Woolgoolga performing arts students to head off on American adventure

Woolgoolga performance talents Ebony Davies, Makaylah Beatty, Shanaya Pitt, Cleo Davison, Josie Armstrong and Ella Grace Chowdhury.

EIGHT local performing arts students have been selected to participate in Travelgang’s Aussie All-Stars Musical Theatre Ultimate Adventure to the USA.

This is the first time any Coffs Harbour/Woolgoolga theatrical performer has been selected, let alone eight of them, with six taking up the opportunity.

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To be eligible for the trip the eight students – Ella Grace Chowdhury, Cleo Davison, Ebony Davies, Josie Armstrong, Shanaya Pitt, Tenaya Baker, Ben Cikla and Makaylah Beatty – attended the Junior Theatre Festival Australia in October 2023.

Woolgoolga Performing Arts Studio (WPAS) and Naidu Theatre Company Director Jade Naidu told News Of The Area, “The students were fortunate to be able to audition for the Aussie All-Stars team along with 1000 other kids and were selected for the USA experience based on this audition.

“Only 30 kids in Australia were chosen and eight of them are from WPAS – an amazing reflection on the performing arts on the Coffs Coast and Woolgoolga Performing Arts Studio.”

The two-week trip takes place in January 2025.

The kids will travel first to Broadway, participating in workshops and performance rehearsals, next onto Atlanta to perform at the Atlanta Junior Theatre Festival, before travelling to LA to take part in industry workshops at Disneyland.

“For regional Coffs Harbour theatre performers, the idea of going to Broadway and performing at the world’s largest theatre festival in Atlanta isn’t something that happens every day,” Jade said.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Australia’s most outstanding musical theatre performers to come together and perform at the Junior Theatre Festival Atlanta, the world’s largest festival celebrating the talents and achievements of young people in musical theatre.”

“They will be surrounded by the top directors and producers in the industry, and absorb incredible knowledge on how the industry works in America and on Broadway.”

To have successfully been offered a place in the Aussie All-Stars team not only validates and emphasises the hard work of these students, but how dedicated they are to their training and education.

They have all been training as singers, dancers and actors, some since they were aged just five-years-old.

To pay for the trip the students’ fundraising activities start now.

The trip costs $11,000 per student and WPAS has set its target at raising $30,000 to cover half the cost for each student.

For more information see Woolgoolga Performing Arts Studio (WPAS) and WPAS Aussie All-Stars on Facebook and Instagram.


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