Four local actors and two ensemble casts are turning into junior pros on stage.
National Youth Arts included them in its recipients list for the Tenth Annual National Youth Arts Awards. Winners portrayed their characters so well on stage during the last school year that they stood apart among more than 400 student productions at theater companies plus elementary and high schools spanning 13 states.
The Wizard of Oz ensemble at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale will be named one of two outstanding ensembles in the junior division during an award presentation Aug. 16 at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe. The Addams Family cast, which performed at Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale, will be one of 10 outstanding ensembles awarded.
Emily Temple, who graduated from NDP in May, is among 12 young women who will be named outstanding supporting actress in a musical. She portrayed Alice Beineke in The Addams Family.
Hale Stewart, a fellow actor who also appeared in Greasepaint Theater’s Hairspray, Into the Woods and Seussical, will be named one of five artists of the year. Stewart’s ability to deliver a monologue earned him first place in a poetry competition earlier in the year.
Two young women from Seton Catholic Preparatory in Chandler earned awards for outstanding lead actress in a play — Fair Exchange — during a separate awards ceremony Aug. 3 at Mesa High School. Audrey Pfeifer portrayed Linda Fair and Paige Van Conant portrayed Julie Fair.
More than 25 judges and reviewers submitted nominations. Ceremonies honoring all of their accomplishments are held in different regions of the country including multiple ceremonies in California, Arizona and New York.
UPDATE AUG. 28:
Catholic school actors, directors and ensembles at St. Mary’s High School and Brophy and Xavier college preparatories will bring home 11 more National Youth Arts Awards from the Western Regional ceremony Sept. 13 at Valley Youth Theatre.
The schools dominated the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play category earning three of the four named to the awards recipients list. Sophia Drapeau earned two of them for characters she played in St. Mary’s productions of The Yellow Boat and Harvey. Bailey Smith, a current senior at Xavier, will earn outstanding supporting actress for Our Town.
That play also earned Julia Dooley, a current senior, an award for outstanding lead actress in a play. Maureen Dias, their director, will be named as the recipient for her efforts.
The High School Musical cast featuring Brophy and Xavier students earned the Outstanding Ensemble award. Jamie Tucker who graduated in May was named outstanding lead actress in a musical for that production and Madison Kec, a current senior, was named outstanding featured actress in a musical.
Eliot Nichols, who graduated in May, and Tatumn Zale will both receive awards for outstanding supporting actress in a musical. They appeared in Footloose. Jonah Nelson, a student at Brophy, will receive an award for outstanding lighting design for The Secret in the Wings.