Hunter Drama Students from Singleton and surrounds won a group award for Most Outstanding Ensemble at the 2018 ozTheatrics Junior Theatre Celebration Australia, which happened October 26 and 27 at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle.
Music Theatre International Australasia, in partnership with producers Shane Bransdon and Daniel Stoddart, founders of OzTheatrics in Australia, and in collaboration with iTheatrics from the United States, presented the third annual Junior Theatre Celebration Australia.
Junior Theatre Celebrations allow students and teachers representing a diverse number of theatre programs to come together to share their talents, cheer each other on, and be part of an international community of people who care as much about the art form as much as they do.
The Junior Theatre Celebrations are based on the Junior Theatre Festivals, produced by iTheatrics which take place on both U.S. coasts each year. A “rousing celebration of theatre” (The New York Times), the Junior Theatre Festivals are the world's largest events exclusively dedicated to celebrating young peopleand student-driven musical theatre.
In 2017, nearly 15,000 people worldwide attended a Junior Theatre Festival or Junior Theatre Celebration.
The 21 students, ages 9 to 18, presented selections from Disney’s Aladdin JR. for educational consultants from iTheatrics in New York and leading musical theatre personalities from Australia, including Lucy Durack (Wicked & Legally Blonde), musical director John Foreman and New York composer Tim McDonald.
Lucy Durack Said, “The enthusiasm of this cast is infectious. These performers had great energy and sharp timing.” Tim McDonald added, “The student nailed a wonderful performance. Their presentation was clean, stylized, and enjoyable!”
Students Emilee Pedder and Miller Damstra were named to the Junior Theatre Celebration All-Stars, made up of outstanding performers attending the event. The All-Stars performed a song during the closing ceremony for all event attendees.
The students who traveled to the iTheatrics Junior Theatre Celebration Australia on behalf of Hunter Drama were Alethea Staunton, Avril Blair, Bill Parry, Charlotte Davey, Courtney Bulmer, Darcy Sunderland, Emilee Pedder, Emily May, Geoffrey Howard-Hickey, Hannah Pearce, Ineka Sunderland Jake Murry Jessica Borg, Joel Sinclair, Lachlan Lockhart, Lilli Munro, Lucie Merrick, Lucy Murry, Mackenzi Milburn, Miller Damstra and Phoebe Gunn.