The finalists for the 2020 Playbill Community Service Award have been announced, and public voting for the winner is now open. Watch five videos documenting the finalists' community service efforts and vote for your favorite below. The winner will be announced at iTheatrics' Junior Theater Festivals, which will be held in Atlanta January 17–19 and in Sacramento February 7–9.
Voting will remain open through 11:59 PM ET on Friday, January 17. Voters are encouraged to return to submit additional votes throughout the voting period.
Created to shine a spotlight on the ways young theatre artists give back to their communities around the world, the Playbill Community Service Award includes a $1,000 grant for continued charitable efforts. The honor is given to a youth theatre group annually at the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival Atlanta. Groups attending the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festivals (in both Atlanta and Sacramento) are encouraged to submit videos documenting their community service projects, which can include anything from hosting an after school program for underserved students to performing at a local nursing home. Five finalists are selected by a panel of adjudicators, and Playbill readers vote on the winner.
Take a look at the 2020 Playbill Community Service Award finalists:
The Rose Theater (Omaha, Nebraska)
"Youth Care and Beyond and The Rose Brigade teamed up to raise money for Youth Care and Beyond programming. They sold snacks, cookies, brownies, popcorn balls, and lemonade."
Olde Towne Hall Youth Theatre (North RIdgeville, Ohio)
"The youth at Olde Town Hall Theatre prepared lunches and gathered scarves, hats, gloves, coats, and more to distribute at one of our local food banks."
Woodford Theatre Young Artists (Versailles, Kentucky)
"Woodford Theatre Young Artists present the Music and Memory Project."
Studio Bleu Vocal and Theatre Arts (Ashburn, Virginia)
"From our concessions, to hosting karaoke nights, to donations at the hospital, we strive to raise funds for ISing4aCure, which helps fund research for childhood cancer throughout the year."
On the Fringe Visual and Performing Arts (Vallejo, California)
"On the Fringe youth have sung at World AIDS Day; hosted a Kids Zone at Vallejo Pride, Vallejo Art Walk, and Day of the Dead; and helped at Glashoff Sculpture Ranch Art events."
The Junior Theater Festival, founded in 2003 by iTheatrics, celebrates musical theatre and musical theatre education with a weekend of events and performances that bring Broadway and West End professionals together with educators and young students. Youth theatre companies can bring 15-minute staged selections from titles in musical licensor Music Theatre International's Broadway Junior collection for adjudication at events in Atlanta and Sacramento, after which students and educators can attend a variety of interactive workshops.
Along with Music Theatre International and Disney Theatrical Group, Playbill is a sponsor of the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festivals and will report live from both events. You can follow the weekend of performances and special events with Playbill on Twitter and Instagram and by following the hashtag #JTF. This year's festivals are scheduled to include appearances by Frozen star Caissie Levy; High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' Tim Federle, Olivia Rodrigo, and Joshua Bassett; Disney Theatricals President Thomas Shumacher; The Lightning Thief songwriter Rob Rokicki; and more.
Vote for your favorite finalist below: