NEW ORLEANS, LA- After traveling to Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia for the prestigious iTheatrics Junior Theatre Festival, students from the Uptown Music Theatre (UMT) returned to New Orleans with the Outstanding Production Award for the fifth consecutive year. UMT students were up against more than 100 groups (3,000 students) from across the U.S., and still took home the festival’s top honor. This is the first time in the festival’s history that a group has won five years in a row. UMT has accomplished this feat in their first five attempts.

“I’m extremely proud of our students for both their love of the arts and their commitment to excellence,” said Delfeayo Marsalis, founder of Uptown Music Theatre.  "They bring that unique New Orleans joy and celebration to the competition every year.”

UMT students performed excerpts from “James and the Giant Peach,” a recreation of the 1996 British-American musical film. The musical is about a British boy named James who was forced to live with his cruel aunts. James found an enchanted peach with insects that eventually became his friends and they set sail for New York City.  UMT students also worked with ‘Downton Abbey’ starGary Carr to perfect their British accents for the performance. Past productions of the student group have included “Godspell” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival is the largest annual festival for youth musical theater produced by the Junior Theater Group with competitors ranging from ages 7 to 18. Teachers and students of theatre are able to join together and appreciate the many aspects of theater while enjoying professional development workshops and networking opportunities