Bay Area Children's Theatre Students Take "Gold" For Technical Theatre Skills, Acting, Dance

Bay Area Children's Theatre Students Take “Gold” For Technical Theatre Skills, Acting, DanceThe rest of the world may have its eye on South Korea, but 64 Bay Area students are thrilled that their team took home the "gold" this weekend in the Tech Olympics at the Junior Theatre Festival WEST (JTF WEST) in Sacramento.

Students in Bay Area Children's Theatre (BACT) Advanced Performers education program took the championship in technical theatre skills and stage craft, besting more than 35 other student groups in a series of production challenges ranging from expediting costume changes to taping out sets.

BACT's Advanced Performers are East Bay students aged 9 - 16 who have successfully auditioned for BACT's traveling musical theatre team.

JTF WEST, now in its second year in California, is one of two theatre festivals produced by iTheatrics that brings young performers together in Atlanta and Sacramento for demonstrations, workshops, performances that are professionally critiqued, and appearances by Broadway and Disney stars.

Zach Badain, 13, Elisa McCormick, 14, and Alexa Owen, 15, of San Ramon and Sadie Wayne, 13, of Orinda represented BACT in the Tech Olympics, advancing to a final round of four challenges, which they successfully executed on stage with winning speed before an audience of 1,600.

Their triumph was one of several honors that BACT's Advanced Performers brought home.

In addition to the Tech Olympics medals,

· BACT's Advanced Performers team of students under age 13 received a Freddie G. Award for Excellence in Acting for its performance of excerpts from Junie B. Jones JR., directed by BACT Education Director Annie Clark.

· BACT's Advanced Performers team of students 13 and older received a Freddie G. Award for Excellence in Dance for its performance of excerpts from Singing in the Rain JR, directed by Advanced Performers Director and Curriculum Specialist Amber Dyson.

· The combined teams won a standing ovation from the audience of 1,600 for showcasing a new version of Aladdin JR, featuring four new songs from Disney's hit Broadway musical Aladdin. This is the second year in a row that BACT has been selected to perform as part of the JTF New Work Showcase, which highlights new work for young performers and models how to use ensemble work to tell stories on stage.

"We are thrilled that our Advanced Performers have been honored by our colleagues in the arts," said Clark. "These students have rehearsed every Saturday since September. They bring determination, talent and a lot of heart to their work, and their achievements are a testimony to what can happen when a team of bright young musical performers share their love of theatre together."

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 May 4 - 13 at BACT's Berkeley Theatre Center, 2055 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704.

Established in 2004, Bay Area Children's Theatre, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serves 115,000 children and adults throughout the Bay Area, with main stage performances in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and Sunnyvale; programs and productions in local schools; and classes and summer camps in the East Bay, South Bay, and San Francisco.

Our Mission: To inspire young audiences with imaginative productions, introduce children of all backgrounds to the excitement of live theatre, and create an engaging, entertaining, and educational environment in which children and their families can explore and enjoy the arts.

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