Center Stage takes Orlando

Staff reports
Center Stage wins Broadway Cup Trophy national award.

Center Stage Performing Arts Academy in Gonzales celebrated its 10th Anniversary in a big way, recently capturing the Access Broadway Nationals top award in Orlando, Fla.

The national competition spanned five days and included competition from all over the country, including New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida.

At the end of the competition, Center State was named the Access Broadway National Best Studio winner, and received the Broadway Cup trophy.

Center Stage owners Larry and Linda Schexnaydre say winning the award is to be considered “the best of the best.”

Bringing a total of 104 acts, the STARS were awarded 54 platinums for solo and group numbers, 3 triple threat title awards including: Miss Access Broadway 13-20 Diva Division; Emily Schexnaydre; Miss Access Broadway 13-20 Split Division, Madison Levy; Mr. Access Broadway 13-20 Split Division, Chase Duhe; and six  special awards including Best Costume, Shrek; Best Scenery, Shrek; Best Overall Musical Production, The Big Wedding; Best Actor, Emily Schexnaydre; Best Vocalist, David Brumfield; and Best Studio Director, Linda Schexnaydre.

“They were at the top of their game and they ran away withthe competition,”

Access Broadway Founder Ron Devito said Friday.  “They just did a spectacular job.”

The national level competition was a first in Center Stage’s first decade, and it  happened at the right to win the revolving 4-foot-tall sterling and stainless steel trophy.

It can now be seen in Center Stage’s lobby, the owners said.

“They are a full performance school with dance, as well as acting and voice,” Devito said. “They’re very much like a Broadway act; some of their numbers are better than some touring groups.”

Devito said Center Stage has often competed in one of the many Access regional competitions, but 2010 was the group’s first national competition.

“No one has ever won it before on their first trip to the nationals,” according to DeVito. “We like to call it the Super Bowl of competition.”