The PnA Ultimate Performer finals took place on Sunday at the Guild Theatre.
The competition was originally conceived by Performance Platform in conjunction with PnA Stationers East London.
Hundreds of hopefuls went through a process of elimination over the past month with the finalists competing for the ultimate prize of R10,000 in the junior section and R20,000 in the senior section. The competition, now in its ninth year, saw over 350 entries.
10 percent Of the finals ticket sales, 10% went to the charity of choice, Guardians of Hope, which cares for abandoned babies in the city.
The winner in the ultimate petit and junior section was the Lilyfontein School Drum Majorettes who won R10,000, lessons from Lesson Lab worth R6,000 and two tickets to all Guild Theatre shows for one year.
Lilyfontein School also won the overall junior ultimate performer, with a photo shoot prize from Pollocks. The school also scooped the ultimate large group prize and received a prize of milkshakes from Greenfields Wimpy.
Judges for the section included Sonwa Sakuba, Neil Boyle, Nasine van Rensburg, Wendy Kretschmann and Zikhona Ngxata.
In the senior and open section, the competition saw 2018 winner Jayson Jegels competing again.
The ultimate senior and open title went to Sibongile Stephen and Owen Zwendala for their drama and dance piece. They won R20,000 and two tickets to all Guild Theatre shows for one year, and also scooped the award for overall ultimate open, winning a photo shoot at Pollocks.
Joanna Wright, Jo Stemmet, Michelle Venter, Sheree O’Brien and Jennilee Peremore-Oliver adjudicated the highly competitive senior and open section.
Other notable awards included Ben Rexana who won R5,000 for recognition of the advancement of the performing arts in the community.
Rexana offers dance lessons free of charge in Mdantsane in an effort to keep youngsters off the streets and away from drugs.
Awards for advancement of the performing arts in the face of adversity for a group and individual went to Parklands School and Tasha Oosthuizen respectively.
The school received R5,000 while Oosthuizen received R2,000, a Wakaberry t-shirt and sunglasses, a pedicure from Beauty Clinic and an Inkwenkwezi game drive.
Performance Platform’s Anne McLaren said the media partnership with the GO! & Express and Daily Dispatch helped tremendously with exposure and increased public knowledge about the event.
“We are grateful for the incredible way these publications support the performing arts community in East London and we applaud their passionate involvement in the community and the advancement of the performing arts,” McLaren said.
She said one of the aims of Performance Platform, through PnA Ultimate Performer, was to bring opportunity, exposure and a platform to all performing artists in the city, and potentially in the province.