Montverde Academy is proud to congratulate our Theatre Department, who recently competed at the Florida District XII Thespian competition with overwhelming success, achieving seven “Critic’s Choice” awards, 26 Superior ratings and nine Excellent ratings.

Students who competed, prepared individual, duet, small group, and large group numbers to be evaluated by adjudicators. Thirty-two students competed for both ratings and the chance to receive a “Critic’s Choice” nod. Pieces that receive a Superior rating earn an opportunity to advance to the state competition in Tampa in March. Critic’s Choice awards earn that opportunity, as well as the chance to perform at the closing District Showcase. This year, MVA took home 26 Superior ratings and nine Excellent ratings along with a host of additional awards.

Along with the individual events, Troupe 3977 collaborated to present Brian Yorkey’s “Next to Normal,” a musical which explores the realms of mental illness and how it affects family dynamics. Montverde Academy earned a perfect score on their adjudication and the most coveted prize of “Critic’s Choice” for their adaptation of this musical, which they will go on to present it at the State Competition in Tampa. Our talented actors included Aiden Bjortvedt, Isabella Crider, Aidan Fracker, Logan Lopez, Anthony Morehead, and Molly Smith, who delivered heartfelt performances about an important topic. Our student director, Kaylah Scott, stage manager, Valarie Kutemeier, and technical director, Vanessa Mills, contributed their talent and skill behind the scenes to achieve this outstanding honor.

“The Montverde Academy theatre students are dedicated to bringing wonderfully engaging as well as thought-provoking pieces such as “Next to Normal,” to the stage,” said Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring, Headmaster, Montverde Academy. “We congratulate the students on their achievement and look forward to seeing how they do in March, as well as what they have in store for the rest of our theatre season.”

Also, special congratulations to faculty members Roberta Emerson, director and theatre arts teacher, and Kathy Weibe, theatre technical director, for their incredible efforts in the theatre department. A complete list of awards follows.

Florida District XII Thespians (note: Critic’s Choice and Superior Ratings qualify for State Competition)

Critic’s Choice

One Act Play – “Next to Normal” – (second consecutive year)

*Superior Rating – Tech (second consecutive year)

*Best Tech Crew Award (second consecutive year)

*Best Sound Design Award (second consecutive year)

*Best Lighting Design Award (second consecutive year)

*Best Set Design Award (second consecutive year)

*All-Star Crew Award – Larissa Foxx

*All-Star Cast Award – Molly Smith

*Best Supporting Actor Award – Anthony Morehead

*Best Actor Award – Aidan Fracker

*Best Actress Award – Isabella Crider (second consecutive year)

Large Group Musical – performing “Bottom’s Gonna Be On Top”

Solo Musical – Aidan Fracker performing “If I Didn’t Believe in You”

Ensemble Acting – Aiden Bjortvedt, Caiti Fallon, Logan Lopez, Maya Mills, and Anthony Morehead in “The Play That Goes Wrong”

Pantomime – Aiden Bjortvedt, Josh Brown, Lucas Brown, Kaylin Gines, Maya Mills, CJ Rosado, Kaylah Scott, Hanna Swidler in “Black Lives Matter”

Duet Acting – Hanna Swidler and Kaylah Scott performing “The Luck of the Irish”

Playwriting – Molly Smith who wrote “God Bless America”

Honorable Mention Critic’s Choice, Costume Construction/Design – Isabella Crider for “Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1912”

Honorable Mention Critic’s Choice, Small Group – Emma Crider, Tristyn Diller, Larissa Foxx, Kaylin Gines, Judy Hassanein, Alia Rodriguez, Hanna Swidler in “Mama Who Bore Me”

Superior Rating

Solo Musical – Logan Lopez “Proud of Your Boy”

Solo Musical – Isabella Crider “So Big, So Small”

Solo Musical – Peytann Tamasi “Love Will Come and Find Me Again”

Solo Musical – Molly Smith “All Grown Up”

Small Group – Lucas Brown, Logan Lopez, Maya Mills, Vanessa Mills, Benazir Serna, Peytann Tamasi “Forever Yours”

Student Directed – Caiti Fallon “The Play That Goes Wrong”

Ensemble Acting – Isabella Crider, Aidan Fracker, Daniel Mills, CJ Rosado “Twelfth Night”

Ensemble Acting – Ashton Appadu, Josh Brown, Lucas Brown, Larissa Foxx, Kaylin Gines “Conflict: A Comedy in One Act”

Duet Acting – Josh Brown, CJ Rosado “Shrinkage”

Monologue – Isabella Crider “Company/Macbeth”

Monologue – Kaylah Scott “Fences/Our Lady of 21st Street”

Monologue – CJ Rosado “Bang Bang You’re Dead/Unbearable Hotness”

Monologue – Caiti Fallon “How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them/Dog Sees God”

Monologue – Judy Hassanein “Once in a Lifetime/Agamemnon”

Monologue – Mackenzie Woodward “Noises Off”

Scene Design – Vanessa Mills “The Humans”

Scene Design – Valarie Kutemeier “Noises Off”

Excellent Rating

Solo Musical – Judy Hassanein “Omar Sharif”

Small Group – Aidan Fracker, Anthony Morehead and Molly Smith “Make Me Happy”

Duet Musical – Aiden Bjortvedt and Benazir Serna “A Little Priest”

Duet Musical – Judy Hassanein and Peytann Tamasi “Class”

Duet Acting – Larissa Foxx and Anthony Morehead “Reasons to be Pretty”

Costume Construction – Mackenzie Woodward “Noises Off”

Costume Design – Mackenzie Woodward “Noises Off”

Costume Design – Samantha Gibson “Noises Off”

Playwriting – Larissa Foxx “2024”


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