The finalists for the 2019 Playbill Community Service Award have been announced; and public voting for the winner is now open. Watch five videos documenting the finalists' community service efforts and vote for your favorite below. The winner will be announced at the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, which will be held at the Cobb Galleria Centre January 18–20.
Voting will remain open through 11:59 PM ET on Friday, January 18. Voters are encouraged to return to submit additional votes throughout the voting period.
Created to shine a spotlight on the ways young theatre artists give back to their communities around the world, the Playbill Community Service Award comes with a $1,000 grant for continued charitable efforts. The honor is given to a youth theatre group annually at the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival Atlanta. Groups attending the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festivals (in both Atlanta and Sacramento) are encouraged to submit videos documenting their community service projects, which can include anything from hosting an after school program for underserved students to performing at a local nursing home. Five finalists are selected by a panel of adjudicators, while Playbill readers vote on the winner.
Take a look at the 2019 Playbill Community Service Award finalists:
Louisiana Broadway Magic (Alexandria, LA)
"Louisiana Broadway Magic's production of Annie JR. helped raise food for the homeless and less fortunate and passed on their beds, mattresses, and pillows to a battered women's shelter and a fire department."
Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre (Fairhope, AL)
"ESRT journeyed to Haiti in 2018 to help the people use their voices."
Encore Theatrical Company (Morristown, TN)
"This year, the children decided they would give back to their community in honor of their dear friend, Peyton, and his successful heart transplant."
Mountain City Center for the Arts (Frostburg, MD)
"This year's spirit and service week saw supplies and funds donated to local charities, animal shelters, and community theatres."
Roy Waldron Elementary (La Vergne, TN)
"Junie B. Jones gave us the idea to make inspirational journals for our bus drivers."
The Junior Theater Festival, founded in 2003 by iTheatrics, celebrates musical theatre and musical theatre education with a weekend of events and performances that bring Broadway and West End professionals together with educators and young students. Youth theatre companies can bring 15-minute staged selections from titles in musical licensor Music Theatre International's Broadway Junior™ collection for adjudication at events in Atlanta and Sacramento, after which students and educators can attend a variety of interactive workshops.
Along with Music Theatre International and Disney Theatrical Group, Playbill is a sponsor of the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festivals and will be reporting live from both events. You can follow the weekend of performances and special events with Playbill on Twitter and Instagram and by following the hashtag #JTF. This year's festivals are scheduled to include appearances by Dear Evan Hansen writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Carousel Tony winner Lindsay Mendez, Frozen star Caissie Levy, and more.
Vote for your favorite finalist below: