Kevin Ray Johnson
A little over a year ago I had the privilege of writing about five young artists this country should know! I received a lot of excellent feedback about that article and thought it would be a cool idea to turn this into a yearly thing. There is nothing more rewarding than working with kids in theatre. There are some fantastic communities in this country that is producing some amazing young talent. Here are another five young artists you should know about in this country!
Charlii Clark – This recent AMDA graduate is heading into an extraordinary career. I first met her when I played Joe in a Concert of Showboat, and she was Queenie. She has such a warm and endearing presence on stage that keeps you engaged from the prologue to the curtain call. It excites me to see what the future has in store for this young lady.
Emma Katz – I had the chance to recently see this young lady perform the role of Mama Noah in Children of Eden and her voice completely knocked me out (Her performance of "Ain't it Good" was indeed a show stealer). This talented actress will be heading into her Senior year at Booker High School. Reminding me of a young Lolo, there are so many songs I would love to hear this young lady cover (Painkillers by Lolo being one of them). Wherever Emma decides to go as a performer, I can attest that she will leave her mark.
Tay Marquise – The sky is the limit for this talented young man. Tay will be heading to Pace University next year but before he indeed left his mark with his portrayal of Cain in Children of Eden at Booker High school. His voice is something extraordinary and truly worth the price of admission. This young man has also performed in Broadway in Black Jr at The West Coast Black Theater Troupe and Elmer in Newsies at Manatee Performing Arts Center.
Ryan Modjeski – This talented young man is currently a student at Booker High school and is apart of the theatre program (led by Scott Keys). Some of Ryan’s recent credits include Children of Eden at Booker High School and The Asolo Repertory Theatre in Evita and Ah, Wilderness!. This fall, Ryan will be starring as Will in Glory Days at Rise Above Performing Arts in Sarasota, Florida.
Anika Trout – This talented young actress performed the role of Betty Parris in the Crucible at The Asolo Repertory Theatre. She has also performed in numerous shows at Rise Above Performing Arts as well as a soloist for their show choir. This young lady has such a fantastic attitude, presence and maturity to her that will bring her very far in this business.
I do believe the children are our future and these are just another 5 of MANY kid performers that genuinely excite me for the future of this business! I hope you enjoy reading about these artists because it was a privilege to write about them!
To learn more about the theatres and programs mentioned in this article please visit, Asolo Repertory Theatre - www.asolorep.org Booker High school VPA – www.bookervpa.com , Manatee Performing Arts - www.manateeperformingartscenter.com, Rise Above Performing Arts – www.riseabovearts.com , West Coast Black Theater Troupe – www.westcoastblacktheatre.org