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updated: 6/10/2013 4:13 PM

Applications being accepted for Fox Valley talent contest

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Submitted by Fox Valley Repertory

The Fox Valley Rep Performing Arts Academy welcomes youth who have completed first through 12th grade to apply for the academy's first talent contest, "Got Talent?," sponsored by Delnor Express Care.

This contest provides young people with the opportunity to not only showcase their abilities, but to pursue their dreams in the performing arts. The youth attain experience in performing up on stage in front of an audience and receive critiques of their performance by casting professionals from some of Chicago's biggest theaters and talent agencies. Judges include casting director Erica Sartini, casting coordinator Laura Durham, and talent agent Morgan Manock.

Erica Sartini is the casting coordinator for Goodman Theatre as well as the director of casting and co-founder for 2 Birds Casting, a Chicago-based casting service that assists theater companies and producing entities in their casting process. Sartini is excited to see the young talent that the contest will bring. "I am most excited about meeting new youth performers in the area," Sartini says. "There are such few opportunities for me to meet young talent in the city and with this competition I am able to see the best and the brightest!"

Laura Durham, working alongside Sartini, is casting coordinator for 2 Birds Casting as well as for the Red Tape Theatre, a Chicago theater company that is committed to bringing new modern shows to the city. "This competition will be a great way for young people to practice doing what they love," Durham said.

Third judge is Morgan Manock, a talent agent for theater and film for Shirley Hamilton Talent Inc, Chicago's oldest talent agency and local visual media company. "This showcase allows our youth to gain confidence and poise, two immensely important traits they will take with them for the rest of their lives," Manock said.

Contestants are divided up into three categories based on grade level. The first category is for youth who have completed first to fourth grade, the second is for youth who have completed fifth to eighth grade, and the third category is for students who have completed ninth to 12th grade. Contestants have the choice between performing a 1-2 minute monologue or a 1-2 minute musical theater song. Participants do not have to be an academy student to apply. The contest will take place Saturday, June 22, at the Fox Valley Rep Mainstage at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St. (Route 64) St. Charles.

Besides having the opportunity to possibly be discovered by some of Chicago's finest casting professionals, the top three winners receive many prizes, including a cash prize, free tickets to see a Mainstage performance, and free Fox Valley Rep classes.

The Fox Valley Repertory Performing Arts Academy is a nonprofit organization and features some of the Chicago area's most respected teachers, directors, actors and musicians. It is home to over 1,000 local youth students and offers the most extensive curriculum in the Fox Valley area: classes, camps, workshops, youth ensemble productions, and internship programs. Since 2006, the academy has had over 2,800 student enrollments, offered more than 250 individual classes in a variety of disciplines and presented over 20 youth ensemble shows on the Pheasant Run Mainstage.

Cost is $60. Applications will still be received up until June 17. Participants' scheduled performance time will be emailed by June 19.

For information, visit or call (630) 364-0660.