Aspire PAC Receives 9 Awards And 28 Nominations

Aspire PAC Receives 9 Awards And 28 Nominations Aspire Performing Arts Company (PAC) is pleased to announce that it recently received nine awards and an additional 28 nominations from National Youth Arts (NYA).

NYA, now in its 18th year, celebrates the best of youth arts throughout the country. Aspire PAC joined NYA as a member theater in 2016 and this was the company's second year of eligibility for award consideration.

Aspire PAC received awards and nominations for five of its 2017-18 productions: Grease, Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR., Heathers the Musical (High School Edition), and two pilot productions: Newsies JR. and Frozen JR.

This year, more than 600 productions were considered for the awards, including shows from more 220 different members spanning 17 states and the UK. Award ceremonies are currently being held in different regions of the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Virginia, and New York.

On Sunday, August 19, nine Aspire PAC members attended the Eastern Regional Ceremony, held at the Riverdale YM-YWHA in the Bronx. Allison Paterno opened the show by stepping back into her role as Katherine Plumber from Newsies JR. and performing "Watch What Happens." Olivia Kozlevcar also reprised her role of Heather McNamara from Heathers the Musical (High School Edition), performing the song "Lifeboat" before accepting her Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical award.

Awards were received in the following categories:

· Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical:

o Courtney Bulger as Veronica in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

o Julia DiGirolamo as Veronica in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

· Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical (Junior Division):

o James Ignacio as Jack Kelly in Newsies JR.

o Lillian Kopacz as Marty in Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR.

o Allison Paterno as Katherine Plumber in Newsies JR.

· Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical:

o Leighann Albanese as Marty in Grease

o Olivia Kozlevcar as Heather McNamara in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

o Gianna Trivisani as Heather Chandler in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

· Outstanding Ensemble: Grease

Aspire PAC Artistic Director Lisa Beth Vettoso said "I am blown away by the recognition Aspire has received from National Youth Arts. I am incredibly proud of the productions we put up over the past year, and these awards and nominations celebrate the hard work of our entire team - from cast and crew to the parents and families. The numerous nominations for Outstanding Ensemble exemplify how all of these pieces come together to create something beautiful and inspiring. Thank you to Rob Hopper and all of NYA for continuing to support youth and the arts year after year."

NYA is known for recognizing standout talent across the country. Award-winning alumni include Tony Nominee Emily Skeggs (Broadway: Fun Home), Ariana Afsar (Broadway: Hamilton), Veronica Dunne (Broadway: Chicago), and Grammy Nominee Ariana Grande.

Full Nomination List:

  • Outstanding Choreography:
    • Jaimie Bass and Lisa Beth Vettoso for Grease
  • Outstanding Direction:
    • Lisa Beth Vettoso for Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
  • Outstanding Ensemble:
    • Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
  • Outstanding Ensemble (Junior Division):
    • Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR.
    • Newsies JR.
  • Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical:
    • Courtney Bulger as Sandy Dumbrowski in Grease
    • Gerald Cetrulo as J.D. in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
    • Jonathan Cocca as Danny Zuko in Grease
    • Robert Scharf as J.D. in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
  • Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical (Junior Division):
    • Elizabeth Grant as Elsa in Frozen JR.
    • Liam Sheffield as Alex in Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR.
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical:
    • Jillian Cetrulo as Heather Duke in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
    • Gerald Cetrulo as Doody in Grease
    • Jillian Cetrulo as Betty Rizzo in Grease
    • Olivia Howell as Heather McNamara in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
    • Ginger May as Betty Rizzo in Grease
    • Emily Moran as Heather Chandler in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
    • Annie Pascale as Jan in Grease
    • Jackie Tkaczenko as Heather Duke in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)
    • Jason Tobias as Roger in Grease
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical (Junior Division):
    • Aidan Bergstrom-Shaw as Olaf in Frozen JR.
    • Isabella Catania as Gloria in Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR.
    • Kailyn Luizzi as King Julien in Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR.
    • Skyler Maxwell as Young Anna in Frozen JR.
    • Gabriana Padilla as Medda Larkin in Newsies JR.
    • Christopher Perez as Davey in Newsies JR.
  • Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical:
    • Joe Mezza as Teen Angel in Grease
  • Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical (Junior Division):
    • Skyler Maxwell as Skipper in Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR.

Aspire PAC's mission is to provide educational workshops and production opportunities for children and teens, offering a professional arts experience in a friendly atmosphere. For more information about Aspire PAC and its upcoming programs, visit www.aspirepac.com or call 201-220-4933.

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