Asheville Performing Arts Academy Earns Excellence in Ensemble Honor at Junior Theater Festival in A

Asheville Performing Arts Academy Earns Excellence in Ensemble Honor at Junior Theater Festival in A

Atlanta, GA– The Asheville Performing Arts Academy brought home the honor of Excellence in Ensemble work from the 10th Annual Junior Theater Festival. Twenty-four Asheville Performing Arts Academy cast and crew members, ages 6-18, presented selections from Disney’s PETER PAN JR for adjudication at the 2015 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, GA this past weekend. These students are members of the audition based conservatory musical theatre training program at the Academy. The Asheville Performing Arts Academy was one of 101 groups to present at the festival. Six countries, 28 states and the District of Columbia were represented.


Prep Academy Students Ellie Hewitt-Corzine and Cory Silver were named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, made of up of two outstanding performers from each group attending the festival. The All-Stars performed a song during the closing ceremony for the 4,500+ festival participants and attendees. Amanda Wilson, high school senior and Academy Intern, was selected as one of the eleven technical theater All-Stars and led technical elements during the JTF awards ceremony. Asheville Performing Arts Academy students Ceili Taft, Mia Sander, and Charlene Powers received golden tickets to audition for future Broadway Junior Shoots for “how-to” choreography videos for soon-to-be released Broadway Junior Musicals.

The students were accompanied by a creative team of instructors: Jacob Walas (Director), Cord Scott (Choreographer), Heather Gallagher (Business Director), and Kylee Rose Frye (Department Instructor). The Junior Theater Festival is produced by the Junior Theater Group in partnership with iTheatrics, an educational theater company which creates innovative experiences and products for the public and private sector.

This is not the first year that the Asheville Performing Arts Academy left the Junior Theater Festival with accolades.  The Asheville Performing Arts Academy received Excellence in Ensemble in 2014 for ALADDIN KIDS, Best 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, and the Top Honor 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 2014 JTF All-Stars and APAA students Ceili Taft and Hogan McLamb spent a week in New York City to workshop MADAGASCAR JR, currently on its way to becoming a show in the Music Theater Internal Broadway Junior Collection. Sarah Plaut, recognized by the Junior Theater Festival for her excellence in dance, also ventured to New York this past summer and will be featured in the choreography DVD for THE LION KING JR.

See the press release in the Asheville Citizen Times

The Asheville Performing Arts Academy will take advantage of the fact that members of the Junior Theater Festival have exclusive access to THE LION KING JR. The Asheville Performing Arts Academy plans to collaborate with organizations across Western North Carolina to create community and bring the arts to life with THE LION KING JR. Local children’s groups and performing arts organizations are invited to contact the APAA about this project. They are seeking a variety of collaborative partners.

Want to join the fun? The next Asheville Performing Arts Academy production open for enrollment is SHREK THE MUSICAL JR. Wednesday rehearsals begin February 2015. Pre-K through High School invited to register. Call (828) 253-4000 for more details.