Coral Gables, Fla. – Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, with presenting sponsor The Children’s Trust, have announced the 2022 winners of Young Talent Big Dreams, the biggest local free youth talent competition in Miami-Dade County.
A marathon of semiﬁnal competitions for student performers ages 8-17 culminated in the ﬁnals held on Saturday, May 14, at the Miracle Theatre.
Prizes ranged from cash awards, master classes with industry professionals and performance opportunities to performing arts scholarships sponsored by SouthState Bank, Coral Gables Community Foundation and the Coral Gables Rotary Club.
The grand prize winners also received $500 in cash provided by Actors’ Playhouse, and four tickets to Universal Orlando along with a hotel stay for two nights courtesy of WSVN 7News.
Hundreds of hopeful contestants attended six preliminary auditions held over the past three months in distinct geographic neighborhoods, including the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer in Kendale Lakes and the City of Miami Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Little Haiti.
Participation was free and limited to residents of Miami-Dade County.
The competition featured a total of six individual categories: pop/rock/rap vocals, musical theatre/jazz standards/classical vocals, dance, musical instrument, original spoken word and original vocal and/or instrumental composition.
Group categories (six or fewer members) included musical instrument/bands and vocal groups.
Semiﬁnals and ﬁnals were held before live audiences. Up to ﬁve acts in each individual category and up to three acts in each group category advanced to the ﬁnals, where judges selected a winner in each category as well as a grand prize honoree.
Young Talent Big Dreams follows the popular TV talent show model; judges have included a host of industry professionals from the performing arts community.
Judging the May 14 ﬁnals were David Arisco, artistic director, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre; Howard Cohen, features writer, the Miami Herald; Natalie Lewis-Schere, co-founder and executive director, PATH: Preserving Archiving & Teaching Hiphop; Herman Payne, Miami City Ballet resident faculty and adjunct professor at the New World School of the Arts, University of Florida and Miami-Dade Colleges; and Shamele Jenkins, artistic director of Lip, Tongue & Ear Poetry Productions and executive director/CEO of the MiamiDade County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association.
THE 2022 YOUNG TALENT BIG DREAMS CONTEST WINNERS:
Group Vocals and Overall Grand Prize Winner Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious of SAH Conservatory of Dramatic Arts Melanie Colmenares, 12, Dr. Toni Bilbao Preparatory Academy; Daniela Montes, 12, Dr. Toni Bilbao Preparatory Academy; Julyana Moreno, 17, Ronald W. Reagan Doral Senior High School; Andres Pirela, 13, John I. Smith K-8 Center; Alejandro Querales, 14, Palmetto Middle School; and Miguel Veracierto, 12, Doral Academy Charter Middle School
Individual Dance Winner
Diliany Solano, 15, New World School of the Arts
Individual Original Composition Winner
Irene Lee, 17, Miami Palmetto Senior High School
Individual Vocal –
Broadway/Jazz/Classical Winner Natalie Quintana, 17, Miami Springs Senior High School
Individual Vocal – Pop/Rock/Rap
Kaitlynn Abbott, 14, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer
Individual Original Spoken Word
Terrain Small, 17, Miami Norland
Joshua Safont, 12, Miami Arts Studio 612 @ Zelda Glazer
Instrument/Bands Winner Amici Jessica Olivera, 17, School for Advanced Studies; and Maria Luisa Sanchez Agelvis, 16, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer
“Actors’ Playhouse is honored to present our Young Talent Big Dreams talent contest which builds an opportunity for young people in the performing arts and all life skills,” said Barbara S. Stein, executive producing director of Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre. “We are very grateful for the ongoing support and partnership of presenting sponsor The Children’s Trust for believing in this project for the betterment of our community.”
"My family and I were captivated by the level of talent at the ﬁnals for this year’s Young Talent Big Dreams competition," said James Haj, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust. "Every year we ﬁnd more and more talent. That speaks to the amazing abilities of our children and youth, and what they can accomplish if they are given opportunities."