Awards for teenage starlets

Daisy and Rayner.
Daisy and Rayner.

Two teenage Rugby Theatre starlets have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to the amateur dramatic group.

Performers Daisy Jones and Rita Santos were presented with prestigious John Smith awards by theatre trustee Rayner Wilson.

Rita and Rayner.

Rita and Rayner.

The awards, for young people who have shown special talent at the theatre during the year, are in memory of the theatre’s former artistic director who died suddenly in the summer of 2013.

Daisy, 15, picked up her prize after appearing in a string of shows with the theatre.

She played the lead role of Maisy Mouse in the group’s popular Story in the Park, which was part of the 2015 Festival of Culture, was a lead dancer in the Christine Anderson Theatre School production #Choices at the Henry Street venue, and was Chava in the annual Youth Project’s summer production, Fiddler on the Roof.

Robert Sloan, the theatre’s artistic director, said Daisy, a GCSE pupil at Rugby High School, stood out not just because of her remarkable all-round talent, but also for her positive attitude.

Her willingness to help out in a crisis was demonstrated when she stepped in to fill a role in the chorus of the hit show Sunset Boulevard in October last year just eight days before the production’s opening night.

Portugal-born Rita Santos was critically acclaimed for her starring role as Sophia in the theatre’s production of Master Class in July.

Director of the show, Margaret Dulcamara, said Rita, 17, and a catering student at Rugby College – was an exceptionally talented singer and actor, and would be a wonderful addition to any production.