Rockwall’s Got Talent Semi-Finals Friday

UPDATE – Congratulations to the contestants who auditioned over Valentine’s weekend and were selected to perform in the Rockwall’s Got Talent competition. The Semi-Final Round will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27; the Finals will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, both at the Rockwall High School Theater.  Click here to get your tickets for the show now! 

SEMI-FINALISTS: Marshall Wilson & Flag Corp, Logan Brown, Keeli James, Ashlynn Denney, Kayli Denney, Kylee Clark, Alex Muller, Amber Logue, Lexi Greenhill, Raquelle Blackwood, Loralai Milton, Kasi Justice, Maddie Rosenbalm, Jacob Turner, Brandon Leavell, Campbell Smith, Tatianna Valentine, Aiden Valentine, Mason Holdyn , Riley Bates,, Hunter Merriman, Bryan Cerda, Hannah Cook, Jillian Lee Jones, Codee Sanford, Maria Montes, Katie Riley, Abigail Lopez and Brenna McIlwain, Alyssa Ryan, Makenna Riley, Jim Freeman, Devon Khalsa, Hannah Spaulding, Arielle Dyer, Allie Magee, Robert Richardson.

ROCKWALL, TX (Feb. 15, 2015) For the sixth year in a row, Rockwall Community Playhouse will present Rockwall’s Got Talent, a community-wide talent show that puts the fun in fundraising by drawing a variety of performers from across the Metroplex competing for cash prizes.

The showcase for gifted entertainers is the brainchild of Rockwall Community Playhouse’s Board of Directors.

Founded in 1995, Rockwall Community Playhouse is located on East Rusk Street in Rockwall, in a small building that was formerly used as a church. Each year, the theater presents an entertaining season of musicals, dramas, comedies, children and teen shows.

Since the auditorium seats just 84 audience members, the experience is intimate, and after each performance, everyone is invited to the stage to visit with the actors. For the past 20 years, the plays have been chosen to suit the small venue.

In 2006, RCP launched a Capital Campaign, and with the help of the community, recently paid off the note on a tract of land they purchased for a new theater complex. Plans are underway to develop a roomier building on Airport Road. The structure will be large enough to seat 300 people and to store props, sets and costumes. There will be plenty of space for parking, and the facility will allow more flexibility in the types of production that can be staged.

One way the board envisioned to raise money for the project is to showcase the best of the town’s performers in a competition with cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 – donated by local businesses. The goal of the talent competition is not only to raise money, but to shine a light on the gifted population of Rockwall and the surrounding areas as well.

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Semi-finals will be 7 p.m. Friday, February 27; and Finals will be 7 p.m., Friday, March 6 at Rockwall High School Theater, 901 Yellowjacket Lane.

Cash prizes will be awarded in the amounts $1,000 for first place, $500 for second, and $250 for third; donated by Northstar Bank, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall and Westchester Homes. Media sponsor is Blue Ribbon News.

Audience tickets are $10.

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Rockwall’s Got Talent’s 2012 winner, Amber Carrington, had a great time during the process.

“It was very cool to meet everyone in the competition,” she remembers. “I was honored to win, because I’ve lived in Rockwall since I was in fourth grade and loved representing my city with what I love to do.”

Amber Carrington. By Lesli Logston Photography.

Carrington said that the best thing about participating in the talent show was that it gave her the confidence to pursue singing as a profession. After Rockwall’s Got Talent, Amber competed in NBC’s The Voice Season Four on Adam Levine’s team and was a semi-finalist. She has since moved to Nashville and has been honored to sing at the Grand Ole Opry.

Laryssa Bonacquisti wins $1,000 at the 2010 Rockwall's Got Talent competition. Photo submitted by Mary Thacker.

Laryssa Bonacquisti wowed the judges and audience during the 2010 Rockwall’s Got Talent competition with her stunning ventriloquist talents. She went on to becoming Miss Dallas and appeared onstage with Las Vegas ventriloquist, Terry Fator.

Darlene Singleton, RCP Board of Director and founding member remembers, “While watching one of our auditions for a major musical, I casually mentioned to Gary (Freedman) that Rockwall really did have some great talent. That was about seven years ago and here we are now hosting our sixth Rockwall’s Got Talent,” said Singleton. “Every event has been unique and FUN. Can’t wait to see who shows up this year!”

Gary Freedman, the “Voice of Rockwall,”  is an enthusiastic supporter of Rockwall’s Got Talent and often serves as emcee of the show.

Rockwall Community Playhouse Board Member Darlene Singleton presents $1000 check to previous winner Erica Kuntz.

“It is exciting as well as rewarding to help inspire talented people. I believe RCP helps instill in them a greater belief in themselves and what they are capable of. I feel pride in being involved in RCP and helping do what we do in the community,” Freedman said.

RCP board member Deb Ballard shares, “What I like best about Rockwall’s Got Talent is what I like best about auditioning for a show at RCP—the warmth and supportive nature of the people in charge. It takes a lot of nerve to get up on a stage in front of people you don’t know and allow them to judge your talent! But at RCP, everyone knows what that feels like, and we do our best to make everyone feel at ease. We cheer and encourage every entry and the whole process is a lot of fun, not nerve-wracking at all. Creativity brings joy to your life. If you have a talent you want to express, Rockwall’s Got Talent is the perfect springboard.”

The show is truly a community event, because like the television show Dancing with the Stars, each audience member votes for his or her favorite act. Then audience votes are combined and considered as one Judge Vote and added to the other judges’ scores.

“It is exciting for the audience members, since their votes count. So attending the event to support your favorite performer is important!” Singleton said.

Performer Whiney Rosenbalm suggests the following tips for contestants. “Be original. Some of our favorite winners have talents like ventriloquism—it isn’t just a singing competition. If you do sing and/or dance, be sure to show your personality in your song choice.”

Semi-Finals will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, February 27; finals will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Rockwall High School Theater. Audience tickets are $10.

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