Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation (FPACF) is pleased to announce online registration is now open for the 11th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition for high school students in the bi-state St. Louis Metropolitan area.  There are no fees to participate or register. This year the Preliminary Round of the competition will be conducted solely by video submissions.

Students will be vying forscholarships, special awards, prizes, and the opportunity to compete in the Finals on the Fabulous Fox Theatre stage. This event showcases the most talented teens in our region who excel in the performing arts. Past Finalists have performed on tour with Hamilton, on NBC’s The Voice, American Idol, in The Muny, with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, at the Sheldon Concert Hall, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, at Gateway Grizzlies & St. Louis Cardinals games, and area festivals.

Contestants must be enrolled in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade in the 2020-2021 school year and must attend a high school/home school within a 50-mile radius from the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Acts may be a solo or up to six students performing as a group. Performing arts categories include (but are not limited to): singers, dancers, actors, musicians, comedians, ventriloquists, and circus skill artists. Acts may perform original or published material. High school students can respond to the “Call for Entries” and register on-line at www.foxpacf.org.

Executive Director Judith Cullen noted, “This year, talented teens can compete in our first round by simply registering and submitting a video; there is not another scholarship opportunity as easy as this anywhere in our St. Louis area.”

Finalists in past years have included aerialists, classical and pop singers, a whistler, pianists, a harpist, ukulele artists and other musicians, dancers, jugglers, bands, and baton twirlers. The 2020 winner of the competition was freestyle, hip hop dancer DemBari Taneh from Kirkwood High School who won a $8,000 scholarship and a dance intensive scholarship.

Each round of the competition will have a panel of at least three judges who will adjudicate performances and advance acts to the next round. Judges for the Preliminary and Semi-final rounds are arts professionals from the St. Louis region who are asked to give each act constructive, verbal feedback following each performance. The Finalists will compete on the Fabulous Fox stage.

Students placing First, Second and Third will win college scholarships. Contestants who advance to the Semi-final Round will be eligible for various prizes, special awards, and scholarships. A complete list is available at www.foxpacf.org.  Finalists will also be provided unique performance opportunities within the St. Louis area arranged by FPACF and by request.

“We are always gratified and happy with the response to this event from students, parents, arts organizations and the community. We are thrilled to provide the opportunity for students to perform at the Fox and on other stages around St. Louis. We are pleased that we are able to put talented young people in the spotlight,” said Mary Strauss, FPACF Board President and creator of the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.

Call for Entries

11th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition

DEADLINE: Dec. 31, 2020

Register on-line: https://www.foxpacf.org/programs/teen-talent-competition/

Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation fosters, promotes, and encourages young people in the
St. Louis region to discover and participate in the joy and wonder of live performances.

In addition to the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation
also produces a variety of other performing arts programs including
Kids’ Night at the Fabulous Fox, Broadway Master Classes, Educational Encores,
and is a producing partner of the 5th Annual St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awar

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis (TWSTL) will increase its reach this summer with a new radio show. “Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air” is set to launch on July 11. The program will air every other Saturday at 5 p.m. on Classic 107.3 FM. The festival decided to embark on this new venture because “It is important now to unify, elevate and enrich humanity during this very challenging year,” explains Carrie Houk, Executive Artistic Director of TWSTL.

Each episode of “Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air” will consist of fully produced Williams’ one-act plays along with interviews with scholars, directors and actors. Specific details of each broadcast will be posted on the websites of both Classic 107.3 (classic1073.org) and TWSTL (twstl.org).

Ken Page

Broadway legend and St. Louisan Ken Page will narrate and noted Williams scholar Tom Mitchell will offer commentary on each episode. Performers will include: Nisi Sturgis; Rayme Cornell; J. Samuel Davis; Bob Harvey; Anita Jackson; Tony Merritt II; Elizabeth Teeter; Bradley Tejeda; Rachel Tibbits; Donathan Walters; Kelley Weber; Donna Weinsting and Maggie Wininger.  Brian Hohlfeld, David Kaplan and Tim Ocel will be directing.

