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Aspire Performing Arts Company Receives
12 Awards and 26 Additional Nominations
From National Youth Arts

originally published: 08/09/2019

Aspire Performing Arts Company Receives 12 Awards and 26 Additional Nominations From National Youth Arts

(WAYNE, NJ) -- Aspire Performing Arts Company (PAC) announced that it recently received 12 awards and an additional 26 nominations from National Youth Arts (NYA). Now in its 19th year, NYA celebrates the best of youth arts throughout the country. Aspire PAC joined NYA as a member theater in 2016 and this was the company’s third year of eligibility for award consideration.

Aspire PAC received awards and nominations for all five of its 2018-19 productions: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Disney’s The Lion King JR., Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR. (pilot production), Mamma Mia!, and Once on this Island JR.

This year, more than 700 productions were considered for the awards, including shows from 240 different members spanning 17 states, Canada, and the UK. Award winners were selected from nominations by a panel of more than 50 judges and reviewers. Award ceremonies are currently being held in different regions of the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Virginia, and New York.

On Sunday, July 28, 12 Aspire PAC members attended the Eastern Regional Ceremony, held at the Riverdale YM-YWHA in the Bronx. Leighann Albanese and Erin Smith opened the show with “Only in New York” from Thoroughly Modern Millie, reprising the role of Muzzy van Hossmere, which they shared in Aspire PAC’s 2018 production.Lillian Kopacz and Allison Paterno later performed “Naughty” from Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR., in which both starred as Matilda. All four received awards for these roles during the ceremony.

Scroll down for the list of award winners and nominations.



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Awards were received in the following categories:


  • Lead Performance in a Musical: 

    • Courtney Bulger as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Cydney Gleckner as Donna in Mamma Mia! 

    • McKenzie Hegarty as Sophie in Mamma Mia!



  • Lead Performance (Junior Division):

    • Lillian Kopacz as Matilda in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.

    • Allison Paterno as Matilda in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.



  • Supporting Performance in a Musical: 

    • Leighann Albanese as Muzzy Van Hossmere in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Casey Gorab as Miss Dorothy Brown in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Olivia Kozlevcar as Miss Honey in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.

    • Erin Smith as Muzzy Van Hossmere in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Erin Smith as Tanya in Mamma Mia!



  • Supporting Performance (Junior Division): 

    • Elizabeth Grant as Mama Euralie in Once On This Island Jr.



  • Outstanding Ensemble: Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.

 

Aspire PAC Artistic Director Lisa Beth Vettoso said “I continue to be in awe of National Youth Arts and the time and effort the organization puts into recognizing the talents of young performers across the country. These awards and nominations celebrate our actors’ hard work and dedication, and I couldn’t be prouder of what they have achieved.”

Full Nomination List:


  • Outstanding Production: Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.

  • Outstanding Production (Junior Division): Once On This Island Jr.

  • Lead Performance in a Musical:

    • Vincent DeMeo as Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie



  • Lead Performance in a Musical:

    • Olivia Howell as Sophie in Sophie in Mamma Mia!

    • Olivia Kozlevcar as Donna in Mamma Mia!

    • Louis Messercola as Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Emily Moran as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie



  • Lead Performance (Junior Division):

    • Isabella Catania as Ti Moune in Once On This Island Jr.

    • Emma Vacca as Young Simba in The Lion King Jr.



  • Supporting Performance in a Musical:

    • Dylan Catania as Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Krista Hawkins as Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Julia Jablonski as Miss Honey in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.

    • Olivia Kozlevcar as Miss Dorothy Brown in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Alexander Markoulis as Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie

    • Emily Moran as Tanya in Mamma Mia!

    • Heather Rich as Rosie in Mamma Mia!

    • Liam Rogan as Harry in Mamma Mia!

    • Liam Rogan as Miss Trunchbull in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.



  • Supporting Performance (Junior Division):

    • Lillian Kopacz as Erzulie in Once On This Island Jr.

    • Alex Nieves as Tonton Julian in Once On This Island Jr.

    • Ava Patanella as Nala in Disney’s The Lion King Jr.

    • Allison Paterno as Asaka in Once On This Island Jr.



  • Outstanding Ensemble: Thoroughly Modern Millie

  • Outstanding Ensemble (Junior Division): Once On This Island Jr.

  • Outstanding Choreography: Jaimie Michelle for Thoroughly Modern Millie

  • Outstanding Direction: Lisa Beth Vettoso for Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical JR.

Aspire PAC’s mission is to provide educational workshops and production opportunities for children and teens, offering a professional arts experience in a friendly atmosphere. For more information about Aspire PAC and its upcoming programs, visit www.aspirepac.com or call 201-220-4933.


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