Rothesay Netherwood School Student Receives Highest Score in Canada at National Thespian Festival

Grade 10 RNS student Charlotte Harriman advances to International Thespian Festival being held this June in Indiana, US.

Rothesay, NB (May 5, 2022) – Rothesay Netherwood School (RNS) Grade 10 student Charlotte Harriman beat out competitors across Canada to score the top mark in the Musical Theatre Solo category at the National Thespian Festival held on April 23, 2022. The event is a Canada-wide drama festival presented by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). She qualifies to participate in the International Thespian Festival, competing against performers worldwide in the Thespy Awards, taking place June 20-24, 2022 in Bloomington, IN.

Harriman is a dedicated actor and singer who has been performing since she was a preschooler, with an ambition to continue performing throughout her life. 

“I am so honoured to be able to represent our school and my country at an international level,” says Charlotte Harriman. “I am unsure whether I will be participating online or in-person at the international competition, but either way I am extremely excited about this opportunity.” 

This is not the first time Harriman has received recognition for her talents in the dramatic arts. A lifelong Broadway musical fan, Harriman was selected as one of 130 people from eight countries to attend Tony-award-winning actor Kristin Chenoweth’s Broadway Bootcamp (KCBBC) in June 2021. The bootcamp is an intensive theatre workshop program where students collaborate with Chenoweth and a team of industry professionals for training in acting, dancing, staging, singing, and team building. Harriman was the only participant selected from Atlantic Canada. 

“Charlotte's vast theatre experience and powerful voice have had a huge impact on our drama program,” says Dayna Ellis, RNS faculty member and Director of Musical Theatre. “It’s no surprise that she was able to achieve at such a high level in the national competition.”

It is the school’s first year as an official Thespian Troupe through the EdTA, which provides RNS with theatre resources and learning opportunities for both teachers and students. RNS entered four drama students into the festival. Harriman was one of four RNS students who submitted video performances for the Musical Theatre Solo category. She, along with fellow student Megan Leung, earned “Superior” results high enough to qualify them both for the International Thespian Festival being held at Indiana University this June. RNS students Grace Nobbs and Ellen Barry achieved “Excellent” standings.

“Having our students compete and do so well at the national festival was a wonderful first showing,” says Ellis, who is also the New Brunswick Chapter Director for the EdTA. “The President of the EdTA sent his congratulations to us, noting we have a strong program and great representatives for Canada at the ITF,” says Ellis. “We’re thrilled with our results and wish Charlotte and Megan the very best at the international festival.”

Harriman will also be representing the NB Competitive Festival of Music, Saint John at the 50th New Brunswick Provincial Music Festival Finals at Mount Allison University on May 30 to June 4 where she will compete in the Intermediate Musical Theatre category. She studies under the instruction of singing teacher Elaine Boulanger of Music from the Heart in Saint John, NB and also
Celeste Simone, a voice teacher and performance coach in New York state who Harriman met through KCBBC last year.

Leung is performing in the RNS Senior School play She Kills Monsters and Barry and Nobbs are taking the stage in the RNS Middle School production of Aladdin Jr. The plays are taking place this Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, and are this year’s RNS submissions to New Brunswick Drama Fest.