On Saturday, May 3, 2014, youth of Miami-Dade County ages 8 through 17 showcased their talents at the final competition of the 4th annual Young Talent Big Dreams talent contest. The annual talent contest is sponsored by The Children’s Trust and hosted by the Actor’s Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre.
“This has been the most amazing competition, one that inspires the dreams of so many and that we’re so glad to be a part of,” said Barbara Stein, executive producing director of Actors’ Playhouse. “Nobody’s leaving here tonight who’s not a first-class winner.”
The Grand Prize Winner of the youth talent competition was David Woodward, a 16-year-old recognized for his performance of an original spoken word piece. Woodward received $500 and a free trip for two, including airfare and hotel, to attend the live finale of American Idol in Los Angeles, CA.
“Though I like to write, I wasn’t much of a reader before. The experience of competing in YTBD [Young Talent Big Dreams] really taught me about perfecting my writing craft,” said Woodward.
Auditions for the final competition began in February, with semi-finals in April. Of the hundreds who auditioned, 27 acts performed at the final competition. Winners were chosen for each category and for individual and group performances. Prizes included cash awards, master classes taught by local professionals, professional headshots and tickets to a variety of local performances.
Individual categories consisted of 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 were dance, musical instrumental and rock/pop/jazz bands with vocals.
“Every year the talent gets better and better, and the dreams get bigger and bigger for this competition,” said Charles M. Auslander, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust.
The Children’s Trust is a revenue source dedicated solely to serving the children of Miami-Dade County. The Trust was created by voter approval in September 2002 and was reauthorized by 86 percent of voters in 2008.
Actors’ Playhouse, host of the talent competition, is a non-profit theatre organization and a Florida Presenting Cultural Organization that aims to “enrich South Florida’s cultural vitality,” provide educational and cultural programming and serve as a platform for Florida’s theatre professionals.