Rebecca Wu, a 12-year-old at the International School in Bellevue, is a talented young artist. She first started drawing as a toddler, scribbling on the walls with colored pencils. When she was 7, Rebecca began attending the local studio Studio S Fine Arts, where she was the youngest student at the time. In addition to art, Rebecca also enjoys all kinds of creative stuff, including creative writing, crafting and animation, as well as coding – she has even developed her own video games.
Rebecca's art recently earned her national recognition with the annual Doodle for Google art contest. Rebecca stood out amongst tens of thousands of applications, with her art ultimately being selected as the winner. Rebecca's winning artwork is titled "My Sweetest Memories" and shows her with her two little sisters savoring hot chocolate in a garden, with the word Google artfully spelled out using vines and flowers. This heartwarming depiction of sisterly love and companionship was on Google's homepage on June 6 for millions to see. As the national winner, Rebecca also received a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for her school.
Bellevue’s own Theatre33 was decorated with several honors, including the youth ensemble award, for the troupe’s performance of “A Game” at YouthFest, the national festival of community theatres in Louisville, Kentucky in June! The cast of Anna Stoforandova (13, Kenmore), Desmond Johnson (13, Bellevue), Eva Zrazhevskaya (15, Redmond), and Michaela Dolezel (13, Bellevue) took home the Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award for the Ensemble, the only such award given out to youth theatres. Desmond also received the Outstanding Achievement in Acting award and the theatre’s founder and artistic director Marianna Chebotaryova received the Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design award. Young actors also attended the Youth Leadership Conference to learn more about acting, directing and serving as advocates for community theatres.
Desmond, Eva and Michaela joined Theate33’s bilingual youth acting and drama program in the fall of 2022 and Anna is a first-year student. Outside of theatre, the teens have varied interests. Anna is an avid reader who loves to cook, bake and craft. Desmond plays volleyball and drums. Eva is a visual artist and loves animals and sciences. Michaela is a competitive figure skater who loves to crochet and bake. Each of the teens thoroughly enjoyed meeting peers and adults who love performing arts as much as they do and would absolutely jump at the opportunity to revisit the festival in the future. “YouthFest was a lot of firsts for me. First trip out of state to perform, first performance in front of such a large audience and first award for acting,” said Desmond. “It was exciting, scary and nerve racking all at once,” added Michaela. “To say that I wasn’t nervous when we went on stage would be a lie,” confessed Anna, but the troupe owned the stage and told their story superbly – “I think it turned out excellent” she concluded. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this incredible energy where everyone is ready to share and learn the craft of theatre!” added Eva. The recognition of “A Game” at the national level definitely sets the bar high for Theatre33’s education program which has been rapidly expanding over the past three years.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this incredible energy where everyone is ready to share and learn the craft of theatre!