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The Show Must Go On! Annual Performing Arts Scholarship Competition Goes Virtual

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The Show Must Go On! Annual Performing Arts Scholarship Competition Goes Virtual

Dedicated to the development of performing arts through education and scholarships, Las Casas Foundation has announced its annual scholarship program historically held at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre will culminate in an online variety show on Sunday, May 17, 6:00 PM CST. The '2020 Joci Awards,' in partnership with Blanchard Creative Group and Walley Films, will shine the spotlight on 25 finalists from the San Antonio and South Texas area, competing for over $110,000 in scholarship awards. In its 12th year since inception, the 'Joci Awards' has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarship funds to deserving performing arts students maintaining its designation as one of the largest funding sources of its kind in the country. Watch online at YouTube.Com/LasCasasFoundation.

"In these extraordinary times, the arts are needed now more than ever," says Kevin Parman, Board Chair for Las Casas Foundation. "For the past 12 years, Las Casas has celebrated the performing arts and Texas's rising stars through the Joci Awards. We are fortunate to have a wonderful team committed to the performing arts and willing to adapt to continue to make this possible, even in the most unusual of circumstances."

The Joci Awards highlight students who excel in the performing arts in five different categories, including Acting, Best Lead Actor in a Musical, Best Lead Actress in a Musical, Dance and Vocal. Chosen from a field of more than 170 applicants from 46 high schools throughout South Texas at preliminary auditions in early March, 25 student finalists will be awarded a $4,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice. Each talented performer has had the opportunity to participate in digital coaching sessions with theatre professionals who have worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and the West End.

Four area high school students also selected will participate in Las Casas Foundation's Production Assistant Internship Program. Presented as part of the annual scholarship program in affiliation with Blanchard Creative Group, Production Assistant Interns will play a critical role in the creative, technical and musical aspects of this year's showcase. Each Production Assistant will receive a $750 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.

In addition to awarding scholarships, Las Casas will recognize the top three outstanding high school productions. Each production will be awarded a $500 stipend to support their theatre program. Furthermore, two educators have also been selected to attend the Broadway Teacher Workshop, a now virtual conference behind the scenes on Broadway designed to inspire teachers with new teaching methods, enhanced production skills, and an exchange of ideas with peers and professional Broadway artists.

THE FINALISTS FOR THIS YEAR'S JOCI AWARDS ARE:

Acting

Mick Buck - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Connor Fitzmaurice - Johnson High School; San Antonio, TX

Christopher Johnson - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Naudia Mayers - Steele High School; Cibolo, TX

Faith-Ann Zepeda - Harlingen Performing Arts Conservatory; Harlingen, TX

Best Lead Actor in a Musical

Tristan Flores as Usnavi in In the Heights - Harlingen Performing Arts Conservatory; Harlingen, TX

Joshuah Mayo as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors - Judson High School; Converse, TX

Nathan Napoli as Thomas Andrews in Titanic - Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

Dawson Rice as Frederick Barrett in Titanic - Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

Aidan Villarreal as Bobby Child in Crazy for You - Taft High School; San Antonio, TX

Best Lead Actress in a Musical

Faith Bulen as Polly Baker in Crazy for You - Taft High School; San Antonio, TX

Gabriela Garza as Abuela Claudia in In the Heights - Harlingen Performing Arts Conservatory; Harlingen, TX

Naliah Hernandez as Margaret White in Carrie - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Julianna Ingram as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Claire McGinlay as Carrie White in Carrie - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Dance

Kaben Benavides - Advanced Learning Academy; San Antonio, TX

Toby Lawrence - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Kennady McClure - Connections Academy; San Antonio, TX

Emma Vicana - Johnson High School; San Antonio, TX

Cameron Wood - iUniversity; San Antonio, TX

Vocal

Olivia Barrón - MacArthur High School; San Antonio, TX

Carlie Green - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Breanna Klotzbach - Madison High School; San Antonio, TX

Grant Pace - ZACH Performing Arts Academy; Austin, TX

River Phillips - Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

Production Assistant Interns

Mya Alexander - East Central High School; San Antonio, TX

Aleshah Brown - Homeschool; San Antonio, TX

Henry Joaquin Gonzalez - Alamo Heights High School; San Antonio, TX

Maya Sarate - Advanced Learning Academy; San Antonio, TX

Best Musical

Carrie - North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Crazy for You - Taft High School; San Antonio, TX

In The Heights - Harlingen Performing Arts Conservatory; Harlingen, TX


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