Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre announced the winners of its 10th annual Young Talent Big Dreams youth talent contest, this year held with virtual entries and performances.
The finals were held on YouTube Live on Sept. 26 and can be seen at the theater’s website www.actorsplayhouse.org.
Prizes for the competition held in concert with The Children’s Trust ranged from master classes and performing arts scholarships to cash awards and performance opportunities. This year, courtesy of WSVN CH7, the grand prize winner also received a free trip – including airfare and hotel – to attend the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, plus $500 cash.
The competition, which began in January, had just wrapped up its second round of live auditions when the pandemic hit South Florida, forcing the competition to shut down all in-person events. But organizers would not let COVID-19 close the curtain. The competition then went virtual, with hundreds of young performers vying for a chance to win by submitting preliminary round audition videos that showcased their talents. Participation was free and limited to residents of Miami-Dade County. The competition featured a total of six individual categories: pop/rock/rap vocals, musical theatre/jazz standards/classical vocals, dance, musical instrument, original spoken word and original vocal and/or instrumental composition. Group categories (six or fewer members) included dance, musical instrument/bands and vocal groups.
Past winners of the competition include Zachary Roy who just reached the Semifinals on Season 15 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Joana Martinez who achieved a Top 10 placement as part of “Team Gwen (Stefani)” on Season 17 of NBC’s “The Voice,” Angelina Green who went on to earn the golden buzzer from judge Heidi Klum on Season 12 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” and Gino Cosculluela who brought home the third place title on Season 16 of FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”
2020 YOUNG TALENT BIG DREAMS CONTEST WINNERS:
Individual Musical Instrument and Overall Grand Prize Winner
Jessica Olivera, 15, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer
Individual Original Spoken Word Winner
Brenis Bostick, 17, Miami Norland Senior High School
Individual Dance Winner
Sophia Torrens, 13, St. Rose of Lima Catholic School
Individual Original Composition Winner
Story Walker, 12, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer
Individual Vocal – Pop/Rock/Rap Winner
Jessica Jeanty, 16, Miami Edison Senior High School
Individual Vocal – Broadway/Jazz/Classical Winner
Vanessa Bittar, 16, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer
Group Musical Instrument Winner
Ari Jake Willig, 16, and Kevin Puig Carrasco, 15, both students at Coral Reef Senior High School
Vocal Groups Winner
“Sociedad Actoral Hispanoamericana” – Musical Theater Group
Juliana Moreno, 14, Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School; Dalila Lugo, 15, New World School of the Arts; Rachel Samantha, 16, New World School of the Arts; Agustina Coretti, 17, Immaculata-La Salle High School; Fernando Flores, 16, New World School of the Arts; Darelis Figuera, 17, Doral Academy Preparatory School
Group Dance Winners
“Bowl of Cherries”
Gabrielle Lieberman, 14, Ransom Everglades School and Georgie Weir, 12, Southwood Middle School