By Maddy Dowler
On February 22, 2020, The 21st Annual Arizona Young Artists’ Competition, presented by Herberger Theater Center (HTC) and Center Dance Ensemble, was held on Stage West at Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Talented youth, ages 15-20, competed in the disciplines of Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre Voice and Classical Voice. Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) partnered with Herberger Theater Center to sponsor an additional $1,500 scholarship that was awarded to Isabella Brown. Isabella was chosen by a panel of ABT judges and has been offered an opportunity to perform with one of ABT’s professional cast in an upcoming “Broadway Series” Mainstage production.
The winner in each area received a $1,500 scholarship to help further their education in the arts. Nine awards and almost $8,000 in scholarships were presented to recognize the outstanding talent of these young artists. The audience in attendance voted for their favorite performers in the People’s Choice category. This event was presented with the support of National Society of Arts & Letters, Greater Arizona Chapter.
The winner of the Judges’ Choice Award in the Musical Theatre category was Brody Wurr. Brody is 17 years old and has been involved in musical theatre since 2014 having starred as Avery Arable in Musical Theatre Anthem’s production of Charlotte’s Web. Since 2014, Brody has honed his skills at Arizona Broadway Theatre in a number of “Broadway Series” Mainstage shows. His first show at ABT was Oliver! in 2017 and he has appeared in eight shows in total – most recently Sweeney Todd and Elf The Musical. Brody is currently a member of HyRev, ABT’s teen performance troupe.
HyRev is specifically for young performers ages 13-19 with some previous music theatre/dance/show choir experience. The program includes two performance troupes: HyperToneZ (advanced troupe) and Sonic Revolution (elite troupe) – both built upon and improve participants’ performance strengths and include Valley-wide performances (with future out-of-area performances as time and scheduling allow).
“Promoting arts education, performance opportunities and personal growth is what’s most important to us at ABT,” said Artistic Producer, Cassandra Klaphake. “This is why we have the programs we do and why we provide the additional scholarship to the Arizona Young Artists’ Competition. We are thrilled for winner, Isabella Brown, and look forward to seeing her on ABT’s Mainstage in the season to come!”
Here is the complete list of winners of the 21st Annual Arizona Young Artists’ Competition.
Musical Theatre – Isabella Brown
Dance – Emma Noel
Acting – Aydan Bruce
Arizona Broadway Theatre Award:
Musical Theatre – Brody Wurr
Dance – Serah Nicodimus
Acting – Kendra Richards
Classical Voice – Lily Grubert
Photos by Apatrou Photography