Ashley Brown, Andrew Keenan Bolger & More Set for 2014 Junior Theater Festival

Tony-nominated composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Andy Jones (Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella), Heidi Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (the original Mary Poppins), Merle Dandridge (Tarzan, Aida), Josh Strickland (the original Tarzan), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies), and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), will join 4,500 students and teachers representing 93 groups from 26 states and the District of Columbia at the 2014 Junior Theater Festival, it was announced today by Timothy Allen McDonald, founding Chairman of iTheatrics and the Junior Theater Group. The Junior Theater Festival is being held January 17, 18 and 19 at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta.

Additional Junior Theater Festival celebrity guests include 2012 Tony Honor recipient for Excellence in the Theatre and Music Theatre International (MTI) CEO Freddie Gershon; Jenifer Foote (Follies, Rock of Ages); young performer Henry Hodges (Broadway's Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Broadway's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and author of How to Act Like a Kid); Broadway's Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia!); Jacob Brent (Cats); Mike Spee, Julie Briskman, Richard Gray, Diana Huey, Kendra Kassebaum, Greg McCormick Allen, Jayne Muirhead and Heath Saunders from the Seattle Children's Theatre production of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, named "Best New Musical" by the Seattle Times; performer and author Tim Federle (The Little Mermaid, Better Nate Than Ever, Five, Six, Seven, Nate!); Mary Pope Osborne, author of the New York Times best-selling Magic Tree House Series; Tony award-winning lighting designer Ken Billington (Chicago), designer Theresa Squire (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), and artistic directors from three of the leading children's theaters: Michael Bobbitt of the Adventure Theatre, Rosemary Newcott of the ALLIANCE THEATRE, and Linda Hartzell of the Seattle Children's Theatre.

Produced by the Junior Theater group in partnership with leading arts education consultancy firm, iTheatrics, the Junior Theater Festival is the world's largest musical theater festival celebrating young people and the transformative power of musical theater. This year's title sponsors are Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Group, and Playbill.

For the first year ever, theater lovers across the nation will be able to watch three of the festival's main stage events via a live stream at http://www.mtishowspace.com/jtf2014 :

· The Disney Musical New Works Showcase on Saturday, January 18, 8 pm Eastern

· Pathways to Success with Andy Jones and Evan Ruggiero on Sunday, January 19, 9:15 am Eastern

· In performance with songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul on Sunday, January 19, 2 pm Eastern



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