WELCOME TO THE DESERT THEATRE LEAGUE, SERVING THE DESERT EMPIRE SINCE 1987
Ben Van Dijk has been active in theater since he was 4 years old, thanks to Palm Canyon Theatre. In Ben’s words, “I essentially grew up at PCT, performing in eighteen musicals from the age of 4 to 16. The people at PCT are my extended family, and I credit them with introducing me to what has become my passion.” In addition, Ben branched out and was cast in a production with College of the Desert at the McCallum Theatre. He then joined Musical Theatre University and has had lead roles with them as well. Through his hard work and focus, Ben has become triple threat, even learning to dance “on the job.” Ben’s talent was also recognized with awards. He won the Lucie Arnaz Awards, which sent him to the Jimmy Awards in New York City. Ben’s plans include going to college in New York City and auditioning for Broadway.
Anna Pollnow is being awarded a $1000.00 scholarship. She is a recent graduate of Twentynine Palms High School where she excelled in academics. She has been interested in theater arts since 7th grade when she participated in her first production. Her love of theater continued to be nurtured through Theater 29 where she performed in a number of productions. Anna was also awarded a scholarship to attend Idyllwild’s theater arts camp. In addition to her interest in performing, Anna has also designed and created a variety of unique and beautiful costumes. This multitalented young woman will be attending USC in the Fall and majoring in Theatre Arts and Design.
Ava Tethal is a 13 year old 7th Grade honor student at St. Theresa Catholic School in Palm Springs. She comes from a performing arts family. Both of her Grandparents, Dr. Bill and Sylvia Layne, were long time educators at Moorehead State University in Kentucky; her Uncle J.W. has his Master’s Degree in both Technical Theatre and Acting from Minnesota State University, and her Mother, Se has her Master’s Degree in Classical Theatre and Voice from Michigan State University. So, acting and performing are in her blood!
Ava has received DTL Nominations for her roles in Les Miserables, The Secret Garden, and The Bad Seed. Last year she was awarded the prestigious BILL GROVES AWARD for OUTSTANDING JUVENILE for her role in The Diary of Anne Frank, winning alongside both her Grandfather and Mother; a first in DTL History to have 3 generations of winners from the same family in one evening.
She is honored to have been selected as a recipient the DTL Scholarship this year.
Saigo Iniguez is in the 10th grade at Desert Hot Springs High School. Throughout his life, his family has supported his love of music and talents and supported his involvement in theatres and studies of the arts. At the age of 10, Saigo started performing with Green Room Theatre Company. Mrs. Karen Lin and Mr. David Catanzarite “started me on my way.” Saigo also wants to thank Mr. Michael Holmes for solidifying his love of Rat Pack era music. Saigo also studied voice with Mrs. Alix Korey, with this scholarship hopes to continue his studies with her. He also is currently participating in Musical Theatre University.
Open Call at the McCallum Theatre was an experience “like nothing I could have ever imagined.” In 2019, Saigo competed and won both the Audience Favorite award and the Grand Prize award.
Saigo is grateful to the Desert Theatre League for this scholarship.
Charles Schnell is now a Freshman at Emory University, having been admitted with a full academic scholarship. At Emory University he will pursue a career in vocal performance (musical theater and opera) and playwriting.
Palm Valley School is his Coachella Valley alma mater. At Palm Valley School, his passion for singing, acting, and playwriting was nurtured. He also performed with Green Room Theatre Company and Musical Theatre University. He participated in various choirs and received a California Desert Chorale scholarship. He also was awarded a Desert Star Award for his performance in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” In addition, he is a member of Dramatists Guild of America.
Charles wants to thank the Desert Theatre League for designating him as a scholarship recipient.
Kaiya Treash is being awarded a $1000 scholarship. Kaiya is a 15 year old freshman at Palm Valley School where she holds a 4.11 GPA. She has exhibited a devotion to and excellence in various aspects of theater performance. She is a well-rounded performer as a singer, actor and dancer. She has performed with Green Room Theatre, Palm Valley school’s drama department, Black Tie Opera, and Musical Theatre University. She also studies voice with Tim Bruneau.
Maria is being awarded a $1000 scholarship based on her excellence and devotion to the art of dance, as well as her academic achievements. Maria has been studying ballet for 11 years at CK Dance Studio while maintaining academic excellence and nurturing relationships with family and friends. At Rancho Mirage High School, Maria maintained a 4.0 GPA and was designated a Distinguished Scholar.
