Artstarts theater group win big at Atlanta theater festival - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Artstarts theater group win big at Atlanta theater festival

Artstarts theater group win big at Atlanta theater festival

Students from a Southern Illinois theater group were internationally recognized at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend.

Students with the Artstarts theater group of Marion, Illinois competed at the festival for young actors ages eight to 18, more than 4,500 people attended.

The Artstarts group performed a 15 minute musical production of "Beauty and the Beast" and were judged in Atlanta.

The Artstarts group won the Outstanding Music Excellence Award for the best overall production.

“We have to shave this down to a 15 minute performance, which is tough in itself,” Director of Artstarts Elizabeth Elliott said. “I'm really proud of these kids."

Artstarts performed well despite a major set-back late in 2014 -- When the group lost all of its sets and props in a fire.

“It's an everyday struggle," Elliott said. “It's been a great start to 2015.”

The award for Outstanding Male Performer went to Garrett James and the award for Outstanding Female Performer went to Delenn Olsen, both of Carterville High School.

Our Lady of Mt. Caramel student Aaron Elliott was one of 200 to receive a Golden Ticket Award.

West Frankfort Community High School student Brax Melvin and Marion High School Student Morgan Bunch were named Junior Theater Festival Allstars.

“What I love about these kids is they're so well rounded," Elliott said. "They can play football, be on student council, and still get good grades.”

Elliott said she'd like to give a huge round of applause to Artstarts Directors Rebecca O'Neill & Jane Ann Cruse and to Producer Lawrence O'Neill, for their hard work, dedication, and helping to make the show come to life.

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