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Springfield Middle theater group performs in Atlanta

January 23, 2011

WILLIAMSPORT — Springfield Middle School’s theater group recently performed at the 2011 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, the school group’s second visit to the festival.

The event is the largest middle school musical theater festival, this year featuring more than 2,200 student performers.

Springfield’s group performed “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”

Individual credits were given to Justin Bertrand, Saavon Brown and Ayse Yilmaz, who were selected to perform with the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, who presented a song from the newly released “Camp Rock” musical.

Bertrand and Tiffany Ross were selected to participate in the Junior Theater Festival slam, having only one hour to rehearse for a performance in front of the rest of the group.

Miranda Embly and Yilmaz performed for professional choreographer Kenny Shepherd. Yilmaz won an award for Outstanding Actress.

Springfield’s group was comprised of Bertrand, Brown, Payne Burker, Jessica Coffman, Katlynn Cole, Brianna Dieter, Embly, Emily Fitzgerald, Lexi Guthrie, Lauren Hubbard, Mallory Hull, Emily Jordan, Alexis Keller, Sarah Kiley, Peyton Lavin, Amber Leisinger, Tori Morris, Meena Richards, Sierra Robbins, Carley Robinson, Ross, Lexi Smith, Julia Smoot, Chesney Sydnor, Mikayla Weese, Morgan Welch and Yilmaz.

Stephanie Stull is the music department chair and theater director at Springfield Middle School.

To qualify and be selected, a group must have previously produced a Broadway Jr. show. No students can be older than ninth grade. The group must perform a 15-minute segment of a Broadway Jr. show. The group’s performance of Disney’s “High School Musical Jr.” at the 2010 festival, where it was honored with best student director and choreography, earned it an invitation to this year’s festival.

The keynote speaker at the festival was Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Group.

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