APAA Annual “ACADEMY AWARDS” Celebrates 2013-2014

APAA Annual “ACADEMY AWARDS” Celebrates 2013-2014

Asheville, NC– The Asheville Performing Arts Academy celebrated a successful 2013-2014 year for The Academy and Prep Academy conservatory acting programs with an ‘Academy Awards’ celebration, Saturday, May 31st at the Asheville Performing Arts Academy.


Students received certificates of achievement for their incredible commitment as member of The Academy and Prep Academy programs.  In addition, faculty presented special honors to select students.  The honors were awarded to:  Kiran Bursenos for Best Attitude, Teagan Hill and Hannah Plaut for Outstanding Progress, and Sarah Plaut for Excellence in Leadership.  Teacher’s Choice awards were given to Susannah DeJarnett, Hogan McLamb, and Sophie Rueger.  Mary Claire Fagan received the Academy Award’s top honor, the Director’s Choice Academy Award.

Asheville Performing Arts Academy instructor Jacob Walas reviewed some of the year’s accomplishments.  Last summer, Academy students interned the APAA Summer Camp program, pulling-off a musical a week all summer long.  Last November, members of The Academy Training Program presented the World Premiere of the MAGIC TREE HOUSE: THE KNIGHT AT DAWN.  In March, the Academy presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International, the first ever performance of a workshop cutting of CHILDREN OF EDEN JR, where students and faculty were cast together and performed with a professional live band.  Academy students also performed in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR in the fall with professional costumes and PETER PAN JR in the spring with Academy Training Program student Sarah Plaut as choreographer. 

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy received Excellence in Ensemble Work at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Junior Theater Festival, sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals, is the biggest festival dedicated to young people and musical theatre.  In addition to presenting a piece for adjudication, Academy students were able to attend workshops, watch performances by Broadway stars, and interact with theatre professional and students from all over the world.  The APAA 2014 adjudication piece from ALADDIN KIDS was directed by Heather Gallagher and choreographed by Jacob Walas, with Sarah Plaut as student choreographer and Amanda Wilson as student director.  Mia Sander and Kiran Bursenos were SLAM performers on the Junior Theater Festival Main Stage.  Hogan McLamb and Ceili Taft also performed on the JTF Main Stage and were honored as Junior Theater Festival All Stars.  Hogan and Ceili will go to New York this summer to workshop MADAGASKAR for MTI’s Broadway Junior Collection.  Sarah Plaut was recognized at the Junior Theater Festival for her excellence in dance and will also go to New York this summer to be featured in the LION KING JR choreography DVD.  The Asheville Performing Arts Academy’s JTF performance of ALADDIN KIDS was featured on the PLAYBILL INSTAGRAM.

Exciting plans for the 2014-2015 Academy year were also announced at the Awards Celebration.  This coming January the Preparatory Academy students will journey to Atlanta again for the 2015 Junior Theater Festival.  The Prep Academy students will have the opportunity to hold lead and ensemble roles in their piece for adjudication, because Academy students will be busy preparing for their own new adventure.  Academy students will go to NEW YORK CITY this coming February to attend professional workshops, explore the city, and see Broadway shows!  In addition to these trips and their Academy classes, students will have the opportunity to perform in the APAA shows.  The 2014-2015 season community shows include ANNIE KIDS, GUYS AND DOLLS JR, and SHREK THE MUSICAL.  The Academy Only production will be ONCE ON THIS ISLAND JR.

Academy Training Program members experienced all of these accomplishments, in addition to class time.  Students were reminded that shows happen everywhere, but training and family happen here.  Accompanying the awards and announcements were a catered meal, a year-in-review memories slideshow, and backyard activities, including a bouncy house and an inflatable obstacle course.