EdTA to Bring MAKING MAGIC, DEFYING GRAVITY to Parkway Central High, 11/11

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) will present Making Magic, Defying Gravity, an evening of music, performance, and "behind the curtain" conversation, on Monday, November 11 at Parkway Central High School at 7:00 p.m. The evening includes live performances from Broadway's and St. Louis's top student talent, but also provides understanding and perspective on theatre education and careers in the business.

This performance is a special collaboration between working professionals from the National Touring Company of the Broadway blockbuster Wicked and Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment, and twenty area high school students.

To stage the evening's performance, students will work with Fort Zumwalt North High School graduateand Wicked's Production Stage Manager J. Jason Daunter and perform with Wicked national tour actors Rick Desloge, a graduate of Kirkwood High School, and Cassie Okenka.

As a part of the evening's performance, Jack Lane, Executive Producer of STAGES ST. LOUIS will interview Mr. Daunter and Matt Conover, Vice President of Creative Entertainment for Disney Parks and Resorts and Board member about their journeys from high school to their professional careers.

Making Magic, Defying Gravity was developed in 2011 as an arts advocacy outreach program promoting the power of educational theatre and a benefit for EdTA's Student Scholarship fund. To date, Making Magic, Defying Gravity has been performed in 17 cities and raised more than $37,000.

Tickets are $15 and can be reserved online or purchased at the door on the day of the show from 5:45-6:45 p.m. The show is set for Monday, November 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at Parkway Central High School, 369 North Woods Mill Road, Chesterfield, MO 63017. For more information about this one-night event and the performers, visit schooltheatre.org/Events/Makingmagic/StLouis.

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 90,000 student and professional members. EdTA's mission is shaping lives through theatre education by: 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 two 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. schooltheatre.org

Making Magic, Defying Gravity was developed in 2011 as a way to promote the power of educational theatre while raising money toward scholarships for EdTA's student honor organization, the International Thespian Society. Created by EdTA Board members Matt Conover (Vice President of Creative Entertainment for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts), J. Jason Daunter (Production Stage Manager for Wicked's First National Tour and Stages St. Louis alum), and Gai Jones (founder of California Youth in Theatre and an educator with more than 40 years in the field). To date, Making Magic, Defying Gravity has been performed in 17 cities and raised more than $37,000.

Mr. Desloge understudies Boq in the First National Tour of Wicked. He has been seen Off-Broadway in Family Dinner and appeared to critical acclaim in the FringeNYC production of Hello, I Must Be Going. Regionally, Rick originated Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island (Fulton Theatre/Beef & Boards). Other favorite credits include Joseph..., Grease, and Forever Plaid. A native of St. Louis, Rick has performed at Stages St. Louis and studied musical theatre at Indiana University after becoming passionate about the arts at Kirkwood High School where he was a member of the KH Players drama club. www.rickdeloge.com

Mr. Daunter is the Production Stage Manager for the National Tour of Wicked after spending several years with the show on Broadway, where he has also worked on Glory Days and Cyrano de Bergerac (starring Kevin Kline). National tours: Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Regional: Stages St. Louis (five seasons), the world premiere of Up in the Air by Bill Russell and Henry Krieger at the Kennedy Center. He has had the privilege of working with Kevin Kline (4+ years), Meryl Streep, Chita Rivera, and Kathie Lee Gifford. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Directing from Northwest Missouri State University. He is an alumnus of Fort Zumwalt North High School's Thespian Troupe 5140 and an Honorary Thespian of Fort Zumwalt West High School's Troupe 5929. www.jasondaunter.com

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