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Around Cornerstone: News

Musical Theatre Class Experiences a Taste of Broadway in Atlanta
Musical theatre students at junior theatre festival 2019

Some of the members of the Cornerstone high school musical theatre class attended the Junior Theater Festival (JTF) at Cobb Galleria Jan 18-20. The Atlanta festival was attended by 6,000 people comprised of 138 performance groups from six countries. This was the first year Cornerstone has attended the festival.

Produced by iTheatrics and sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals, the Junior Theater Festival brings together thousands of people from all aspects of theater, ranging from students and teachers to Broadway professionals, under one roof to celebrate outstanding student musical theatre productions.

“We decided to attend JTF this year so that we could participate with groups from all over the world, see other groups perform, and spend time with other students who love Broadway!” said Alison Luke, Cornerstone director of fine arts and high musical theatre teacher. 

During the festival, each group performed a selection from a Broadway Junior or KIDS Collection musical for professional adjudication by a distinguished panel of international theater professionals. They also participated in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, met musical theatre celebrities, plus enjoyed professional development, fellowship, and attended a world-class professional production. 

“Another reason we wanted to attend JTF was to go through the adjudication process and grow from the great critiques from the judges,” said Mrs. Luke. 

The Cornerstone group performed a 14-minute version of their upcoming production of Mary Poppins Jr. While they won’t receive their scores for about a month, the group did receive some immediate feedback from the judges. 

“The judges were so impressed with our performance and couldn’t believe we were a first-year group,” said Mrs. Luke. “They said you could really feel our connection to one another, and we received great remarks about our harmonies and choreography.” 

This connection and love for each other that the judges could clearly see within our group was a direct answer to our students' prayers that they would be a light as talked about in John 13:34-35, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

adam whitney and grace chapman were named All-Stars

In addition to critiquing each group’s performance, the judges also selected the top two actors from each group to join the All-Star performance at the end of the festival. Junior Adam Whitney and senior Grace Chapman were selected as Cornerstone’s All-Star performers.

“The feeling of being on stage in front of an audience of over 6,000 people during my All-Star performance was truly amazing,” said Adam.

The group looks forward to attending next year’s Junior Theater Festival and continuing to build upon the knowledge and confidence they gained from this year’s festival.

“The JTF experience helped me believe in myself as a performer,” said Adam. “It also brought to light each and everyone’s talents as singers, dancers, and actors performing a production together as one company.”

Members of the high school musical theatre class include:

Erica Bolding Alyssa Pilcher
Anna Capozza Margaret Sansom
Grace Chapman Paul Sikkelee
Laura Grace Crews Amanda Smith
Lily Eaton Campbell Smith
Olivia Eaton Mackenzie Sparks
Reid Finnegan Alisha Start
Symone Gaskin Kara Start
Adriana Holbrook Annabelle Terry
Kennedy Kington Adam Whitney
Ellie McDowell Jana Wrenn
Emily McGinnis