BILLY ELLIOT Dream Awards Finalists Announced
In partnership with the Cincinnati Arts Association's Overture Awards and Local 12 WKRC, and in celebration of the recent local engagement of Billy Elliot the Musical, Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Cincinnati is proud to announce the finalists for the Billy Elliot Dream Award:
· Jake Kolesar, 15, Mt. Lookout, OH (Walnut Hills High School)
· Lauren Pauley, 16, Mason, OH (Mason High School)
· Megan Urz, 17, Independence, KY (Calvary Christian School)
The award and scholarship will be presented to one of these three finalists in recognition of their pursuit of an artistic dream. The prize will consist of a $500 scholarship provided by Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Cincinnati's Education Fund.
Billy Elliot the Musical tells the inspirational story of a boy who stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, and how his family and his community come together to support his dream of auditioning for London's Royal Ballet. The Dream Award was created in celebration of the show's visit to Cincinnati and in partnership with Local 12 WKRC and the Cincinnati Arts Association's annual Overture Awards, the region's largest solo arts competition for high school students. Billy Elliot the Musical recently played the Aronoff Center from January 17 – 29.
Applications for the Billy Elliot Dream Award were accepted from any student in grades 6 through 12 pursuing a dream as an artist in dance, visual art, performance art, creative writing, acting, singing, or music. Interested applicants submitted an essay or video describing his or her artistic dream, the challenges and obstacles they may have faced along the way, and how they have (or hope to) overcome these challenges. In addition, a performance video of under two-minutes was required exhibiting the talent of the entrant.
Applications were judged by a panel of arts professionals including Dee Anne Bryll (actor, director, choreographer, and theater instructor), Steve Finn (Director of Education and Community Relations, Cincinnati Arts Association), and Robert Lomax (classical / gospel vocalist). Three finalists were chosen on Thursday, January 26 and each was invited along with a guest to the final performance of Billy Elliot the Musical on Sunday, January 29 at 6:30pm. In addition, the three finalists and their guests will be invited to the Overture Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 3 at 1:00pm at the Aronoff Center, where the winner will be announced and awarded their prize. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship provided by Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Cincinnati's Education Fund.
Billy Elliot the Musical played the Aronoff Center from January 17 – 29 as part of the Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Cincinnati 11/12 Season. Based on the international smash-hit film and featuring music from Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical has earned critical acclaim on Broadway including 10 Tony Awards. The musical has also earned 81 national and international awards including ten Tony Awards, Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle.
The Cincinnati Arts Association's Overture Awards is the largest scholarship competition for high school students in the country. Last year more than 500 students from a thirteen county region of the Tri-state competed for $24,000 in scholarships in six artistic disciplines- Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Dance, Drama, Creative Writing and Visual Art. The Overture Awards have achieved such a strong reputation with college admission officers that success in the competition is considered a noteworthy accomplishment. For more information about The Overture Awards, visit www.cincinnatiarts.org/overture_competition.