ROCKWALL/HEATH, TX (March 1, 2015) The Rockwall’s Got Talent competition, a community-wide talent contest presented by Rockwall Community Playhouse, will take place at 7 p.m. this Friday, March 6 at the Rockwall High School Theater, 901 Yellow Jacket Lane. The Semi-Final Round, originally scheduled for Friday, February 27, was canceled due to inclement weather, and a decision was made to move all Semi-Finalists on to the Final Round.
Competing for cash prizes in the Finals will be: 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, and Robert Richardson.
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.
This is the sixth year in a row for Rockwall’s Got Talent, a fundraiser for Rockwall Community Playhouse. The showcase for gifted entertainers was 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.
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.”
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 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.
Gary Freedman, the “Voice of Rockwall,” is an enthusiastic supporter of Rockwall’s Got Talent and often serves as emcee of the show.
“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.
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