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Freedom High School’s production of Bring it On: The Musical, directed by Matt Nash-Brown, won an Outstanding Musical Award. The show also earned a Best Ensemble Award, while two cast members, Alex Thomas and Paula Figueroa, took home Outstanding Lead Performer Awards. FALL 2016 | artsLife 15 cent is one of the easiest to master,” she says. Edwardian costumes and hairstyles helped make the transformation complete. While Mary Poppins puts its lead character at the center of the show’s music, Into the Woods, which combines the plots of several traditional fairy tales, is truly an ensemble effort. “We all had to be very together and dependent on each other,” Heistand says. Cinderella, she notes, was the most accessible character that she played in the show: “Cinderella was more vulnerable and very human. It was easier to connect with that.” Adjudicators were effusive in their praise. “Emma Heistand as Mary Poppins was pitchperfect in every way, from the moment she appeared on the stage,” one judge wrote. “She vocally mastered this role, and found her own nuances in the process.” Moreno says that while the role of the Baker presented some tricky rhythms, playing Jamie in The Last Five Years ������������������ ��������- cult vocally. “All of Jamie’s songs are way up in the stratosphere,” he says. That required working with his voice teacher on approaching notes — and plenty of practice. The musical, which tells the story of a failing marriage, is outside the experience of high school students. However, Moreno says, “the material is so well-written, it’s hard not to relate to it in some way.” One adjudicator wrote that Moreno ������������������ �������������������� ������������������ ������������������ ���������� ������������������������ �������� �������������� �������� �������������� �������� young years. He demonstrates highly developed vocal range as well as how to effectively marry vocal coloring to … an acting moment.” Although Heistand and Moreno are standouts, Brazil says the level of quality


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