Musical Theater Center took home the highest honor at the annual, 6,000-attendee Junior Theatre Festival, produced by iTheatrics and Broadway Junior, the organizations responsible for the young-audiences versions of Broadway productions. The Junior Theatre Festival is an annual gathering of the top 100 youth theatres in the country, with some international groups also invited.
Performances are judged by Broadway directors, choreographers and executives, and each group receives formal feedback. Judges at Mount Pleasant's Musical Theatre Company's (MTC) performance were Nick Pramik, Broadway executive (69th Annual Tony Awards, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and others) and Steven G. Kennedy, Broadway choreographer (Oklahoma!, Crazy for You, 42nd Street, and others).
“Out of 111 groups, a total of 5,830 participants at the Festival, we are overwhelmed and incredibly proud to have been selected as a recipient of the Outstanding Performance accolade,” said Courtney Sarre, artistic director at MTC. “Our performers presented an abridged version of their recent sold-out James and the Giant Peach.”
MTC won the Excellence in Acting and Excellence in Dance awards in 2015 and 2016, respectively. This year is the first time the group has won the top honor.
MTC's company is made up of pre-professional teen actors who spend their week at the studio, training rigorously in vocal technique, music theory, acting, ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance — in addition to rehearsing for mainstage shows. All performances, including the upcoming Bye Bye Birdie, employ professional costumes, lights and sets.
Musical Theater Center is a nonprofit organization with a studio in Mount Pleasant.