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National award at the 2020 Junior Theatre Festival

05 Nov 2020

MacKillop students won a group award for Outstanding Dancing at the 2020 OzTheatrics Junior Theatre Festival Australia, which was presented as a hybrid in person and online event on October 30-31 at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle.

Music Theatre International Australasia, in partnership with producers Shane Bransdon and Daniel Stoddart, founders of OzTheatrics in Australia, and in collaboration with iTheatrics from the United States, presented the fifth annual Junior Theatre Festival Australia in Newcastle, Australia on Friday 30th & Saturday31st October.

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 much as they do.

The event is part of the global Junior Theatre Festivals circuit, conceived by iTheatrics in New York, which take 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 2019, nearly 20,000 people worldwide attended a Junior Theatre Festival.

The 22 students, ages 11 to 17, presented selections from High School Musical Junior. for leading musical theatre personalities from Australia, including Erin James (My Fair Lady, Love Never Dies, Cats), Alinta Chidzey (Chicago, West Side Story), and TONY nominee Eddie Perfect (Beetlejuice on Broadway). Said James, “The enthusiasm of this cast is infectious. These performers had great energy and sharp comic timing…. The students nailed a wonderful performance. Their presentation was clean, stylized, and enjoyable!”

Year 10 student, Trinity Young, had the opportunity to perform with Eddie Perfect as part of the event’s program, “I have learned more about myself as a performer and will take his advice with me as I continue on my journey.”

Sharon Baird, Leader of Learning and Teaching – Performing Arts, praised the students, “I am so proud of the MacKillop Performing Arts students. Their singing, dancing and acting all came together to create a really entertaining performance of High School Musical Junior.”

Participating in this year’s Junior Theatre Festival are Timothy Allen McDonald, an award-winning playwright and Founder of iTheatrics in New York City; Marty Johnson, iTheatrics’ Director of Education; John Prignano, Chief Operating Officer & Director of Education and Development of Music Theatre International; Stuart Hendricks, Managing Director of MTI Australasia; Alinta Chidzey (Velma Kelly in Chicago, Anita in West Side Story), musical composer and TV personality Eddie Perfect (Masked Singer, composer of Bettlejuice the Musical), as well as Erin James (Resident Choreographer for the 60th Anniversary production of My Fair Lady directed by Dame Julie Andrews, Cats New Zealand/Australia/South Korea/Asian Tours; David Rogers-Smith (Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Australasian tour, Les Miserables Asian African tour), and many more.

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