TALENTS: YTBD Spoken Word Winner Ni’Ja Maxwell (from top left), and finalists Ayannah Ciceron and Jeremiel Sylne.


CORAL GABLES, FL – The largest free youth competition in Miami-Dade County is back. Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, together with presenting sponsor The Children’s Trust, recently announced the eighth annual Young Talent Big Dreams (YTBD).

Youth between the ages of 8-17 will be invited to showcase their talents and compete for prizes ranging from performing arts scholarships, cash awards and performance opportunities, plus tickets to local cultural attractions and theatres. For the third consecutive year, the Grand Prize winner will receive a free trip – airfare, hotel, free passes for two and $500 cash – to attend the live Teen Choice Awards, courtesy of WSVN 7News.

The talent competition will feature a total of six individual categories including pop/rock/rap vocals, musical theatre/jazz standards/classical vocals, dance, musical instrument, original spoken word and original vocal and/or instrumental composition, and categories for groups of six or fewer members including dance, musical instrument and band/vocal group. Participation in the competition is free of charge and limited to residents of Miami-Dade County.

Young Talent Big Dreams is modeled after reality TV talent shows that offer similar opportunities to contestants through a series of auditions, performances and professional mentoring. Judges will include a host of local celebrities and professionals from the performing arts community.

The countywide competition will begin on Jan. 21, with preliminary auditions taking place through April 8 at four local theatres. It concludes with semifinals on April 21 and April 22, and finals on April 28 at the Miracle Theatre. A total of seven preliminary auditions will take place in select locations throughout Miami-Dade, including The Miracle Theatre, Miami Arts Studio, African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. Participants may compete in one individual and one group category only, and those who preregister will be given priority audition times.

Each act will be allotted up to one minute during their preliminary audition performance and two minutes for the semifinal and final-round performance. There will be a maximum of nine winners and one grand prize winner chosen during the finals.

“We’re so proud to embark on the eighth year of the Young Talent Big Dreams competition, presented by The Children’s Trust,” says Barbara S. Stein, executive producing director of Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre. “Just this past summer Angelina Green, a 2017 YTBD winner, was featured on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, and made it to the final stages of that competition. It is so rewarding to see our wonderful YTBD AllStars rise to stardom after watching them first perform on our stages!”

“The level of talent in Miami-Dade is staggering – I’m blown away by these kids every year,” says James R. Haj, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust.

“Involvement in the performing arts has such a positive impact on children’s lives, and it’s very gratifying to be a part of that.”

Participation in Young Talent Big Dreams requires parental consent. Performers may preregister online and will be able to audition before nonregistered performers. For detailed information including the audition schedule, competition rules and registration forms, please visit www.actorsplayhouse.org. To learn more about The Children’s Trust, visit www.thechildrenstrust.org.