The Fabulous Fox Theatre turned on their stage lights to welcome the finalists of the 10th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition produced by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation (FoxPACF). The final round of the competition was originally scheduled to be performed in front of a live audience in April at the Fox but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a partnership with Nine PBS, the finalists were provided the opportunity to compete and perform on the Fox Stage for a special broadcast airing Monday, August 10, 2020 at 8pm.
“As the saying goes ‘the show must go on!’” exclaimed Mary Strauss (FoxPACF co-founder and Board President), “While I am disappointed the contestants can’t perform in front of a live audience at the Fox, we’re pleased they were able to perform on stage and we are thrilled and grateful Nine PBS has stepped up to provide a platform for the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. “
Annually 120,000+ viewers watch the Nine PBS program featuring the final Teen Talent competition. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the competition and the first year the show was recorded without a live audience. The finalists performed in front of a small group of their closest family and friends with a minimal film and stage crew working behind the scenes.
Finalists include a variety of singers, musicians, dancers, aerialists, and a juggler (a list of acts can be found here). The acts were directed by Tony Parise, Broadway actor, dancer, director, choreographer and St. Louis native, who returned for his 10th year to write the script and direct the finals. Parise worked with choreographer Yvonne Meyer Hare and music director Steve Neale to prepare the young performers for competition and filming on the Fox Stage.
“I am grateful to the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation for seeing to it that this year’s contestants can move through the entire St. Louis Teen Talent Competition process in spite of the challenges of the day,” said Parise.
The Finalists are judged by St. Louis area arts professionals with careers spanning music, dance, and Broadway. This year’s judges are: Audrey Kwong (Operations Manager at the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra), Antonio Douthit-Boyd (Co-Artistic Director of Dance at COCA), Carl Nappa (Grammy nominated Executive Music Producer), Taylor Louderman (Broadway Actress and 2018 Tony Nominee); Ken Page (Award-winning Actor, Director and Singer); and Denise Thimes (Award-winning Jazz Vocalist and Recording Artist). Students will be judged on technical ability, stage presence, interpretation, and originality.
The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners will be announced on Nine PBS at the conclusion of the program. Following the broadcast, viewers are encouraged to join emcee Ben Nordstrom and last year’s winner Joanna Serenko , a singer/songwriter and Kirkwood High School Alum, who recently appeared on The Voice, for an online celebration on the FoxPACF website foxpacf.org. The online celebration will feature a special performance by Serenko and additional prizes and scholarships will be announced including voting for the $1,000 cash prize for the Audience Choice Award.