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BWW Feature: JUNIOR THEATER FESTIVAL'S Online Extravaganza Unites Young Artists

JTF West Scheduled for May 7-9 in Sacramento

BWW Feature: JUNIOR THEATER FESTIVAL'S Online Extravaganza Unites Young ArtistsAround this time last year, thousands of students flocked to the round at Music Circus for a weekend of singing, dancing, encouragement, and camaraderie. The Junior Theater Festival West (JTF) drew in groups from places as far away as the U.K. and South Korea. This year, during the weekend of January 15-17, the venue was much different but the sentiment was the same. Theatre groups from all over the globe participated in a virtual JTF that highlighted all of the magic that makes JTF such an unforgettable experience.

At the heart of the festival are the adjudications-each theatre group performed 10-15 minutes of a junior musical and received feedback from a panel. This session's professionals included Timothy Allen McDonald, Jeff Calhoun, Britt Mack, and Krystina Alabado. Groups from Northern California included On the Fringe from Suisun City, who performed Seussical, Jr. songs, and Spark of Creation from South San Francisco, who showcased numbers from Matilda the Musical, Jr. After adjudications, students enjoyed a discussion with Kristin Chenoweth entitled Media Musicals before branching off into their workshops of choice.

Saturday evening culminated with a concert from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, creators of The Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen. When they performed "Waving Through a Window", it really hit home how much I have missed live theatre. These young artists are missing it even more, so I am happy to share that there will be even more opportunities to experience JTF in the coming months. JTF West in Sacramento is scheduled for May 7-9 and more information can be found online at

Photo credit: Marcus Woollen

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