Students wow judges at Junior Theatre Festival

Published 4:00pm 1 November 2023

Students wow judges at Junior Theatre Festival
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Photos supplied by Peter Stoop Photography

Young performers from Red Music and Dance at Rothwell have come away with a big win after wowing the judges at this year’s Junior Theatre Festival.

The studio won the award for Outstanding Vocals when they presented selections from Disney’s High School Musical Jr.

The event, which was held in Newcastle on October 27 and 28, is the largest celebration of musical theatre for young people in Australia. It 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.

Red Music and Dance Studio Director Melissa Mataic says she is proud of the performers for their hard work and commitment.

“Miss Maddy, the Junior Theatre Festival coach and I are absolutely glowing with pride,” Melissa says.

“Our team dug deep, leaned on each other and had the crowd cheering and clapping along to our adjudication performance.

“There were many tears of pride and joy. The icing on the cake was being awarded an award for Outstanding Vocals which is a massive honour to receive, especially in our first year.

“We are on Cloud 9 after the weekend.”

Twenty four finalists from across Australia and New Zealand competed at the festival.

Students wow judges at Junior Theatre Festival

Big names give their time

Participating in this year’s Junior Theatre Festival were Broadway composer and TikTok influencer Daniel J Mertzlufft, West End musical director Ryan Macauley, SIX the musical performer Vidya Makan, Music Theatre International Australasia Managing Director Stuart Hendricks and many more.

“Around the world, Junior Theatre Festivals offer young people the opportunity to bond with their beers in an immersive celebration of the art form they love,” Stuart said.

“Music Theatre International 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.”

As a special treat, all students met Australian performer Rob Mills, who is touring with the hit musical & Juliet.

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