iTheatrics Releases First-Ever Book on Building Musical Theater Programs for Young People
When iTheatrics, the world's leading authority on musical theater for young people, says, "We wrote the book on music theater education," they mean it.
iTheatics is debuting The iTheatrics Method (ISBN 978-1-62277-228-5), the world's very first book dedicated to building quality musical theater programs for young people, published by GIA Publications, to an audience of 7,000+ at the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival Atlanta, January 13 -15, 2017 in Atlanta, GA and the Junior Theater Festival West (#JTF17, #JTFWest) February 10-12, 2017, in Sacramento, CA.
Team iTheatrics signing The iTheatrics Method at the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival Atlanta. For the past decade, the New-York-based company has worked with thousands of school programs worldwide as well as with a number of clients in the private and public sector - including the White House, the Educational Theatre Association, the Kennedy Center, NBC, New York City's Department of Education and all the leading theatrical licensors - to create programs and tools that ensure young people everywhere have access to quality musical theater programs.
The iTheatrics Method guides readers step-by-step through iTheatrics' tested and true best practices in every aspect of staging a musical: selecting a show, pre-production work, the rehearsal process, technical rehearsals, building an audience, performances, post-show events and activities. Each section details how to bring students' creativity to the front while presenting a musical of the highest caliber.
True to the iTheatrics tenet that "boundaries are freeing," the book presents scalable solutions for creating a student-centered program in all areas: onstage, backstage, and front-of-house, whether operating in a classroom with six performers or performing in a cutting-edge performance space with a cast of a hundreds. While educational in nature, this book is designed to make sure that anyone with interest can start and stage a successful musical theater program with young people.
"Everything iTheatrics does is dedicated to making the world a better place, one musical at a time. Each year, over 36 million people attend a performance of one of our educational musical adaptations, cheering on the young people onstage and backstage as the 'show goes on' in schools all over the world. That's three times the number of people who attend a Broadway show annually. For many of those school audience members, that student production is probably one of the only live musicals they've seen," says iTheatrics founding chairman and one of the book's lead authors, Timothy Allen McDonald. "So not only does The iTheatrics Method give readers the tools to positively transform the lives of millions of more kids through theater, it helps to create millions of more fans for this art form as friends and families come to see these students perform," he adds.
Lead authors of the iTheatrics Method are Timothy Allen McDonald, Cynthia A. Ripley and Marty Johnson, but like any musical theater production, the book is a collaboration between many people. In addition to drawing on the authors' thousands of hours of experience working in production and leading professional development, the team interviewed hundreds of educators from different types of theater programs across the U.S., and highlights of these conversations are featured throughout the text.
The iTheatrics Methods shows how to focus theatrical storytelling through five arts pillars- music, language arts (dialogue and lyrics), dance, visual arts (sets, costumes and props) and digital arts (lights, sound, projections). At heart is the message, "your imagination is your greatest resource." Just as theater works best when the audience is expected to use their imagination to fill in the blanks, the book encourages creativity in all areas while empowering students to be co-collaborators.
The iTheatrics Method covers a diverse amount of topics. Readers will learn how to select a show that most benefits students and walk through how to create a budget and structure pre-production to be a focused and manageable process. They'll hear iTheatrics' time-tested approach to transparent auditions and casting in a way that sends the best message. They'll find out how to structure rehearsals to maximize students' capacity to learn, retain information, and build the skills necessary for a successful performance. They'll be taught how to teach music, even if they don't read music, create choreography that tells a story, even if they are not dancers, and get students to develop and use their "actor's toolbox." They'll gain the three guiding principles used in creating dynamic stage pictures - levels, planes and proximity. They'll be guided through effective communication practices with productions teams, best marketing and audience-building strategies and the best ways in which to add technical elements into stage productions. They'll explore how to create a theatrical experience for audiences even before the curtain goes up and deal with post-show blues. Ultimately, all these elements are reflective of another iTheatrics credo, "as you rehearse, so shall you perform," as each insight ties back to the larger lesson on building a sustainable program - not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually as well - year after year after year.
iTheatrics develops collections of musicals for leading musical theater licensing agencies including the Getting To Know Collection (R&H Theatricals), the Young Performers' Edition of musicals (Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.), the 101 School Editions of musicals (Samuel French Inc.), and the Broadway Junior Collection and School Edition musicals (Music Theatre International and Disney Theatrical Group). Working with esteemed partners such as the President's Committee on Arts and the Humanities, New York City's Department of Education, the Kennedy Center, McGraw-Hill Education and NBC Universal, iTheatrics develops and implements dynamic programs to build cost-effective and sustainable musical theater programs in underserved schools. iTheatrics produces the now bi-coastal iTheatrics Junior Theater Festivals, the world's largest festivals exclusively dedicated to celebrating young people and student-driven musical theater.
Find out how you can make the world a better place - one musical at a time - at iTheatrics.com.