The festival concluded with a concert by actor, musician and Emmy-nominated composer, Darren Criss, who most recently starred on Broadway in the title role of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH and can currently be seen on the Emmy award winning FX series, American Horror Story. Asheville Performing Arts Academy students had the privilege of meeting Darren Criss after his performance.
Asheville Performing Arts Academy received accolades at previous Junior Theater Festivals. The Academy received Excellence in Ensemble in 2015 for PETER PAN JR, Excellence in Ensemble in 2014 for ALADDIN KIDS, Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2012 for ANNIE JR, Outstanding Achievement in Acting in 2011 for PIRATES OF PENZANCE JR, Outstanding Achievement in Music in 2011 for INTO THE WOODS JR, Outstanding Achievement in Acting in 2010 for ALICE IN WONDERLAND JR, and the Festival Top Honor of the first ever Broadway Junior Spirit Award in 2010. Asheville Performing Arts Academy owner and director Heather Gallagher was also among the first to ever receive the Junior Theater Festival FREDDIE G AWARD (2010), providing her the FREDDIE G EXPERIENCE, joining Freddie Gershon in New York City for master classes with Broadway Professionals. This past summer previous JTF All-Stars Ellie Corzine-Hewitt, Hogan McLamb, Cory Silver, and Ceili Taft spent a week in New York City to workshop MARY POPPINS JR, currently on its way to becoming a show in the Music Theater International Broadway Junior Collection.