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Junior Theatre Festival 2023 Newcastle

31 Oct 2023


Our Primary and Secondary students won 2 group awards for Outstanding Acting at the 2023 Junior Theatre Festival Australia, which was presented in Newcastle on October 27 & 28.  Students presented selections from Disney’s Frozen JR. and The Lion King Kids, for leading musical theatre personalities from the USA.

We are incredibly proud of Lilly C and Caitlyn D from secondary and Ella G from primary, for being a part of the pilot performance of Between the Lines. These students participated in a week long workshop process in order to stage an hour long performance this evening.

On Saturday, 28 October, 24 finalist groups from all states in Australia as well as a group from New Zealand, competed in person for the prestigious awards that are judged by a panel of international visiting artists from Broadway and West End.

Junior Theatre Festival allows students and teachers representing a diverse number of theatre programs to come together to share their talents, cheer each other on, and be part of an international community of people who care as much about the art form as they do.

The event is part of the global Junior Theatre Festivals circuit, conceived by iTheatrics in New York, which takes place in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. A “rousing celebration of theatre” (The New York Times), the Junior Theatre Festivals are the world’s largest events exclusively dedicated to celebrating young people and student-driven musical theatre. In 2022, nearly 20,000 people worldwide attended a Junior Theatre Festival.

“Each of the student participants had the unique opportunity to receive tips from some of the world’s best producers, directors and writers who joined us from New York,” said Junior Theatre Festival (JTF) co-producer Shane Bransdon.

“As a major treat, the students got to meet celebrity performer Rob Mills, who is currently touring with the hit musical “&Juliet”.

The Junior Theatre Festival Australia 2023 would not be possible without generous funding grants from Music Theatre International (MTI) and the City of Newcastle. Stuart Hendricks from MTI commended the JTF Australia team on their monumental pivoting efforts to deliver the event.

“Around the world, Junior Theatre Festivals offer young people the opportunity to bond with their peers in an immersive celebration of the art form they love,” said Mr Hendricks. “MTI is committed to promoting the value of theatre in education and giving performers additional opportunities to demonstrate their talents and to support and learn from each other.”

Participating in this year’s Junior Theatre Festival were Daniel J Mertzlufft, Broadway composer and tiktok influencer; Ryan Macauley, West End Musical Director; Vidya Makan, performer from SIX the musical; Stuart Hendricks, Managing Director of MTI Australasia; Founder of Jeter Backyard Theatre (Pennsylvania), and many more.

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