Lexington Herald-Leader: “Take an imaginative ride with Peter, The Lost Boys and Woodford Theatre in its season finale.”


The Woodford Theatre Young Artists (WTYA) returned home with high honors from the Junior Theater Festival (JTF) in Atlanta. The festival was attended by over 6,500 people from 133 groups representing five countries including the U.S.

Woodford Theatre Education Director and The Girl Project Co-Founder, Vanessa Becker Weig, was one of five Freddie G. Fellowship recipients. This coveted honor was created by Music Theatre International (MTI) CEO and Tony Honors for Excellence recipient Freddie Gershon. It welcomes a select group of theatre instructors to be part of an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for the opportunity to work one-on-one with industry professionals in a weekend of seminars, master classes, and Broadway shows. Freddie G. Alumni are part of an elite network of theatre educators and serve as ambassadors for MTI and iTheatrics events. In addition, each of the participating teachers receives $5,000 to enhance their arts program.

Woodford County High School Senior, WTYA student, Woodford Theatre 2018-2019 Box Office and Marketing Intern, Kennedy Johnson, came home with the Outstanding Female Performer Award for her performance as Rafiki in the group’s cut of The Lion King, Jr.which they performed at the festival. Kennedy and Nate Krohmer were both chosen as JTF All Stars.

Overall, the group received high accolades from adjudicators Kelby McIntyre-Martinez and Stuart Hendricks, who called their performance “captivating.” McIntyre-Martinez and Hendricks admired WTYA’s stellar vocals and storytelling and awarded the group the Excellence in Dance Award. Jackson Becker, Hannah Browning, Nate Krohmer, and Bella Mancuso made the final round of the Choreography DVD callbacks. If selected, they will be invited to NYC this summer to film choreography DVDs for future iTheatrics Jr. productions including Matilda, Jr. and Newsies, Jr.

This is just the start of a busy spring for the Young Artists, as their regular training starts back up this weekend and they prepare for their 2019 Showcase. The 2019 WTYA Showcase runs April 12-14 and is open to the public. Tickets will be on sale soon. If you are or have a middle or high school student interested in WTYA, auditions for the class of 2019-2020 will be held over the summer, dates TBA.

About the Junior Theater Festival: JTF brings together student musical theater troupes from all over the world for a weekend of musical theater. Each troupe performs 15 minutes from a Broadway Junior show for adjudication by a panel of musical theater experts. The weekend also features professional development for teachers, workshops for students and parents, a New Works Showcase featuring new musical adaptations soon to be released and concludes with a grand finale concert headlined by Broadway’s best! Learn more: http://juniortheaterfestival.com


DATE:   [May 9, 2018 at 11:00 AM ET]
CONTACT: info@woodfordtheatre.com

 Woodford Theatre to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

[Versailles, KY]—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to Woodford Theatre for its arts-meets-activism education initiative The Girl Project (TGP). The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Woodford Theatre in Versailles, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

“This is a milestone for TGP and the girls in our program as we are going into our sixth year. Not only will we have the ability to continue to provide this valuable program to students across Central Kentucky, but it helps put us on the map,” said co-founders of TGP Vanessa Becker Weig and Ellie Clark. “We are grateful for the NEA’s recognition of the importance of this program and its continued growth.”

Woodford Theatre’s The Girl Project (TGP), founded in 2012 by Ellie Clark and Vanessa Becker Weig, is an art-activism initiative that empowers teenaged girls to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls in contemporary media culture through the performing arts. Girls across Central Kentucky are recruited to audition for TGP. Guest artists from around the country lead the girls in devised theatre, multimedia, dance, and other performing arts workshops, each addressing a facet of media misrepresentation and sexism. Participants write, devise, and perform a theatrical performance based on their workshop experiences. The Girl Project: Next Generation, developed by Margaret McGladrey, is an outreach program for middle school girls. It introduces participants to TGP alumni who serve as their mentors in fostering discussion and creating devised theatre addressing girlhood, self-image, and current events. TGP also hosts the Voices HEaRd community festival, a performance weekend that impacts an even larger audience by partnering with more than 40 theatre artists across the state.

“We believe this program could benefit thousands of girls and women every year. Woodford Theatre makes every effort to bring positive change to our community and we appreciate the NEA’s trust in our programs, said Woodford Theatre Executive/Artistic Director Trish Clark.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.