OCEANSIDE — Helena Marie Woods, age 16 and an Oceanside resident, recently competed with 750 young ladies ages 16 to 24 years old. The competition took place in three separate cites with several rounds of eliminations.
Less than 30 candidates remain in the Search for Cinderella finals. Celebrity judges included Neil Patrick Harris, American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi and the Lythgoe family, the creators of “So You Think You Can Dance?” and “American Idol.” The finalists will compete in Hollywood with Neil Patrick Harris on Oct. 5 and the winner will star in The Lythgoe Family production in Hollywood November and December.
Woods has performed in more than 30 professional and youth productions around San Diego County. Tri City Teen Talent is a nonprofit youth entertainment group that Woods started last year to entertain the elderly in assisted living centers. “This is a great opportunity to give back and practice your craft,” she said.
Woods recently was one of four finalists for best lead actress in a high school production at the Old Globe High School Theater awards competition.
The El Camino High School student also won best lead actress in a musical for “All Shook Up” from National Youth Theater and the cast has been selected from hundreds of high schools across the country to perform in Edinburgh Scotland summer 2011.
In June 2010, she was recently cast in her dream role this summer as “Cinderella” on the new Moonlight Stage under the direction of Randall Hickman.
Her next role is the leading lady, Audrey, with Encore Youth Theater production of “Little Shop of Horrors” directed and choreographed by Ali Whitman.
Woods hopes to perform again with the San Diego Opera’s Children’s Choir in 2011. She also plans to attend a performing arts college and pursue her career in musical theatre.