Students from Play On Players and Play On Players’ Petite Poppers in Gainesville and Collection Theatre Company in Flowery Branch won national awards and earned recognition at the 2018 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta, which was held in January at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta.
The Junior Theater Festival Atlanta drew more than 6,000 students and educators from 130 educational musical theater groups representing 30 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Collection Theatre Company won a Freddie G Outstanding Production and performed “Status Quo” from Disney’s “High School Musical Jr.”
Play On Players won a Freddie G award for Excellence in Dance, and Play on Players’ Halli Rider won a Freddie G award for Excellent Individual Performance by a Female.
Play On Players’ Junior Company, the Petite Poppers, won a Freddie G award for Excellence in Ensemble Work.
The 42 Play On Players students, ages 12-18, presented selections from Hairspray Jr.
The 22 Collection Theatre Company students, ages 15-18, presented selections from Disney’s “High School Musical Jr.” for Shay Rodgers, the former manager of education and choreographer for Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, and Paul Brewster, managing director for Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and a Disney Theatrical Group teaching artist.
The 30 Petite Poppers students, ages 8-14, presented selections from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” for director, choreographer and performer Jacob Brent (appeared in Broadway, London and DVD productions of Cats and Starlight Express, directed premiere of “Avenue Q School Edition”) and Mary-Catherine Chambliss, program director of Manhattan Youth at The Anderson School in New York City and assistant choreographer for instructional choreography DVDs with MTI.
Play On Players’ Alexander Wilson, Jonathan Marciniak, Madison Crews, Morgan Sauer and Catherine Peets; Petite Popper’s Holden Shanks and Ian Johnson; and Collection Theatre Company’s Aydan O’Connor, Lasana Murphy and Garrett Mcguire were 10 of 240 students who made it to the call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be-released Broadway Junior musicals.
Play On Players’ Shanden Vance and Logan Wallace; Petite Poppers’ Ian Johnson and Annie Cobb; and Collection Theatre Company’s Marcus Mcghee and Kennedy Bell were named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, made up of outstanding performers attending the festival.
Compiled by Clark Leonard