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Bay Area Children's Theatre Advanced Performers Honored At Junior Theatre Festival West

Bay Area Children's Theatre Advanced Performers Honored At Junior Theatre Festival West

Bay Area Children's Theatre (BACT) students in BACT's Advanced Performers the company's by-audition-only traveling musical theatre team brought home five awards last week from the Junior Theatre Festival West, a celebration of youth and musical theatre that attracts more than 1,800 theatre students, educators and professionals to Sacramento each year to share excerpts from productions and hear critiques of their performances from theatre pros.

Theatergoing families know that BACT creates imaginative professional productions for young audiences, but some may not be aware that BACT also has an award-winning theatre education program that introduces students aged 5 - 18 to the performing arts through classes, camps and programs in local schools.


BACT's students were honored in five categories:

Advanced Performers under age 13 were honored for Outstanding Ensemble Work for their performance from Shrek The Musical JR.

The age 13 and older group of Advanced Performers took honors for Outstanding Achievement in Music for their excerpts from Legally Blond The Musical, JR.

Miya Drain of Berkeley was named an Outstanding Female Performer for her portrayal of Pauline in Legally Blond The Musical, JR.

Sanjana Utimarerur of Pleasanton was honored as an Outstanding Student Director.

For the second year in a row, BACT's team of Zach Badain, 14, Elisa McCormick, 15, and Alexa Owen, 16, of San Ramon and Sadie Wayne, 14, of Orinda triumphed in the Tech Olympics, besting more than 30 other teams for efficient technical problem solving and stagecraft under time constraints on stage.


BACT's Advanced Performers opened the weekend festivities on a jingly note by donning elf and reindeer costumes to premiere excerpts from a new musical stage version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer JR, especially developed for young performers.

We were honored to be selected again this year to showcase a new work at JTF West, and we are thrilled that our Advanced Performers have earned trophies that acknowledge their hard work and dedication. We are extremely proud of them all, said BACT Education Director Annie Clark.

Advanced Performers come to BACT's education program in Oakland from as far south as Pleasanton and as far north as Vallejo, as far west as San Pablo and as far east as Livermore. They will have one more chance to share the fruits of their efforts with family and friends when they perform their winning work this spring at BACT.

JTF WEST, now in its third year in California, is one of several theatre festivals produced by iTheatrics that brings young performers together for demonstrations, workshops, and performances that are professionally critiqued, as well as appearances by Broadway and Disney stars. At this year's festival on February 9-10, composer Deborah Wicks La Puma, who wrote the music for BACT's world premiere of She Persisted, the Musical, was featured playing the song, Walk On, from that show.

Photo Credit: Melissa Nigro

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