Center Players win Gold Telly for ‘Letters to Scrooge’ | Feature Story

The Center Players, the children’s theater group at Arts of the Albemarle, recently won a Gold Telly Award for their video production of “Letters to Scrooge.”

According to its website, the Telly Awards honor excellence in video and television and are judged by the Telly Award Judging Council, a group of video and television experts from companies in entertainment, publishing, advertising and emerging technology. Examples include WarnerMedia, NBC News, Framestore NY, and Vimeo.

Arts of the Albemarle originally planned a holiday show called “Letters from Scrooge” for The Center Players members. However, COVID-19 restrictions prevented the youngsters from performing in front of a live audience.

That’s when the idea for a video came about, said AoA Executive Director Laurie Edwards, who also produced “Letters from Scrooge.”

“We looked at the holiday show, which had a lot of singing and dancing, and said, ‘let’s deconstruct it,’” she said. “We’ll take each child and videotape their scenes on stage one at a time for COVID safety. Then we’ll put each piece together in the video edit.”

Edwards said the process was “daunting” because AoA had several hundred pieces of video “to puzzle together to form a show.”

“Then we had to balance the video and sound elements,” she said.

Once the video was complete, AoA “knew we had something special,” Edwards said.

“The best part is that the kids had a great time — we could see it in the edit, they were laughing and giggling the whole time,” she said. “It was a pleasure to see them just having fun.”

She called receiving the Telly Award “icing on the cake.”

This year’s Telly Awards, the 42nd time the awards have been presented, received a 15{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} increase in nominees. The growth was driven by a significant rise in remote and virtual productions, with many organizations, like AoA, taking to animation for the first time.

Edwards said The Center Players will resume in September as rehearsals begin for “The Little Mermaid Jr.” The group hopes to perform the musical in the Maguire Theatre in November.

“We’ll be hosting an open house for parents who have children who are interested in being a part of The Center Players program and performing on stage or learning about tech behind the scenes,” she said.

For more information about The Center Players, parents can email [email protected] or stop by Arts of the Albemarle at 516 E. Main St., Elizabeth City.

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