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The British Theatre Academy Presents Disney's MY SON PINOCCHIO JR.

The British Theatre Academy Presents Disney's MY SON PINOCCHIO JR.

The British Theatre Academy is to produce Disney's My Son Pinocchio Jr. as part of its second annual summer season takeover at Southwark Playhouse.

A magical mix of heartwarming fairytale and action-packed adventure, Disney's My Son Pinocchio Jr. with Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Book by David Stern, will run from Friday 26 July - Wednesday 14 August.

In Disney's My Son Pinocchio Jr, the classic tale of toymaker Geppetto's little wooden puppet is given new life. This new musical, which retells the classic Disney story from Geppetto's perspective, features the beloved classic songs When You Wish Upon a Star and I've Got No Strings, (Music by Leigh Harline, Lyrics by Ned Washington from the Walt Disney motion picture Pinocchio) alongside a host of new songs by Oscar and Grammy Award-winner and master melodist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), tackling timely issues about what it means to be "the perfect child" - and what it means to be "a real father."

Join the Blue Fairy, Stromboli and a lively cast of characters as Geppetto journeys beyond the toy shop to discover the meaning of family. When the Blue Fairy grants Geppetto's wish to bring his beloved puppet to life, the new father quickly learns that being a parent is full of challenges. He struggles to make his son "the perfect boy" only to lose him to a gang of Roustabouts. When faced the thought of never seeing Pinocchio again, Geppetto truly learns the meaning of family, and being a father.

Directed by Séimí Campbell. Choreography by Holly Hughes. Set/Costume Design Gregor Donnelly. Lighting Designer Andrew Exeter. Sound Designer Andrew Johnson.

Stephen Schwartz said: "I always think it's important for people who are interested to be in theatre to get off to an early start. That kind of early training gets into your bones. I also think it's especially fun for The BTA to work on something brand new like Disney's My Son Pinocchio Jr as the performers aren't imitating other performers from before, but finding the creativity within themselves."

Also in the 2019 BTA season is a youth production of the multi award-winning Broadway hit, Once On This Island, from the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Anstasia, Seussical, Ragtime), and a youth production of Dogfight by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, The Greatest Showman) and Peter Duchan, directed and choreographed by Dean Johnson.

Stephen Schwartz (Music & Lyrics)

Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway hit Wicked, and has also contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, and Children of Eden. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein's Mass and wrote the title song for the play and movie Butterflies Are Free. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son Pinocchio. He has also worked in film, collaborating with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's Enchanted as well as the animated features Pochahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and writing the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. His first opera, Seance on a Wet Afternoon, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. A book about his career, Defying Gravity, has been released by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies

David Stern (Book)

Tony Award winner David I. Stern began his career working on the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Nick & Nora, and Big. He was soon infected with the desire to put pen to paper and wrote the plays Dreams & Stuff and Finders of Lost Luggage. After a small detour into directing with the New York revival of Starting Here, Starting Now (nominated for a MAC Award) and a stint with The American Project at Circle in the Square, he transitioned into radio by writing for NPR's The 1990's Radio Hour and a Half. Following the particularly cold winter of 1996, David migrated west to write numerous movies including: Geppetto (nominated for four Emmy Awards), Open Season 2 (nominated for an Annie Award), Open Season 3 (which he also executive produced), Free Birds (which he also executive produced), Henry & Me (nominated for an Annie Award), as well as the upcoming animated feature Punk Farm. David is a regular on the punch-up/re-write circuit and has contributed to many motion pictures including: First Daughter, The Smurfs, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Tinkerbell 3, Open Season, and The Hotel Transylvania. In addition, he produced the documentary Roadmap Genesis and Roadmap Jerusalem, now available on DVD, Amazon Streaming, and other platforms. For the stage, David wrote the musicals
Snapshots and My Son Pinocchio with longtime collaborator and renowned songwriter Stephen Schwartz. He has helped
finance several Broadway shows including Wicked, Next to Normal, The Pee Wee Herman Show, and If/Then; and is
currently producing the powerful, original musical Dear Evan Hansen (winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical,
winner Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Musical, winner Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical). For television, David wrote and produced on the series Mozart in the Jungle (winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Series).

Séimí Campbell (Director)

Founder and Director with Trinity Musical Theatre. Highlights include directing the AIMS-nominated and winning Evita (2018) and West Side Story (2017). As Artistic Director and Producer of Donegal Youth Musical Theatre; a Musical Theatre company providing young Irish actors with an opportunity to experience the professional Musical Theatre industry, and help bridge the gap to their further MT training in the UK, highlights include directing the award nominated Phantom of the Opera (2017) and the nationally acclaimed Jesus Christ Superstar (2018). Currently, Resident Director on the UK premiere of Amour at Charing Cross Theatre, London and assisting on Regent Park Open Air
Theatre's production of Jesus Christ Superstar (Barbican) and Come From Away (Phoenix).

The British Theatre Academy

The British Theatre Academy was set up to give talented young people the opportunity to perform in top venues nationwide for free. Previous acclaimed productions include The Secret Garden, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and 13 the Musical (staged in West End seasons at the Ambassadors Theatre), last year's sell-out production of Bring It On and Goodnight Mr Tom (a finalist at in the 2018 Offies as Best Production for Young People 8+) at Southwark Playhouse, and Annie Jr and Spring Awakening.

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