The Penn Yan Academy Drama club attended the 21st annual “Stars of Tomorrow” gala May 16 in Rochester.

This year, the Penn Yan Academy Drama Club brought home a number of awards in their division, in which they competed against nine schools: Outstanding Acting Ensemble, Outstanding Singing Ensemble, Outstanding Production Crew, And the Bob Sagan Award for Outstanding Overall Production, a high honor and a first for PYA.

Noah Detar took home a recognition for Outstanding Lead Actor, and Genna Elliott was awarded Outstanding Lead Actress (another first for PYA’s program).

Both Noah and Genna are eligible to move on to the next round of competition, the “NYC Bound” performance — the next step on the road to the “Jimmy” Awards, a national recognition for excellence in musical theatre. Noah and Genna will compete once again at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester May 23 for a chance to move on to the final round in New York City.

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s “Stars of Tomorrow” program recognizes the hard work, dedication, and talent that goes into high school musical theatre productions in the Greater Rochester Area. The program is, “dedicated to supporting the process of growth and learning, encouraging commitment, discipline and teamwork and acknowledging excellence” in musical theatre at the high school level.

Through the Stars of Tomorrow Program, participating schools are visited by adjudicators from various aspects of the theatre world including acting, dancing, music, and backstage who provide feedback on the production as a whole as well as scoring and providing constructive feedback and criticism to lead and supporting actors and actresses.

The culmination of the program is the annual gala event at Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre, where students perform a selection from their productions on stage in front of a packed house. The program also recognizes students and productions with awards for outstanding ensemble work, lead and supporting roles, music, production crew, and overall productions.

Individual students were also recognized for their contributions to the production. “Future Star” recognitions were given to Frankie Ochoa (PYMS) and the Tuck Everlasting Youth Chorus (13 students grades K-6). Special Recognitions were given to Jenna Compton for her dedication to Drama Club and Massan Jensen for their hard work this year. Finally, “Tip of the Hat” Awards were given to Mia Bodine and Casey Marcellus for Stage Management, Violet McCarley for sound, and Alexia Strong for her leadership in the ensemble.

In addition to student awards this year, the “Stars of Tomorrow” program introduced a new recognition called the “Impact Award,” given to a director in the program who has a significant impact on his/her students and on high school musical theatre. Penn Yan’s Jessica Kinsey was one of three directors to receive this prestigious award in its first year. Members of the Drama Club say they are happy to see Mrs. Kinsey recognized for the hard work and passion she brings to everything she does with Penn Yan students.

The members of the club also send a big thank you to the community for continuing to support local theatre.