"Our theater students really shined at the festival, bringing home not only their award medals, but memories of an experience they will never forget," said Leanne Bean, Harvest Park drama teacher. "It takes a lot of courage to perform in front of judges. Our students stepped up and did an amazing job."
Since Harvest Park students were pioneers for musical theater, CETA awarded gold medals to all the students who performed in "Born to Hand Jive" from "Grease." Spencer Shin was given special billing as the lead singer. Also, Middle School Fest will now include a musical theater category at future competitions.
Other gold medal winners of the day were as follows:
* Alyssa Bardakos, Jenna Van Ommeren, Blake Staniford, Nick McGuire, Tim Michael and Tyler Cavros for their group scene from "Breakfast Club"
* Emma Patten, Katie Sullivan, Kelly Simms and Jocelynn Santamaria for their group scene from "Mean Girls"
* Myah Slaton, Hannah Macasta, Nagisa Smalheiser, Chloe Reddy, April Maestas, Kelly Simms and Jessica Lawer for their musical small group entry, "The Lion King"
* Hannah So for her monologue "Being a Teenager."
Thirty-two students entered in two different categories won an overall total of 41 gold medals, 12 silver and 11 bronze at the 11th annual event.
More than 300 middle school students from Santa Cruz to Placer counties competed at the festival. Medal winners were eligible to perform at the annual California Youth in Theatre Day, which was held March 12 in Sacramento.
"Students learn essential skills in drama class that translate to so many other disciplines," Bean said. "Theater training is not just about preparing students to join California's third largest industry, entertainment. It also teaches self-confidence, discipline, commitment and creativity. I am extremely proud of my students."