The Fabulous Fox Theatre opened their stage door to welcome the 14 Finalist Acts (21 students) in the 11th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition produced by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation (FoxPACF). Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the competition Finals were filmed for a special broadcast airing on Nine PBS on Monday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m.
The finalists performed on the Fox stage in front of a small group of their closest family and friends with a minimal film and stage crew working behind the scenes. The acts were directed by Tony Parise, Broadway actor, dancer, director, and choreographer, with choreographer Yvonne Meyer Hare and music director Steve Neale to prepare the young performers for competition and filming. “Nothing can stop our St. Louis talented teens! This year’s finalists have once again conquered the odds and I have to say that it’s quite an impressive group with quite a lot of variety,” said Parise. The finalists include singers, musicians, dancers, a poet, and an acrobat (a list of acts can be found here).
In addition to the excitement of performing on the Fox Stage, contestants are eligible to win scholarships, prizes, and performance opportunities. Nearly $50,000 in prizes, cash awards and college scholarships will be distributed among the top competitors. A full list of prizes along with official event information can be found on the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s (FPACF) website.
The Finalists are judged by St. Louis area arts professionals with careers spanning music, dance, and Broadway. This year’s judges are Audrey Kwong (Operations Manager at the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra), Antonio Douthit-Boyd (Co-Artistic Director of Dance at COCA), Carl Nappa (Grammy nominated Executive Music Producer), Taylor Louderman (Television and Broadway Actress and a 2018 Tony Nominee), Ken Page (Award-winning Actor, Director and Singer) and Denise Thimes (Award-winning Jazz Vocalist and Recording Artist). Students will be judged on technical ability, stage presence, interpretation, and originality.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place winners will be announced on May 24 at the conclusion of the Nine PBS program. Following the initial broadcast, viewers are encouraged to join emcee Ben Nordstrom and last year’s winner DemBari Taneh, a hip-hop dancer and Kirkwood High School Senior, for an online celebration live on the Nine PBS Facebook Page. The online celebration will feature a special performance by Taneh and additional prizes and scholarships will be announced including voting for the $1,000 cash prize for the Audience Choice Award.
Additional details about the Nine PBS broadcast, the four subsequent re-broadcasts, and online celebration can be found on the FPACF website and Nine PBS website along with their social media outlets.