MusicWorks! Students Selected for the 2012 Junior Theater Festival!
Twenty-three students from MusicWorks! Studio of Performing Arts will participate in the invitation-only 2012 Junior Theater Festival happening Jan. 13-15 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Ga.
The Junior Theater Festival is the world’s largest musical theater festival dedicated to groups working with elementary and middle school students that is presented by New York City’s iTheatrics and Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars and sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals. The festival will bring together more than 3,000 students, teachers and Broadway professionals to raise their voices in celebration of on-stage and backstage excellence in musical theater.
Each group attending the festival performs a 15-minute selection of a musical for a panel of distinguished theater professionals. The talented young people representing MusicWorks this year, ages 6.5-17, will perform selections from "Godspell" jr.for adjudication.
Featuring 60 groups from 18 states, the 2012 Junior Theater Festival will offer an enthusiastic environment for students and teachers to interact with thousands of others who share their passion for musical theater. Students and teachers will participate in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, gain from professional development, enjoy theatrical fellowship and attend a world-class professional production of “Annie” at the Fox Theatre. Student techies work side-by-side with festival staff in running all aspects of the festival experience.
Award winning ANNIE creators Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin will travel to the festival to accept the 2012 Junior Theater Festival Award recognizing their contributions toward the advancement of musical theater for young people. In 1995, MTI Chairman Freddie Gershon partnered with Meehan, Strouse and Charnin to premiere Annie JR., which launched Broadway Junior, the first educational division in a major musical theater licensing firm, which over the past 16 years has transformed the marketplace for age-appropriate performance material for young performers.
NBC’s new series “Smash” will sponsor “‘Smash’ Sunday,” on Sunday, January 15th, a full day of activities for all 3,000+ festival attendees as part of a philanthropic partnership between NBC’s “Smash” and iTheatrics’ Junior Theater Project. The show will offer a sneak peek at the new series in advance of its Monday, February 6th (10:00 pm Eastern) network premiere. “‘Smash’ Sunday” activities will include the Broadway Junior Slam (a challenge in which students and teachers who have not met must stage and present a scene and song from a musical in one hour), the technical theatre showcase and adjudication, the choreography DVD call backs, the Hero award presentation and the Closing Celebration. Additionally, in the spirit of inspiring students in their respective productions, the show will provide tickets for all JTF participants to see a professional production of ANNIE at the fabulous Fox Theatre.
NBC’s “Smash” follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who want to be part of a new Broadway musical: from the successful songwriting duo Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle) and Julia (Emmy award winner Deborah Messing, Will & Grace) and Julia’s husband (Brian d’Arcy James); to Midwestern beauty (Katharine McPhee, American Idol); tenacious producer Eileen (Oscar winner Angelica Huston), a former tv sitcom star (Nick Jonas) and a brilliant director (Jack Davenport). The show is produced by Steven Spielberg, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and features music by Tony and Grammy award-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray).
Other Broadway celebrities slated to appear at the festival include Broadway director, choreographer and performer Baayork Lee (A Chorus Line, Promises, Promises, Flower Drum Song, The King and I) and director, producer, choreographer and performer Jeff Calhoun (Newsies, Bonnie and Clyde, Disney’s High School Musical, Deaf West’s Big River).
The 2012 Junior Theater Festival offers an enthusiastic environment for students and teachers to interact with thousands of others who share their passion for musical theater. In addition to presenting a 15 minute selection from their musical, both students and teachers participate in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, gain from professional development, enjoy theatrical fellowship and attend a professional production of ANNIE at the fabulous Fox Theatre. In true Junior Theater Festival form, student techies work side-by-side with festival staff in running all aspects of the festival experience.