YOUTH PROFESSIONAL ENSEMBLE
Youth Professional Ensemble is an audition-only, educational offering for advanced students who are looking to strengthen their performance skills from top professionals in the industry. Each session includes intensive training in vocal, dance, and acting techniques. Keep an eye out on our mainstage, where many of our Youth Professionals are featured!
Instructors: Bethany Costello, Kaitlin Pennington, Ruthy Froch & Professional Guest Teaching Artists
Alivia Brown is a sixteen year old sophomore at Cornerstone Classical Academy. She has enjoyed being a student, camper, and camp counselor at VCT. This is her second semester of YPE, and she is very excited to learn even more about theatre and performance. Over the years, Alivia has also participated in several productions with VCT, including Aladdin, Jr., Mary Poppins Jr., Peter Pan Jr., Oz: A Staged Concert, The Addams Family, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Apologies, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Brand New Day, and most recently Secret Garden. She is looking forward to her next show with VCT, Lift Every Voice, which will be coming to the Jefferson Center mainstage at the beginning of February. She would like to thank her family and friends for their support.
Anna Locklear is a 17 year old homeschooler, who lives on a farm in Franklin County. Anna is so thankful to be one of this year's Sarabeth Hammond scholarship recipients and in the Youth Professional Ensemble. Some of Anna’s favorite roles include Elsa in Frozen Jr., Lucy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (P&HCC Patriot Players), Cinderella in Cinderella, Zelda, Candy Hammernose, etc. in Madagascar, Martha, Mrs. Winthrop in The Secret Garden and most recently Lumiere, Silly Girl in Beauty and the Beast (VCT). Anna would like to thank VCT, her friends, family and the LORD her Savior for everything that they do!
Emma Harvey is a sophomore at Blacksburg High School, where she is a member of the Madrigal Singers. Favorite credits include The Secret Garden (Dreamer), Cinderella (Fox Puppeteer/Footman), The Addams Family (Ancestor), and Annie (ensemble, Annie u/s) with Virginia Children’s Theatre, as well as High School Musical (Kelsi) and The Sound of Music (Marta) with Mill Mountain Theatre. Emma is a member of VCT’s Youth Professional Ensemble and MMT’s Musical Theatre Conservatory. When not performing, she enjoys playing guitar and ukulele, reading, creative writing, and cat watching.
Andi-Grace Novell is in 9th grade. Some of her favorite credits include Beauty and The Beast (at VCT), It’s a Wonderful Life, and Seussical. Andi-Grace is a member of the Youth Professional Ensemble at VCT and the Music Theatre Conservatory at MMT. From 2019-2021 She was a member of BAPAC in Tampa Bay, Florida, where she competed at Musical Theatre Competitions of America. She would like to thank her friends and family for their continued support.
Campbell is in the 8th grade and is excited to join VCT’s Youth Professional Ensemble. She has participated in a myriad of camps and classes with Virginia Children’s Theatre, as well as numerous mainstage and kids on stage productions. Campbell’s most recent credits include The Secret Garden (May Lennox), Brand New Day (Lead Singer), Madagascar (Zeke, Ship Captain, etc.) and Peter Pan Jr. (Wendy Darling). Campbell is grateful to VCT for providing a space for her to learn and grow in her love of musical theatre. She would like to thank her friends and family for their endless love and support.
YOUTH PROFESSIONAL ENSEMBLE: Rising
Instructors: Bethany Costello, Kaitlin Pennington, Baylee Witter & Professional Guest Teaching Artists
Will McLoney is in 8th grade at Cave Spring Middle School. He has enjoyed participating in classes and camps with VCT since 2021, and his past VCT performances include Peter Pan Jr. (Cecco), OZ: A Staged Concert (Munchkin Barrister), and Mary Poppins Jr. (George Banks). His other past performances include MMT's High School Musical: One Act Edition (Kratnoff/Jock), As You Like It (Oliver/Oliver Martext), and 2021's A Christmas Story (Scut Farkus), Cave Spring Middle School's The Little Mermaid Jr. (Prince Eric), as well as several performances near Cleveland, Ohio, where he lived until 2020. In addition to his theatre classes, Will is currently preparing for Cave Spring Middle School's production of Shrek the Musical Jr. where he will be performing as Shrek. Will plays piano and French horn, and also swims for the CCA Marlins. He is grateful to VCT for the many opportunities they offer, and would like to thank his voice teacher Michelle Cha and his family for their support!
Emily Mower is a 7th grader at Roanoke Catholic School. She started performing with VCT at 8 years old. VCT credits include Annie, Matilda, Oz: A Staged Concert, and Peter Pan Jr. Other credits include A Christmas Story and High School Musical at MMT. She would like to thank VCT for the opportunity to join YPE: Rising and her parents for their love and support.
Carter Cecil is a 6th grader at Read Mountain Middle School. He most recently appeared in VCT’s production of The Secret Garden. Other credits include Peter Pan, Jr. (John Darling), Mary Poppins, Jr. (Neleus/ VonHusler), Cinderella (Horse/ Townsperson), and The Wizard of Oz (Barrister Munchkin). Carter was a 2022 participant of Kevin Jones Performing Arts Studio. He thanks all those who have supported his love of the performing arts!
Taylor Helm is a 6th grader at Northside Middle School. She enjoys dancing, modeling, and learning new things. Taylor recently appeared in VCT’s productions of The Secret Garden and Aladdin Jr., and Beauty and the Beast. She has also attended MMT’s Peter Pan Production and looks forward to participating in many other productions. Taylor would like to thank her family and friends, who continue to support her in all her endeavors.
Riley Parks, a Roanoke Catholic 7th grader, is thrilled to be a part of VCT’s YPE-R. She has performed in several shows across the Roanoke Valley including Fun Home (Young Allison), Peter and Wendy (Wendy), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), The Sound of Music (Gretl), The Secret Garden (Robin/Sprite) and Cinderella. She trains with Virginia Children’s Theatre Academy, Mill Mountain Theatre Conservatory, Kevin Jones Performing Arts Studio, Brynn Scozzari Studios and Divine Dance Center. In her free time she enjoys snow skiing in the winter, water skiing in the summer and singing/dancing to show tunes in between. She thanks all who have encouraged her to follow her dreams!
Drew is 13 years old and has been with Virginia Children’s Theatre for about 8 years. His most recent VCT performances have been: Secret Garden (Colin Craven), Madagascar (Rico/Lars), Peter Pan Jr. (Slightly), The Addams Family A Musical (Pugsley Addams) and Mary Poppins Jr. (Michael Banks). When he is not performing on stage you can usually catch him singing, dancing or playing the drums. Drew is very excited to continue building his love of theatre and the friendships that he has developed through VCT. He would like to thank all his family, friends and his VCT family for all of their love and support.