More Than 1500 Students Set for Blumenthal Performing Arts' 2014 Broadway Junior Theater Celebration, 4/7-9

More Than 1500 Students Set for Blumenthal Performing Arts' 2014 Broadway Junior Theater Celebration, 4/7-9

Excitement and pride will soon fill the air when more than 1500 students from 43 elementary and middle schools across the area participate in Blumenthal Performing Arts' annual Broadway Junior Theater Celebration over the course of three days, April 7-9.

Each day, students will perform one song from their school's show on the stage of the Knight Theater as well as participate in workshops led by professionals from New York City.

For the past seven years, Blumenthal has provided the means for children in the community to experience the thrill of performing in a show with their after-school drama clubs, music and theater classes and school performing arts programs.

"The energy and enthusiasm we see among participating students and teachers during the Broadway Junior Theater Celebration is amazing," explained Blumenthal's Director of Education Ralph Beck. "What a tremendous opportunity for kids to participate in a workshop led by Broadway professionals and then to perform on a professional stage. It has been a joy seeing this program evolve," said Beck.

Blumenthal also purchases comprehensive theater kits for participating schools, which are for fully licensed 30- or 60-minute versions of Broadway shows such as Guys and Dolls, Annie, Aladdin and Cinderella. The kits have everything schools need for their students to put on a production, including scripts, director's guides, musical accompaniment CDs, choreographer's guides and more.

The Doctor Family Foundation provides support for the Broadway Junior Theater Celebration as well as several other education programs, but community members also pitched in to help under-resourced schools participate. More than $20,000 dollars was invested this year through funding of show kits for schools that otherwise couldn't afford them, as well as transportation costs for the children to attend the celebration.

Workshop Leaders include:

Timothy Allen McDonald

(CEO and Founder of iTheatrics)

In 1996, Tim was recruited by Music Theatre International to develop the MTI Broadway Junior Collection after spending years working at his own theatre in Chico, California. Ten years later, Tim founded his own company, iTheatrics, a musical theater education company whose clients include Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Licensing, Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc., the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, as well as NBC Universal, The Jim Henson Company, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and New York City's Department of Education. Tim has written the book for a number of musicals including Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jim Henson's Emmet Otter, and James and the Giant Peach as well as directed The Phantom Tollbooth at the Kennedy Center and the Off-Broadway premiere of Dear Edwina.

Marty Johnson

(iTheatrics Director of Education)

Marty first became involved in the world of musical theatre in Peter Pan when he was 10 years old. After a bit more schooling, including a graduate degree in Theatre for Youth from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Marty is the now Director of Education and Resident Director at iTheatrics. Marty oversees all of the educational programs at iTheatrics including their Junior Theater Academy, the Shubert Foundation/Broadway JR. program, and the Make A Musical program which helps build sustainable musical theater programs in under-served schools. Marty first experienced Broadway Junior at North Shore Music Theatre directing pilot productions of new shows, a duty he is thrilled to continue at iTheatrics. Marty currently serves on the board for TYA/USA, the leading organization for the advancement of Theatre for Young Audiences in the world.

Steven G. Kennedy

(iTheatrics Resident Choreographer)

Steven performed in New York and touring productions including; Me and My Girl, Oklahoma!, Crazy For

You, 42nd Street, Joseph..., West Side Story and The Toy Shoppe, in which he had the distinguished honor of acting alongside and backing-up the one and only "Gambler," Kenny Rogers. Steven has enjoyed introducing arts educators and thousands of under-served young people to the arts through teaching workshops across the country including numerous workshops at the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts. Steven has developed a series of show specific choreography DVDs for MTI and iTheatrics and has choreographed a number of national tours and the Off-Broadway smash hit production of Dear Edwina.

Lindsay Weiner Lupi

(iTheatrics Music Supervisor)

Lindsay was part of the first generation of young people to experience the transformative power of the arts through Broadway Junior. She received a BFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and an MA in Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a music director, NY credits include the West Village Musical Theater Festival, With Glee at NYMF, The Last Five Years, as well as the national tours of A Year With Frog and Toad and Cassandra's Angel. Lindsay serves as the Music Supervisor at iTheatrics where she has music directed and helped creatively shape such projects as The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley JR., Getting to Know The Sound of Music, Disney's The Little Mermaid JR., Wizard of Oz Young Performers, and many others.

Cindy Ripley

(iTheatrics Senior Educational Consultant)

Cindy is thrilled to represent iTheatrics by leading workshops with teachers and students across the country, while at the same time serving as the "go to" guru for Music Theatre International's online Show Support for the Broadway Junior Collection. Cindy piloted the first Broadway JR. production of Annie JR. in 1995 and developed the first Broadway JR. Director's Guide that same year. She was very proud to be selected for USA Today's All Star Teacher Team for 2005 and finds that a recipe comprised of young people, teachers, parents, musical theatre and enthusiasm is priceless!

Jacob Brent

(iTheatrics Teaching Artist)

Jacob is a Broadway performer and an accomplished director, choreographer, and teacher. He has worked closely with iTheatrics on the pilot productions of Elf JR., Legally Blonde JR., and Rent School Edition and Avenue Q School Edition and serves as a lead adjudicator at their annual Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, GA. Currently, Jacob teaches for New York City's Professional Performing Arts School, Broadway Dance Center, STEPS on Broadway, and Marymount Manhattan College. As a performer he is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Mistoffelees in the Broadway, London and video productions of CATS.

ABOUT BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS: Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call (704) 372-1000 or visit

Related Articles

Charlotte THEATER Stories | Shows  Follow BWW Charlotte

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...