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Thespian Festival 2015 to Present THE MUSIC OF MENKEN

Thespian Festival 2015 presents the opening show The Music of Menken: Audrey, Ariel, Aladdin...and Alan! An Evening with Alan Menken, a tribute to one of the most celebrated composers of stage and screen. The Music of Menken will take place Monday, June 22, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The Music of Menken will feature Broadway professionals Bud Weber and Carla Stickler working with the National Thespian Company made up of 20 student actors and 11 student technicians from 20 states and Dubai. The students auditioned online through the Acceptd online arts portfolio ( and will meet onsite for the first time to rehearse together for less than 48 hours. They will perform two shows in front of more than 3,700 Festival delegates.

Bud Weber is currently in the Tony nominated Broadway musical Something Rotten! His Broadway and touring credits include Wicked, Book of Mormon and Aladdin. Carla Stickler just finished a 5-and-a-half year run as the Elphaba understudy in Wicked on Broadway. Her national tour appearances include Wicked, Mamma Mia! Asia Tour, and The Sound of Music. Carla also participates in workshops and readings of new work throughout NYC.

Due to scheduling conflicts with his upcoming film Beauty and the Beast, Menken joins the project through a special video interview he did from his home for the show. Academy and Tony Award Winner Kevin Kline also lends his voice to the project and serves as the evening's narrator.

The evening was created by Jason Daunter and Jason Yarcho. Yarcho leads a 10 piece live orchestra and provided all of the arrangements for this evening specifically created for the Thespian Festival. The creative and design team all come from Broadway, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, and regional theaters across the country, and volunteer their time and talents to make this project come to life and contribute to the educational experience.

About the International Thespian Society
The International Thespian Society (ITS) is an honorary organization for high school and middle school theatre students located at more than 3,900 affiliated secondary schools across America, Canada, and abroad. The mission of ITS is to honor student achievement in the theatre arts. High school inductees are known as "Thespians" and junior high/middle school inductees are known as "Junior Thespians." ITS is a division of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).

About the Educational Theatre Association
The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), is a professional organization with approximately 100,000 members nationwide. EdTA's mission is shaping lives through theatre education: Honoring student achievement in theatre and enriching their theatre education experience; supporting teachers by providing professional development, networking opportunities, resources, and recognition; and influencing public opinion that theatre education is essential and builds life skills. EdTA operates the International Thespian Society (ITS), an honorary organization that has inducted more than 2 million theatre students since its founding in 1929. EdTA also publishes Dramatics, a monthly magazine for high school theatre students, and Teaching Theatre, a quarterly journal for theatre education professionals.

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