Murray Middle drama students win Critics Choice and Best of Show at district competition

Murray Middle Drama Instructor JoAnn Nance, center, stands with her students at the

Murray Middle Drama Instructor JoAnn Kirby Nance, center, stands with her students at the District 1 Florida Jr. Thespian Festival on Nov. 21. The students one Critics Choice overall for “When I Grow Up” from Matilda and will perform at the state competition in February. Students are Baylie McClafferty, Alex Mowrey, Ella Romaine, Maggie Styles, Issac Turner, and Ethan Venzon. Contributed image

St. Johns County Center for the Arts students at Murray Middle competed on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the District 1 Florida Jr. Thespian Festival.

Out of 23 events (including Monologues, Ensemble Acting, Solo and Group Musical numbers and Costume Design), students from Murray received 16 Superiors and 7 Excellents.

In addition, students were awarded Best of Show in 3 categories: Duet Acting, Duet Musical and Ensemble Musical. See names and categories below.

The Ensemble Music piece was named Critics Choice and will represent District 1 by performing at JrITS State Festival Opening Ceremony in February.



Ensemble: When I Grow Up

Students: Baylie McClafferty, Alex Mowrey, Ella Romaine, Maggie Styles, Issace Turner, and Ethan Venzon



How the Other Half Lives

Students: Maggie Cox and Kyler Unsworth,


Snow Angels

Students: Baylie McClafferty and Alex Mowrey


  • Monologue: The Not So Perfect Child; DeJong, Nyla
  • Monologue: The Hall; Romaine, Ella
  • Monologue: Like Dreaming Backwards; Capitano, Isabella
  • Ensemble Acting: Pass It On; Dykes, Macy; Evans, Julia; Venzon, Ethan
  • Solo: My Party Dress; Unsworth, Kyler
  • Solo: Blue Hair; Dykes, Macy
  • Solo: I Really, Really Love You; Styles, Maggie
  • Acting Ensemble : The Disney Mom’s Support Group; Andrews, Juliette; McClafferty, Baylie; Styles, Maggie; Knippenberg, Katarina; Mowrey, Alex;  Nelson, Shayla;  Tilley, Tai;  Worrell, Kyle


Duet Acting:    Taking Sides

Student Name:       Stam, Mya; Tanner, Savannah

Duet Music:            A Little Fall of Rain

Student Name:       Lawless, Alexander; Lawless, Savannah

Duet Music:           The Stepsisters’ Lament

Student Name:  Cernese, KellyAnn; Ognjenovic, Sophie




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