Florida Junior Thespians Dive Into Bikini Bottom
The International Thespian Society is an Honor Society for high school and middle school theatre students. It is a division of the Educational Theatre Association. Thespian troupes serve students in grades 9-12; Junior Thespian troupes serve students in grades 6 through 8.
This year, the 2019 state-level festival for junior high school students was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida. Many educational workshops are also presented with invited Broadway performers/directors, teachers, artists with a background of many years of professional experience to teach a one-hour master class. On February 2nd, the students had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive dance workshop learning the original choreography of Christopher Gattelli (Spongebob Squarepants, The Cher Show, Newsies) from the Broadway production at a condensed level.
Christopher D. Robinson leads the two classes with Jeremy Marchena assisting. In the interview highlights video, Marchena says, "As soon as we let the doors open, we had well over forty or fifty kids come in." Robinson adds, "We wanted to make sure that the kids were comfortable with learning the moves and that it was fun as well as doable for them to do within the forty-five minute time frame."
Book writer Kyle Jarrow (Spongebob Squarepants) teamed up with Robinson for putting together a special surprise video for the students-giving them great pointers and encouragement to take along with them as they continue studying their craft. Jarrow adds "Working on the show really changed my life in a lot of ways. One of the biggest ways is that it really helped me see the potential for what theatre can be. You can really make commercial theatre, and something that is based on a big known commercial property, but you can still say something that really matters."
A prize drawing was conducted at the end of both classes for one student to win a free copy of the Original World Premiere Cast Recording. Check out the video highlights to hear more!