Recently, five JPAS Theatre Kids! returned from New York where they were part of a national cast of MTI Junior choreography videos which will be used in thousands of schools and performing arts centers across the country. The students were cast for the honor at the 2011 Junior Theater Festival (2011 JTF) in Atlanta, GA (presented by New York's iTheatrics and Atlanta's Theater of the Stars and sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals) where they participated as part of the JPAS Theatre Kids! Competition Team. At the festival, the Broadway Junior scouts were on the lookout for outstanding students. 400 students were invited to audition for choreographer Steven G. Kennedy, 68 were selected for the final call-back and ultimately 25 students were cast for the taping.
The JPAS Theatre Kids! selected were:
Rebecca D'Antonio, an 11 year old who lives in New Orleans (70131) and is entering 6th grade at St. Andrew the Apostle. iTheatrics resident choreographer Steven G. Kennedy said about Rebecca, "Rebecca is a fantastic performer with an amazing work ethic. When we stopped or were focusing on a scene that she wasn't in she would quietly got to the corner and rehearse. There was no stopping her. It was a true pleasure to have her be part of our cast."
Coldin Grundmeyer, a 13 year old student who lives in Belle Chasse and is entering 8th grade at Holy Cross and NOCCAA. Said Kennedy about Coldin, "Coldin is a joy to work with. He was willing to do everything we asked and he doubled his level of his performance every day he was there."
AaRon Richert, a 10 year old student who lives in New Orleans (70131), and is entering 6th grade at Lusher Charter Middle School. Said Kennedy about Aaron, "Aaron's personality proves that he is a natural for the stage. He is an imaginative artist and it was a delight to see his ideas come to life."
Gabriella Trentacoste, a 12 year old student who lives in Gretna and will enter 7th grade at Ursuline Academy. Kennedy said about Gabriella, "Gabriella embodies the spirit of why we do educational musical theatre. She had a wonderful enthusiasm and worked very hard. We saw in every movement how much she wanted to be there."
Olivia Worley, a 13 year old who lives in New Orleans (70115) and is entering 8th grade at Metairie Park Country Day School. Kennedy said about Olivia, "Olivia is a very talented girl and a great communicator. She let me know that she was willing to work very hard and we were so impressed by her that we decided to highlight her in one of the pieces."
Educational theatre consultancy group iTheatrics selected an exceptional cast of 25 students, ages 10 to 16 and representing eight states, to perform in instructional choreography DVDs for soon-to-be-released Music Theatre International titles Doctor Dolittle JR., Finian's Rainbow JR., Disney's Winnie the Pooh KIDS and Disney's The Little Mermaid JR., it was announced today by Timothy Allen McDonald, founding CEO of iTheatrics. (The full cast list follows.) Choreographed by iTheatrics resident choreographer Steven G. Kennedy and guest choreographers Aubrey Lynch and James Brown III in collaboration with dance assistants Lauren Chapman and Kelby McIntyre- