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Hawkesbury’s Fantasia Showstoppers students win national award

Oct 31, 2022

Students from Hawkesbury’s Fantasia Showstoppers won a group award for Excellence in Vocals at the 2022 Junior Theatre Festival Australia, which was recently held in Newcastle.


L-R: Paulini Curuenavuli, David Catterall, Rhys Carstairs, Marty Johnson…


It’s no mean feat – the Hawkesbury team were up against 21 finalist groups from all states across Australia, as well as a group from New Zealand.


The prestigious awards are judged by a panel of international visiting artists from Broadway, and London’s renowned West End theatre area.


The event is part of the global Junior Theatre Festivals circuit, set-up by iTheatrics in New York, which take place in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.


The New York Times calls it, “a rousing celebration of theatre” and it’s the world’s largest event exclusively dedicated to celebrating young people and student-driven musical theatre.


In 2021, nearly 20,000 people worldwide attended a Junior Theatre Festival.


This time around, 23 students, aged eight to 18, presented selections from Shrek The Musical JR.


“Each of the student participants had the unique opportunity to receive tips from some of the world’s best producers, directors and writers who joined us from New York” said Junior Theatre Festival co-producer Shane Bransdon.


The Hawkesbury students who travelled to the Junior Theatre Festival Australia for Fantasia Showstoppers were Rhys Carstairs, Toby Loadsman, Samuel Forbes, Chelsea Weldon, Bella Sidoruk, Nevaeh Lonsdale, Lewis Miller, Alana Kenn, Annabel Forbes, Reuben Kemp-Burrows, Bonnie Sherriff, Erin Kenn, Gabbi Young, Ugochi Duru, Elissa Lindsay, Maya Watkins, Cleo Franco-Lang, Jessie Hicks, Ceecee Duru, Samuel Wright, Boleyn Veitch, Klancy Godsell and Brooke Young.


Students are encouraged to take part both on stage and behind the scenes in the productions so they have a holistic understanding of what it takes to produce a musical.


Fantasia Showstoppers is recognised as a leading organisation for musical theatre in Western Sydney, and supported by local businesses including Bendigo Bank, Richmond Royal, Ray White, and Pulse FM.


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