Some of the best and brightest young talent in Southwest Florida will be in the spotlight this weekend at the Cultural Park Theater.
More than 60 young singers, dancers and actors and musicians will take part in the 22nd annual Stars of Tomorrow competition and command performance, which starts tonight at 7 with the first half of the competition, which concludes Saturday at 3 p.m. with the other half of competitors, followed by the command performance and awards ceremony Sunday at 3 p.m.
Each year, the Cape Coral Council for Arts and Humanities celebrates the most talented youth of Southwest Florida by sponsoring this scholarship program, where more than $2,600 in prizes and scholarships will be awarded.
"It's a performing arts competition for elementary, middle and high school students and those in the first year of college," said June Sommerfield, the show's director. "We don't accentuate the huge scholarships. We use the auditions as a glorified dress rehearsal."
Sommerfield said of the 65 performers, many of them are first-time performers, which she found amazing. But it could also by a significant stepping stone in their lives.
"I've been doing this for 20 years and it happens in cycles. Kids grow up, go to college and go away," Sommerfield said. "This gives them a chance to be on stage, helps them gain confidence. I've seen kids scared to death and go out there and several years later go on Broadway."
Sommerfield said several of these performers are already performing at the Barbara B. Mann Performance Arts Hall and other locations throughout Southwest Florida.
The top two performers in each category in every age group will be awarded prizes and perform at the command performance on Sunday.
There will be five judges who will score on a point system and an auditor to confirm the results, Sommerfield said.
This year's 65 performers are down slightly from last year's 68, which Sommerfield said could be due to the closeness to the holidays and no-shows during auditions.
Tickets are $5 and will be available at the Cultural Park Theater box office. For further information, call Sommerfield at 772-8180.