, Miss Saigon, national tour); Elyssa Samsel & Kate Anderson (“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”) were some of the celebrities at the festival cheering on the students.
In addition to presenting selections from shows for adjudication, participants took part in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, gained from professional development, watched outstanding performances by fellow students and Broadway stars and enjoyed theatrical fellowship.
Oscar-, Grammy-, Tony-, and Golden Globe award–winning songwriters Pasek & Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, “La La Land”) performed the festival’s headlining concert with a special surprise guest appearance by Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple).
Disney Theatrical Productions President & Producer Thomas Schumacher, Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and Caissie Levy (Frozen on Broadway) offered the festival keynote.
Legendary Broadway and West End producer (and Chairman of Music Theatre International) Sir Cameron Mackintosh spoke with all 500 educators attending the festival.
During the festivals’ New Works Showcase, select groups performed songs from new or updated musicals that will soon be made available as Broadway Junior musicals for licensing by MTI, including:
Oliver JR. was presented by British Theatre Academy (London, U.K.).
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer JR. was presented by University School of Nashville (Nashville, TN).
Sister Act JR. was presented by Community Theatre of Greensboro (Greensboro, NC) and Adelaide Youth Theatre (South Australia).
In addition to presenting a 15-minute selection from a Broadway Junior musical for adjudication, participants took part in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, and gained from professional development.
Based in New York City, for the last decade iTheatrics has established itself as the world’s leading authority on musical theater for young people. The company works with leading public and private companies around the world — including the White House, the Kennedy Center, NBC and all the leading theatrical licensors — to make sure that young people everywhere have access to quality musical theater programs.