Seize the Day! MTI to Workshop NEWSIES JR. in Australia this Summer

Seize the Day! MTI to Workshop NEWSIES JR. in Australia this Summer

Music Theatre International has announced the pilot launch of Newsies Jr, a 60-minute condensed adaptation of the 2012 Tony-award winning musical. The workshop, featuring a group of 40 students, will take place as part of Australia's Junior Theatre Celebration in October.

OzTheatrics and AMICI Trust, in collaboration with New York's iTheatrics and sponsor Music Theatre International, Australasia, will present the second annual Junior Theatre Celebration in Newcastle, Australia on Saturday, October 28, 2017 and will premiere the Junior Theatre Celebration in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, October 21, 2017. The event follows a highly successful Junior Theatre Celebration in London, U.K. in March 2017.

Furthermore, a cast of 40 young Australians will take part in a week-long pilot of Newsies JR., a new student version of the 2012 Tony-winning Disney Theatrical Productions Broadway production. The select group of students will participate in an intensive workshop from Monday, October 23 through Friday, October 27, 2017, the week leading up to the second annual Junior Theatre Celebration Australia (JTCOz) event, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle on Saturday, October 28, 2017.

The Junior Theatre Celebration hosts national and international musical theatre celebrities and provides an opportunity for young people ages eight to eighteen years in Australia and New Zealand to celebrate their love of musicals and experience the transformative power of theater.

The Junior Theatre Celebration is inspired by the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival (JTF), produced annually by iTheatrics' Junior Theater Group, in partnership with iTheatrics, the leading international authority on musical theatre for young people, headquartered in New York City. iTheatrics' flagship Junior Theater Festival is held in Atlanta, GA in January each year with over 6,000 participants in attendance. In 2017, iTheatrics launched the Junior Theater Festival West in Sacramento, CA.

The Newsies JR. pilot offers young people who love musicals the opportunity to be part of a process that mirrors the demands of developing a musical in the professional theater world. Rehearsals are fast-paced and intense. The workshop culminates in a staged presentation of the show.

Throughout the week, dialogue, music and choreography are workshopped and tested to ensure the musical adaptation is suitable to be performed by student musical theater performers. Students get to perform with peers who care just as much about the arts as they do. Because the young thespians are performing a musical that is actively being developed, the production will focus on storytelling and not production values.

The Newsies JR. pilot program is coordinated by Aussie based organisation OzTheatrics, and will be directed by Timothy Allen McDonald, musical theater author (Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, Between the Lines) and founding chairman of New York's iTheatrics; Marty Johnson, iTheatrics Director of Education and Resident Director, and Steven G. Kennedy, iTheatrics Resident Choreographer.

Newsies JR. is a 60-minute version of the stage musical, which in turn was based on the 1992 musical film "Newsies," inspired by the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. The musical features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Fierstein. Newsies JR. is a new version adapted for student performers and will be performed by educational musical theatre programs in the future through Music Theatre International.

Modelled on the Junior Theater Festival event, the inaugural Australian Junior Theatre Celebration day was held in Newcastle, Australia in October 2016 and hosted 200 young people and over 30 practicing performing arts teachers from all over the country. Groups from Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales performed on stage at the Newcastle Civic Theatre as part of the celebration.

After great success and an overwhelming response from Australian participants, the OzTheatrics and AMICI Trust are thrilled to announce that this event is growing and expanding. Special guests for 2017 include: Timothy Allen McDonald (musical theater author and founding chairman of iTheatrics, New York), Steven G. Kennedy (iTheatrics Resident Choreographer, New York), Marty Johnson (iTheatrics Director of Education and Resident Director, New York), Cindy Ripley (iTheatrics Lead Educational Consultant, New York), and Stuart Hendricks (MTI Australasia).

This expansion of JTF internationally is an acknowledgement of the significant growth that has been seen in the Performing Arts industry over the last decade. The content for the interNational Junior Theatre Celebrations is provided by and is under the direct supervision of iTheatrics and the Junior Theater Group, and teaching artists from the company will serve as adjudicators and workshop leaders at the event.

iTheatrics is the leading international authority on musical theatre for young people, headquartered in New York City. Timothy Allen McDonald founded iTheatrics in 2001 as a way of making theatre more accessible for young people and, in turn, leads a dynamic and talented group of artists and educators who are indeed changing the world through the transformative power of musical theatre.

What is the Junior Theatre Celebration? It's a one-day event that brings teachers, students and theater professionals together to celebrate outstanding junior musical theater productions.

The day includes adjudications by local and international industry professionals, workshops for students, theater celebrities, a New Works Showcase of titles soon to be available, awards ceremonies and the largest collection of musical theater professional development under one roof.

Throughout the day, participating groups present a 10-minute excerpt from their recent Broadway Junior musical in front of their peers and an adjudication panel of distinguished theater professionals. Following each performance, students receive valuable and constructive feedback from the adjudicators. This work is done in front of other participating groups and is designed to enlighten and educate both teachers and students on and offstage. The day then flows into skill-building workshops for students and offers professional development opportunities for teachers.

This closing ceremony presents awards to participating groups, and also features an All-Star performance given by students handpicked throughout the day, talk-backs with industry professionals, special guest performances and a Showcase of New Works soon to be released. Most of all the Junior Theatre Celebration offers a perfect day for teachers and students to share and network with like-minded theater enthusiasts.

Partnered by with AMICI Trust, iTheatrics, iTicket & Auckland Live
Saturday 21st October, 2017 - Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
partnered with OzTheatrics, iTheatrics, Travel Gang & Newcastle Civic Centre
Saturday 28th October, 2017 - Civic Theatre, Newcastle, NSW Australia

Newsies JR. Pilot Basic Details:

• Pilot Week: Monday 23rd - Friday 27th October 2017
• For audition applications and group registrations, go to

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