Julia Fumo is like most 12-year-old in that she cherishes her extracurricular activities. But Julia says she's not one of those kids that are good at sports; she's singing and acting on stage, and getting recognized for her work.
Julia, who lives in the Marmora section of Upper Township, said she has been participating in theater since she was "probably 5 or 6" and has been in numerous productions, including classics such as "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Les Miserables." Most recently, Julia played the leading role in "Annie" with the Off Broad Street Players.
For her performance as Annie, Julia was nominated for a Perry Award by the New Jersey Association of Community Theatres.
"I was the last one to be called, and I didn't really expect it at all," Julia remembered about hearing the news of her nomination. "I was just really happy and everyone was cheering me."
Julia said she started her theater career singing opera, but now mostly sings Broadway. She said being on stage and singing and acting at the same time is probably her favorite way to perform.
"I sing, I dance," Julia said. "I started off with opera; then I went into musical theater."
The Off Broad Street Players, a group based out of Bridgeton that does shows at the Levoy Theatre in Millville, was nominated for six other awards in addition to Fumo's nomination. The other nominations were for the shows "Biloxi Blues" and "Brighton Beach Memoirs."
"This was our first time participating in the Perry Awards, so coming out with seven nominations in the first try is not too shabby," said Walter Webster, artistic director and founder of the group.
Julia's mother, Gail, said that each theater company in the state can submit shows to the NJACT, which then sends out two reviewers anonymously so the players never know when, or on what, they're being judged.
NJACT says the reviewers evaluate all on-stage aspects of the performance and provide numerical scores for 10 categories. Julia is nominated along with six other actresses in her category.
"I never really get nervous. No, sometimes I do," Julia said. "My auditions, I'm always nervous, but when I get to the show I really get focused, and I enjoy it so much. It's really fun."
Julia said she has plans to continue acting, but right now she's "just focusing on school" as it is the theater's off-season. Fumo said the season usually picks up in February.
She does, however, have plans to participate in school plays. Recently, Julia played the Wicked Witch in her school's production of the "Wizard of Oz."
"That was my first time being evil, so it was really fun," she said.
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