This past week Memphis represented at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (AKA The Jimmys) when Riley Thad Young was named a finalist and scholarship winner. You can read all about that and catch his outstanding performance of "Memphis Lives in Me" right here. What my initial report failed to mention is the fact that this isn't the first time Memphis' next generation of performing artists has made a big splash at the Jimmys. Anybody interested in seeing a past finalist do what she does best, can check out Breyannah Tillman's performance as Effie in Playhouse on the Square's ongoing revival of Dreamgirls.
Tillman describes the HSMTA experience as being high pressure and way more cutthroat than the local version.
“I had just enough time to drop my bags and change into my workout clothes before I had to be in rehearsal,” she says recalling a process that only got more intense when she learned she’d finished third and would be performing a solo rendition of “Lot’s Wife/Salty Teardrops” from the musical drama Caroline or Change.
“The best part was I got to come up out of the floor,” Tillman says, describing her dramatic entrance on a lift. “And the Minskoff is full, and everybody bursts into applause.”
You can catch Tillman at Playhouse on the Square through July 15th.