The Children's Playhouse of Maryland, in residence at CCBC Essex, garnered two major awards at this year's invitational Junior Theater Festival. CPM's production of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr. captured the prestigious Freddy Gershon Award for Excellence in Music. Jamie Watson of Baltimore, (pictured left) as the Sea Witch Ursula, won the coveted Outstanding Female Performer award. Brad Bowers of Towson and Jamie Watson were named Festival Performing All Stars and Nick Logue of Essex and Tony Steiner of Baltimore were named Festival Technical Theatre All Stars.
A group of 98 CPM performers and chaperones journeyed to Atlanta for the weekend-long festival in January that is dedicated to student theatre artists. In addition to the adjudication performance, CPM students and adults attended workshops, lectures and special presentations by Broadway professionals. Eight-time Oscar winning composer Alan Menken (Aladdin, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid) was honored at the event for his contribution to theatre for young people.
Disney's The Little Mermaid isbased on the 1989 animated film adapted from the Hans Christian Anderson classic tale. Children's Playhouse performed the show at CCBC Essex for a three-weekend run in December to sell-out crowds, receiving excellent reviews. Upon returning from the festival, the group put on two encore performances to allow those unable to get in for the original run to see the show.
The cast included Allison Comotto of Towson as Ariel, Brad Bowers of Towson as Prince Eric, Johnathon O'Nealof Baltimore as Sebastian and Joey Bird of Phoenix as King Triton. Liz Boyer Hunnicutt directed the production, with Julie Parrish as Musical Director andAmanda Dickson as Choreographer.