Student theater group to perform at Atlanta festival


Students from CharACTers Inc. in Rainbow City have been accepted into the 2013 Junior Theater Festival happening on Jan. 18, 19 and 20 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. This is the first time CharACTers Inc. is participating in the Junior Theater Festival.

Featuring 82 groups representing 23 states, the Junior Theater Festival is the world’s largest musical theater festival dedicated to celebrating young people experiencing the transformative power of musical theater and is presented by New York’s iTheatrics and Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars.

The festival is sponsored by Music Theatre International, Disney Musicals, Playbill, PRG (Production Resource Group) and Sound Associates.  The festival will bring together more than 3,500 students, teachers and Broadway professionals to raise their voices in celebration of on-stage and backstage excellence in musical theater. For their first Junior Theater Festival appearance, the 20 students, ages 7-17, will present Seussical JR. for adjudication.  Each group attending the Junior Theater Festival performs a 15-minute selection of a musical for a panel of distinguished theater professionals.

The students presented portions of Seussical JR. as the pre-show entertainment for the group’s production of Annie that ran earlier this month at Gadsden State.

The 2013 Junior Theater Festival offers an enthusiastic environment for students and teachers to interact with thousands of others who share their passion for musical theater.

In addition to presenting a one minute selection from their musical, both students and teachers participate in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, gain from professional development, enjoy theatrical fellowship and attend a world-class professional production at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.  Student techies work side-by-side with festival staff in running all aspects of the festival experience.

Following is the CharACTers Inc. cast list for the 2013 Junior Theater Festival: Annie Waldrop, Gadsden City High, age 15, 10th grade, Gadsden; Kylee Carlton, Pathways Academy, age 16, 10th grade, Gadsden; Bethanie Gunter, Gaston High, age15, 10th grade, Gadsden; Ashton Dillard, Hokes Bluff High, age 12, 7th grade, Gadsden; Ava Bikneris, Pathways Academy, age 11, 6th grade, Southside; Olivia Bikneris, Pathways Academy, age 14, 10th grade, Southside; Mackenzie Godfrey, Hokes Bluff Middle, age 11, 6th grade, Hokes Bluff; Mackenzie Coffelt, Hokes Bluff Elementary, age 10, 5th grade, Hokes Bluff; Catherine Westley, Cheaha Homeschool, age 12, 7th grade, Jacksonville; Karly Wilmore, Rainbow Middle, age 12, 7th grade, Gadsden; Cheslee Duke, Munford Elementary, age 9, 3rd grade, Munford; Bailey Broome, Southside Elementary, age 11, 6th grade, Southside; Jade Oliver, Gadsden City High, age 17, 12th grade, Gadsden; Kateryna Sistryak, Everest Academy, age 15, 10th grade, Jacksonville; Hannah Reynolds, Faith Christian, age 14, 9th grade, Anniston; Khloe Justice, Westbrook Christian, age 7, 2nd grade, Hokes Bluff; Catherine Copeland, Alexandria High, age 11, 6th grade, Alexandria; Ramsey Whitney, Munford Elementary, age 7, 2nd grade, Anniston; Laurallei Veasey, Kitty Stone Elem., age 10, 5th grade, Jacksonville; Payton Russell, Pathways Academy, age 10, 5th grade, Ohatchee; Lauren Beck, Rainbow Middle, age 11, 6th grade, Southside.

CharACTers is a nonprofit public foundation created to stimulate cultural curiosity for betterment of its community, and especially for local youth. Learning the techniques of drama and dance can help young people develop self-confidence and creativity, as well as encourage them to learn about their community and become more involved citizens.

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