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SD Junior Theatre Artistic Director, Desha Crownover Announces Departure

SDJT's 75th Anniversary Season gets underway this October with The SpongeBob Musical.

SD Junior Theatre Artistic Director, Desha Crownover Announces Departure

San Diego Junior Theatre (SDJT)'s Artistic Director, Desha Crownover, will be departing her long-time position in the coming months to pursue new artistic endeavors. Crownover's time with SDJT began over 25 years ago, first as a Teaching Artist and Stage Director. In 2007, she moved into the position of Artistic Director, which she has held intermittently ever since.

Crownover's contributions during her tenure have had a major impact on the SDJT community and been critical to the growth and health of the organization. She established fruitful partnerships with Halau O Na Ali'i and Coronado Playhouse as well as the extremely successful and rewarding collaboration with Disney Theatricals that allowed JT to produce pilot productions of popular titles, such as Newsies Jr, and Moana Jr, prior to those shows being available for licensing to other schools and youth theatres. Crownover spearheaded and codified the establishment of SDJT's core values of empathy, identity, resilience, community and responsibility - an integral part of Junior Theatre's approach to education in both the classroom and the rehearsal room - and has been one of JT's strongest advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion in season selection, hiring practices, casting decisions and project development.

Crownover shares, "It has been an honor to share my passion for Theatre Education with innumerable students, artists and families for over two decades. I am so grateful to Junior Theatre, the staff and to the students and parents who have made this experience so very rich and rewarding."

Executive Director, Jimmy Saba adds, "Whether in the casting process, choosing a season, participating in a staff retreat or giving a pre-show speech, Desha has remained a steadfast champion for the underdog, a voice for the meek and a cheerleader for anyone who needs a vote of confidence. Her warmth, sincerity and gentle manner have transformed some of the most terrified young souls into confident young actors and crew members. Desha's investment in the program is substantial and that legacy will remain. Her work over the past two decades will reverberate for decades to come. As she moves onward to new projects and adventures, we support her in the same way she has supported so many during her tenure here. "You got this, Desha!""

The search for a new Artistic Director is currently underway and Ms. Crownover plans to stay through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition to her replacement. Crownover has lined up the creative teams for SDJT's upcoming 75th Anniversary Season productions but looks forward to returning to direct future productions as her schedule allows.

SDJT's 75th Anniversary Season gets underway this October with The SpongeBob Musical (October 28 - November 13) followed by the world premiere production of Edgar Allan Poe's Gruesome Gallery of Grotesquerie (January 13-22, 2023), which will be devised by returning Director Blake McCarty in collaboration with SDJT's students and cast members. Tickets for these productions and the rest of the season go on sale September 1.


For more information on San Diego Junior Theatre's upcoming season of productions and to purchase tickets, please visit juniortheatre.com.

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