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Over 200 Winners Crowned in Nationwide Educational Musical Theatre Festival

Over 200 Winners Crowned in Nationwide Educational Musical Theatre Festival

On February 7th, students from schools from all over the country and Mexico arrived at Fullerton College for a truly unique musical theatre experience. Friday's opening ceremony began with welcoming words from Christopher J. Hanke, and the MTCA team as well as an open call dance and vocal audition to provide students with an opportunity to be cast in Saturday's finale Production Number.

The competition took center stage on Saturday. Students aged 8-19 competed in a wide-ranging collection of individual and group categories. Individuals participated in solo, monologue, and duet categories, while groups performed ensemble routines. Technical theatre students had the opportunity to present Set Design, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hair Design for adjudication. Students participated in multiple master classes throughout the weekend, including a workshop from the preeminent leader in College Audition Preparation Musical Theater College Auditions (MTCA).

Saturday featured a special performance by the students of Saugus High School. Last November, Saugus High School experienced a tragic event on campus. Students from Saugus High School were personally invited to attend MTCA, and in association with Broadway Dreams, worked with Hanke, Matthew Scott, and MTCA's Music Director John Tebay to present a special presentation of Somewhere/Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

"I cannot thank you enough for giving my students an experience they will never forget. From the moment we arrived, we were treated with such kindness. Our first workshop was with the amazing John Tebay - whose positive energy eased their hearts and instilled confidence. The Cattle Call vocal and dance auditions, the solo and duet competition and the ensemble musical performance gave my students a realistic taste of the business. All competitions were adjudicated by absolute professionals, who gave meaningful advice and constructive criticism to my students.

And working with Christopher J. Hanke on the finale was simply inspiring. Thank you MTCA for a life changing experience."

-Gina Painter, Director, Saugus High School

What differentiates MTCA from other competitions and festivals is that each student receives a personal clinic from adjudicators. Students receive immediate and relevant feedback that encourages growth and development. This learning opportunity is an integral part of the MTCA experience. The MTCA adjudication team is comprised of college-level theatre faculty, Broadway performers and choreographers, Disney Master Class teachers, and regional theatre owners.

MTCA 2020's Special Guest Host was Christopher J. Hanke, who has starred in Broadway hitsHow to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, (Bud Frump), Rent, (Mark), and Cry-Baby, (Baldwin). Hanke is dedicated to teaching and inspiring the next generation of musical theatre talent. During MTCA 2020, he conducted master classes and talkbacks with all registered students. Special Guest, Corey Cott, joined him Saturday onstage for a concert and talkback. Cott made his Broadway debut starring as Jack Kelly for two years in Disney's Newsies, followed by the Broadway revival of Gigi starring opposite Vanessa Hudgens. Recently, he received critical acclaim for his performance in the Tony Award winning musical Bandstand. Scholarships were awarded to deserving students with a special presentation of the Best in Festival Scholarship to Riley Davis. In total, MTCA 2020 awarded over $45,000 in scholarships.

The festival concluded with a magical awards ceremony at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Over 200 awards were handed out to the winning performers in each category on the majestic Fantasyland Theatre Stage. The ceremony was highlighted by a surprise visit from Mickey & Minnie Mouse, which garnered a roar of approval from the audience. Following the awards, students and directors enjoyed a day of fun experiencing the best that Disneyland has to offer!

Musical Theatre Competitions of America (MTCA) is a three-day creative collaboration among musical theatre producers, directors, costume designers, set designers, and choreographers. Established in 2005, MTCA was designed to provide a competition and educational event for musical theatre students and directors, The festival brings schools and performing arts studios from around the country together for a collection of individual and group performances, in addition to master classes taught by Broadway stars and experienced instructors.

MTCA is guided under the vision of Directors Lisa Fry and Pia Patrick. Lisa and Pia have over 10 years of experience with MTCA as well as a strong background in the performing arts education field. Lisa and Pia share an unequaled enthusiasm for teaching and helping students experience the art of musical theatre.

"The Musical Theatre Competitions of America provide valuable experiences for youth to study the world of musical theatre. MTCA's coaches and adjudicators care for the youth who are involved in the process."

-Gai Laing Jones, President of Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), National Board Member of Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), CETA Executive Board, DTASC Advocacy Director

For more details about MTCA and updates regarding the 2021 competition, please visit, or email Lisa Fry at

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