Star of the Issue: Amrita Newton

Star of the Issue: Amrita Newton

Newton played Princess Winifred in Miramonte’s 2012 production of Once Upon a Mattress.

Jackie Steele, Staff Writer

Junior Amrita Newton recently won an honorable mention award in the theater discipline from the National YoungArts Foundation. Newton was chosen from a wide pool of 10,000 applicants applying in nine different disciplines: cinematic arts, dance, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice and writing.

“This year’s extremely talented students represent a diverse group whom we consider to be the most promising young artists in America today,” Paul T. Lehr, YoungArt’s Executive Director said. “The quality of this year’s winners is a testament to the strength of our expanding program.”

Newton learned about the YoungArts program at her theater camp, Interlochen Arts Academy, and decided to apply on a whim. She submitted two videos for her audition, one contemporary monologue in which she performed a piece from Midsummer Jersey, and one Shakespeare monologue, for which she did Hamlet. After applying, she nervously waited two months to hear back.

For being an honorable mention, Newton will have her name given out through the YoungArts website and to any professionals who ask for it. In addition to her cash prize of $250, Newton will be able to add this achievement to her resume, which “looks superb,” according to Newton.

In fourth grade, Newton discovered her passion for theater, something she picked up from her older sister, Neris. “What little sister doesn’t want to be like their older sister?” Newton said. She began in Wagner Ranch’s production of HONK!, playing Lowbutt, and continued on throughout middle school and high school, performing in shows like Wizard of Oz, Once Upon a Mattress, Hamlet and Little Shop of Horrors. 

“I’m just happy that I got the chance to give the judges of YoungArts a performance they enjoyed and hope to be able to give that chance to many people in the future,” Newton said.

YoungArts was established in 1981 to support the next generation of artists, and contribute to cultural vitality by investing in the artistic development of young artists.

“Theater is really something I’m passionate about and I definitely plan on centering at least part of my life around it,” Newton said. “I love it and the best way to help others understand that is by making them love it too.”

Newton plans to try out for YoungArts again next year.