With their production of “James and the Giant Peach Jr.,” a local youth theater company brought home several trophies from a recent trip to the 2020 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta.

Students from Spark Theater Company in Dothan won a Freddie G Outstanding Production award and student Winston Sessions won one of two Freddie G All Festival Individual Performance awards, according to a press release. As a Freddie G Outstanding Production award recipient, the students performed for all 7,000 festival attendees during the closing ceremony. The 2020 festival was held Jan. 17-19 at the The Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta.

The Junior Theater Festival Atlanta united 7,000 students and educators from 128 educational musical theater groups representing 31 states, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K., according to the release.

The Freddie G awards are named after Freddie Gershon, co-chairman of Music Theatre International and a Tony honoree.

Also, Spark Theater Company’s Jackson Wells and Cooper Lee were named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, made up of outstanding performers attending the festival. The All-Stars performed a song during the closing ceremony.

Spark Theater Company students presented selections from Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” during adjudication for Paul Brewster McGinley, the managing director for Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and a Disney Theatrical Group teaching artist, and Carol Worcel, director, choreographer and performer (national Broadway tour of “42nd Street”).

Produced by the Junior Theater Group in partnership with iTheatrics, a leading educational theater company that creates innovative experiences and products for the public and private sector, the Junior Theater Festival Atlanta is the world’s largest festival celebrating young people and musical theater. This year’s title sponsors were Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Group, and Playbill Inc.

The Junior Theater Festival Atlanta was founded in 2003 and became an annual event in 2010.

This is not the first year Spark Theater Company has received accolades and awards during the festival. In 2019, the Dothan theater group won an outstanding production award as well as individual awards for student direction and choreography. The company also won individual acting awards and technical awards in 2018 and 2017.

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