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Southlake Style

Local Theater Students Win Awards at National Festival

Jan 26, 2015 09:12AM ● By Amy

Photo by James Barker

Students from the Ohlook Performing Arts Center in Grapevine won a Freddie G Award for Excellence in Dance and student Emma Lord received a Freddie G award for Outstanding Student Director and Choreographer at the 2015 Junior Theater Festival.

These local students ages 7 to 17 participated in the Jan. 16 - 18 even held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. The 47 students presented selections from Shrek the Musical JR. for Tony-nominated composer Justin Paul  (A Christmas Story, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach) and iTheatrics vice president of publishing and resident choreographer Steven Kennedy.

“Ohlook’s performance was inventive and full of life!” says Paul. “There was talent and joy abounding!” Kennedy added, “Ohlook Performing Arts Center combines technique and wonderful attitudes.”

Also among the accolades, Alyssa Ihle, Matthew Vinson and Chloe Lopez were three of 110 students who made it to the final call-back for future Broadway Junior shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be released Broadway Junior musicals. These videos will be used in tens of thousands of schools across the country and internationally. Jackson Layton and Brooklyn Biddle were named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, made up of two outstanding performers from each group attending the festival. The All-Stars performed a song during the closing ceremony for all 4,500 festival attendees.

The students who traveled to the 2015 Junior Theater Festival on behalf of Ohlook Performing Arts Center are: Camila Acquarone, Allie Alexander, Catherine Andrew, Brooklyn Biddle, Luisa Bierrenbach, Remelee Bivin, Emily Bronson, Reilly Buckley, Olivia Carter, Anna Grace Crawford, Sarah Crawford, Michelle D'Amico, Tim DeSimone, Elise Emberlin, Meg Fordyce, Sydney Fraser, Rachel Graham, Hannah Hammel, Isabelle Hahn, Kyan Hodgin, Alyssa Ihle, Breanne Jackson, Katie Kirkham, Jackson Layton, Chloe Lopez, Emma Lord, Grace Lord, Isabel Malin, Michael Mazey, Macy McCready, Maddie Nelson, Austin Parker, Katy Popovich, Catie Pratt, Emmy Pratt, Andrew Smith, Julia Smith, Kale Thompson, Will Thompson, Trevor Turnbow, Anna Vinson, Matthew Vinson and Kaitlyn Washburn.

Music Theatre International (MTI) CEO Freddie Gershon conceived The MTI Broadway Junior Collection (featuring 30 and 60 minute musicals for young performers) in 1994 with nearly 300,000 performances since its inception. Beginning in 2010, the festival has paid tribute to his leadership and dedication by renaming its student awards for excellence in theater “The Freddie G’s.”