CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – January 21, 2015 –— The DMR (Dreams Made Real) All Stars from DMR Adventures returned to Charlottesville with three top awards from the Junior Theater Festival (JTF) in Atlanta, Georgia. JTF is the world’s largest festival celebrating young people and the transformative power of musical theatre. Approximately 4,500 students and teachers from 101 educational musical theatre groups — representing 26 states, the district of Columbia and two countries — participated in the 2015 Junior Theater Festival, held Jan. 16-18, 2015, at the Cobb Galleria. In addition to performances and adjudications, students attending the festival also take classes in acting, singing and dancing, and attend workshops with Broadway Actors, Directors, Producers and Designers.
The group of 22 young performers was honored with three prestigious based on their performance of an excerpt from Into the Woods, Jr. DMR Adventures was one of only twelve groups who took home the trophy for “Excellence in Ensemble Work,” and both Jessica Harris and Landon Duval were selected from almost 3,000 performers to receive Excellent Individual Performance, an award given to fewer than a dozen young men and women.
Additionally, Anya Rothman and Greyson Taylor were named to the Broadway JR. All-Stars, made up of two outstanding students from each group at the festival. Rothman and Taylor each performed group numbers with their fellow JTF All-Stars for the closing awards ceremony.
Landon Duval and Dylan Stukenberg were given “golden tickets” for their performance, and participated in a series of auditions for choreography DVDs produced by Music Theater International for the Broadway Junior Collection of showkits.
Joshua Harris and Dani Miller were selected to participate in the “Broadway Jr. Slam,” in which they had less than an hour to learn a new song and dance, and perform that musical number onstage. Melissa Charles, Artistic Director of DMR Adventures, was one of two adults selected to choreograph one of the “Broadway Jr. Slam” pieces from A Year with Frog & Toad.
The DMR All Stars from DMR Adventures are directed by Melissa Charles, with student choreography and musical direction by Jessica Harris.
The DMR Participants in the Junior Theater Festival are as follows:
Mia Buckley, Homeschool
Kaitlin Burton, Sutherland Middle School
Mila Cesaretti, Village School
Landon Duval, Tandem Friends School
Annabelle Gaskin, Stone Robinson Elementary
Emma Grady, Sutherland Middle School
Amanda Gregory, Sutherland Middle School
Jessica Harris, Homeschool
Joshua Harris, Homeschool
Isabelle Kress, Sutherland Middle School
Evelyn McKenney, Buford Middle School
Dani Miller, Henley Middle School
Anya Movius, Burnley-Moran
Miranda Powell, Falmouth Elementary
Elliot Rossman, Peabody School
Eliza Sisk, Epiphany Catholic School
Eliza Smith, Walker Upper Elementary
Dylan Stukenberg, Venable Elementary
Greyson Taylor, Hollymead Elementary
Katherine Wall, Charlottesville Day School
Connor Wells, Burley Middle School
“My son and I started out the journey to JTF excited to share his love of theater and performing with his home group, DMR, and with all the other groups attending. But we had no idea how inspiring the weekend would really be. The talent of all these kids is unbelievable, and what really stands out is the team work involved in their ensemble pieces and the support they give each other, not just within their own groups, but to other performers they just met or saw on stage and admired. The skills these kids learn travel way beyond the stage to any future goals they pursue.”
(Lisa Duval, mother of DMR All Star, and award-winner, Landon)
“I learned a lot from all the professional actors that were on the JTF stage. It was so cool to see them talking and, in some cases, singing, and I think it was really inspiring for everyone. Also, the whole weekend was really bonding for our team and I think that’s part of why we were able to do so well.” (Mia Buckley, DMR All Star)
“JTF was an amazing opportunity to get advice and feedback from people working in all areas of theater. We learned so much that we can use with DMR back in Charlottesville!” (Evelyn, DMR All Star)
“Where else would thousands of young theater-loving performers get the chance to share their skills with peers from all over the country and even around the world AND receive feedback and training from Broadway professionals? JTF is like opening night, the Tony Awards, your favorite concert, and Christmas morning all rolled into one extended weekend. Our community is so blessed to have the amazing Melissa Charles of DMR Adventures who lead us on this incredible journey to JTF!” (Sharon Harris, mother of Jessica and Joshua)
DMR Adventures will be producing the full version of the musical, Into the Woods, Jr. in April as a part of the Jr. Broadway Adventure Class, and auditions will take place on Jan. 24 and 25 at Speak Language Center. Registration and information can be found on their website at www.DMRAdventures.com. DMR is also offering two other classes this winter: the Kids Broadway Adventure (culminating in a performance of Winnie the Pooh, Kids), and On-Camera Acting for kids.
Founded by Melissa Charles, DMR Adventures specializes in classes and productions in the performing arts, and has produced over 30 musicals and plays and over 40 classes, including a Broadway Master Class series. DMR Adventures has become well known in Charlottesville for producing the popular Broadway & Beyond cabaret series, starring Broadway, regional, and local singers. Charles moved to Charlottesville, the home of her alma mater, just over two years ago. “We wanted our child to grow up in a place that values the importance of arts and education, and Charlottesville has proven to be the perfect fit.” In addition to running DMR Adventures and teaching at Peabody School, Charles is also a freelance actor, director and choreographer, currently appearing as Lydia Ketcham on the AMC Series, Turn: Washington’s Spies. Charles’ most valued accomplishment is the creation of DMR’s Youth Leadership Program (YLP), through which dozens of students interested in a career in the performing arts have gained hands-on experience with professional mentors.
Artistic Director and Owner