The highlight of the festival was the presentation of the Broadway Junior Spirit Award, given to CCM Prep’s very own Dee Anne Bryll. The Broadway Junior Spirit Award is the highest award given at the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival, which is the largest festival dedicated to young people and musical theatre in the country. The award is given to a teacher who understands that presenting a musical is more than singing, acting and dancing.
This event brings together thousands of young actors from 27 states, the District of Columbia, South Korea, Canada and Australia.
Bryll was thrilled to be selected for this very prestigious honor.
"I have always loved being a teacher and to have the opportunity to work with such amazing young people. They inspire me each and every day. I always think of the line from The King and I: 'If you become a teacher by your pupils you’ll be taught.' That is certainly true in my case!"
Bryll receives an educational trip to New York City as a part of this award. Eight teachers throughout the country are selected.
At CCM, Bryll is the director of the Junior Musical Theatre Intensive Program, as well as the High School Musical Theatre Workshop. In addition, she serves on the theatre faculties at Northern Kentucky University and Xavier University, and is a teaching guest artist for the School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
Bryll holds a BA from Baldwin-Wallace College in Speech/Theatre Arts and an MA in Theatre from Kent State University.
Bryll was not the only honoree from CCM at this year's conference, though. CCM Prep students earned an Excellence in Dance Award for their excerpt from Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr.
Students Janie Nalbandian, Claire Striet, Trinity Gibson and Jonah Sorscher all received “Golden Tickets” and were invited to audition for an upcoming choreography DVD produced by Musical Theatre International (MTI), with Gibson and Sorscher selected for callbacks. Handpicked students will be invited to New York for a week this summer to appear in the MTI Junior choreography DVDs, which are provided to groups presenting MTI Junior shows.
Last summer, Sorscher spent a week filming the role of Zazu for the DVD for The Lion King Experience, Junior Edition.