DJ is being awarded a $1000 scholarship based on her academic excellence and her outstanding work in the technical aspects of live theater. Destany was able to balance her extensive work with the Hi Desert Cultural Center in stage management, lighting design and as a technician in lights and sound, with academics at Yucca Valley High School. She even garnered the “AVID Individual Determination Award.”
Victoria is being awarded a $1,000 scholarship. She is a 11 year old student at La Quinta Christian Fellowship School where she is an honors student. Though young, she has an impressive resume. She studied jazz, ballet and tap at California Ballet Opera, as well as acting and chorus. One of her dreams is to perform on Broadway and she has already started working toward that dream. She played Ngana in “South Pacific,” and most recently, the title role in “Annie.”
LAUREL BOLLARD just recently graduated third in her class from Shadow Hills High School along with being heavily involved in the band program and of course the theatre department. Throughout her years in the valley, Laurel participated in 13 shows, 4 being involved with Shadow Hills and 5 performed at the McCallum Theatre with Childrens Playtime Productions. Some of Laurel's credits include: South Pacific, The Little Mermaid Jr., A Midsummer Nights’ Dream, Cinderella, Seussical Jr., Shrek Jr., and Beauty and the Beast. She was also seen this summer in the 2017 Jimmy Awards in New York City as the nominee representing the Lucie Arnaz, where she performed on Broadway! Laurel has also been involved with DTL for the last three years having been nominated for her performances in A Midsummer Nights’ Dream, in which she won the Award for Best Actress, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast. She now attends Cal State University Fullerton as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, starting a journey to pursue her dreams of Broadway. Laurel would like to thank her directors Chuck Balgenorth, Richard DeHaven, Sharon Deady, Paul Bluto, and of course the Desert Theatre League for their support in her dreams.
CONSTANTINA B. KARALIS is a seventeen-year-old artist, that is currently attending the University of California Santa Barbara. She has a dancing background in various genres of dance, including belly dancing, ballroom dancing, traditional Greek dancing and ballet. This will be her tenth-year dancing ballet, with nine of those years being spent at her home, Starlight Dance Center! Having moved to the United States from Greece at a young age, she claims that dance was her only mode of expression as at the time she did not speak a single word of English. Some of her greatest achievements include attending the American Ballet Theatre Summer intensive, having of course auditioned for the spot, and also receiving a scholarship to attend a contemporary dance intensive through Open Call. She has had several Desert Theatre League Nominations throughout her dance career and is extremely blessed to be part of such a loving and caring community that not only promotes the arts, but the artists themselves. She wishes to spread the love of dance by either being onstage or sharing it with those around her through the art of teaching. Constantina is an aspiring artist that will forever be grateful for Desert Theatre League and all that it encompasses.
Brianna Maloney is a 17 year old dancer, singer, and actress. Born and reared in La Quinta, she began dancing at the age of three. During her sophomore year of high school, she joined Musical Theatre University (MTU) and embarked on an acting career. Her credits with MTU include Hairspray, A Chorus Line, Into the Woods, Legally Blonde, In the Heights, and Les Miserables.
Garrett Hoy is 14 years old and is attending Xavier College Prep. He loves to perform and has been performing since 2007. He is a current member of Musical Theater University (MTU) at Rancho Mirage High School. In 2012, Garrett received DTL’s Bill Groves Award for Outstanding Juvenile for his performance as Jason in the musical concert Falsetto's. Garrett was also honored to be invited to sing with Andrea McArdle for Stephen Schwartz at the 2012 Melpomai Award presentation in Palm Springs. Credits include: Anita Bryant Died for your sin's (Horace) Chorus Line (Mark), Hairspray (IQ), Falsettos (Jason), Amahl (Amahl), Captain Louie (Louie), Seussical (Jojo), The King and I, Evita, Mame, Annie Get Your Gun.
As a child Joshua King participated in art classes, symphonic band, and voice lessons. After performing in musicals that required dancing, he decided to study dance with Cynthia Kaye. Because he could not afford the cost of lessons, he participated in a work/study program where he attended classes and then demonstrated for younger students. He continued to study dance at Cal State Long Beach and received a fellowship to study at the Alvin Alley in New York. Joshua has returned to the Coachella Valley and is planning to use the award to further his goal of advancing dance in the desert.
German Pavon grew up as the youngest son of a family of Mexican immigrants who have lived in the Coachella Valley for 20 years. He attended Shadow Hills High School and graduated earlier this year. While at Shadow Hills, he was a member of the International Thespian Society, an honorary society for students active in theater. He appeared in numerous productions over the past 4 years and received DTL's Best Supporting Actor award for his part in The Tempest. German will be using the scholarship to cover part of the expense associated with obtaining an associate Degree in Theater.