Mercury Theatre Company’s Junior Company recently received seven awards at the 2021 Musical Theatre Competitions of America.

The competition was held virtually, with groups competing from all over the United States. The Junior Company is made up of students in grades six through 12, from 19 schools and two states.

Senior Emma Grace (EG) Canzano of Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School won first place in senior vocal performance for her rendition of “I’d Rather Be Me” from “Mean Girls: The Musical.”

Senior Ethan Peterson, a Shining Star CLE 2020 winner, took second in senior vocal performance and was selected to perform in a master class with Broadway veteran Christopher J. Hanke.

Ethan and Emma Grace were joined by senior James Newton with his fourth-place award for senior vocal performance. Emma Grace also placed third in senior monologue performance.

The Junior Company won third place in advanced ensemble production for its interpretation of Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, “Merrily We Roll Along,” as well as third place in advanced musical revue for its original revue, “What If: The Music and Lyrics of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.”

Freshman Stanley Niekamp was awarded fourth place in freshman vocal performance.

At Disney’s “High School Musical, Jr.” at the iTheatrics’ Junior Theatre Festival in January, the Junior Company received awards for excellence in dance and all festival individual performance for Ethan.

The Junior Company will hold a full production of the award-winning “Merrily We Roll Along” in-person in early May. For more information, visit

The junior company, under the direction of Pierre Brault and Aubrey Fink, includes:

• Frankie Ashkettle, eighth grade, Chagrin Falls Middle School

• Jabari Babb, seventh grade, Twinsburg Middle School

• Elizabeth Brey, 11th grade, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School

• Emma Grace (EG) Canzano, 12th grade, Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

• Arianna DiMenna, 11th grade, Gilmour Academy

• Lauren DiMenna, ninth grade, Gilmour Academy

• Kate Doyle, 11th grade, Norwalk High School

• Gabe Feinberg, ninth grade, Orange High School

• Addie Garst, ninth grade, Stow-Monroe Falls High School

• Sloane Harris, freshman, Beachwood High School

• Kallista Hayes, 11th grade, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School

• Nya Ku, 11th grade, Kenston High School

• Maya Marderstein, ninth grade, Orange High School

• James Newton, 12th grade, Garfield Heights High School

• Stanley Niekamp, ninth grade, Firestone High School

• Piper Noda, eighth grade, Kenston Middle School

• Charley Peck, 12th grade, Chagrin Falls High School

• Ethan Peterson, 12th grade, Chardon High School

• Elle Richey, eighth grade, Laurel School

• Emma Robb, ninth grade, Aurora High School

• Mary Rose Tamburrino, 11th grade, Notre

Dame-Cathedral Latin School

• Jillian Villa, 10th grade, Bedford High School-Michigan

• Emmett Vogel, sixth grade, Gesu Catholic School

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