“The peak of my virtuosity was in the one-act plays.

Some of which are like firecrackers on a rope.” – Tennessee Williams

“Williams felt that one-acts were his strongest format,” Houk points out. “He started out in St. Louis writing one-act plays, and one of his biggest breaks was winning a competition sponsored by the Group Theater in New York—the first time he signed his name as ‘Tennessee’ rather than ‘Tom.’  He wrote more than 70 throughout his career—sometimes edgy, often experimental, and always infused with his unsurpassed poetry.  Many of them have been presented at the Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis.”

“Something Spoken: Tennessee Williams On the Air” will be sponsored by Mary Strauss, Jane and Bruce P. Robert Charitable Foundation, Ted Wight, John Russell and Terry Schnuck, with more patrons to be announced in the coming weeks.

TWSTL’s reboot of their Fifth Annual Festival this fall will focus on Williams’ youth and time spent with The Mummers, an offbeat St. Louis theatre company that tried out a number of his early plays and is immortalized in Williams essay “Something Wild.” As long as conditions remain safe to produce, “Tennessee Williams: Something Wild” will run October 22 through November 1 at The Link Auditorium (thelinkauditorium.org), formerly The Wednesday Club and the theatre where The Mummers performed. 

About the Festival

Star on Walk of Fame in the Delmar Loop

The Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis was established in 2016 by Carrie Houk, the award-winning producer, casting director, actor, and educator.   The Festival, which aims to enrich the cultural life of St. Louis by producing an annual theater festival and other artistic events that celebrate the artistry and life of Tennessee Williams, was named the 2019 Arts Startup of the Year by the Arts & Entertainment Council.

In 2014, Houk produced Williams’ Stairs to the Roof with such success that the on- going annual Festival was established. The inaugural Festival was themed “Tennessee Williams: The St. Louis Years,” followed by “The Magic of the Other” in 2017 and “The French Quarter Years” in 2018. The 2019 festival featured Night of the Iguana and A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. As the years have passed, the awards have mounted. Last year’s St. Louis Theater Circle gave them eleven nominations and seven awards, and this year’s seven nominations garnered four more awards. The Festival has attracted thousands to its readings, panel discussions, concerts, exhibitions, and productions.

Lead sponsorship of the festival is provided by Emerson.  The Festival is also funded in part by Mary Strauss, Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, The Whitaker Foundation, Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Humanities Council, Trio Foundation of St Louis and the Arts and Education Council.

About Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams drawing by Al Hirschfeld

Born Thomas Lanier Williams III in 1911 in Mississippi, Williams moved to St. Louis at age seven, when his father was made an executive with the International Shoe Company (where the City Museum and the Last Hotel are now located). He lived here for more than two decades, attending Washington University, working at the International Shoe Company, and producing his first plays at local theaters. He credited his sometimes difficult experiences in St. Louis for the deeply felt poetic essence that permeates his artistry. When asked later in life when he left St. Louis, he replied, “I never really left.” Most people are familiar with the famous works that have garnered multiple Pulitzer Prizes, Tony Awards and Academy Awards, such as The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer. He also wrote hundreds of additional plays, stories, essays, and poems, many of which are only now seeing the light of day as his estate permits greater access. He is today considered by many leading authorities to be America’s greatest playwright.

About Classic 107.3

Classic 107.3, “The Voice for the Arts in St. Louis”, broadcasts at 107.3 FM and on KNOU 96.3 HD2 with a mission to support the cultural landscape in the St. Louis region through programming and outreach efforts. Classic 107.3 plays a variety of music from classical to jazz, opera to blues, Broadway and more, and features local programming including the “Slatkin Shuffle”, hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin, and Musical Ancestries™, designed to educate school-aged children about world music. In addition, the station airs interviews with artists, musicians, creators and performers, bringing their stories and events to the attention of the St. Louis community. Classic 107.3 is a non-profit station, receiving support from listeners as well as organizations like PNC, the William T. Kemper Foundation and others. More information, as well as live streaming, archived interviews, and podcasts can be found at www.classic1073.org.