ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Students of Mrs. Z’s Performing Arts Studio won a Freddie G Excellence in Music award at the 2023 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

During Mrs. Z’s junior theatre troupe’s first visit to the Big Peach, they performed several selections from Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach at the Cobb Convention Center.

Take a look at this sneak peak BigCountryHomepage got to sit in on right before the Abilene 18 made their way to Atlanta:

The kids’ hard work proved to be all worth it when students Catelyn Cervantes, Braxton Wayne Parris and Claire Trammell got callbacks for a soon-to-be announced special project to promote musicals in schools. Students Brody and Braxton Wayne Parris were named Junior Theater Festival All-Stars – among a small amount of outstanding performers.

“The young performers from Mrs. Z Performing Arts Studio are triple threats! They looked like a professional troupe. These amazing young people gave a connected, and physically brilliant performance of this engaging story. Their singing was spot on, and their characterizations were fantastic,” exclaimed Holly Stanfield, a Kenosha, Wisconsin theatre director and 2021’s Stephen Schwartz Teacher of the Year.

Michael J. Bobbitt, playwright and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, added, “Every number seemed to top the last one. And the more I saw, the more I wanted! This is a cast of stars! The whole cast. Those kids will be booked!!!”

At the 2023 Junior Theater Festival Atlanta during January 13 through 15, 125 groups from 28 states gathered to perform 15 minutes each of a Broadway Junior musical.

A massive “great job” to Mrs. Z and her troupe!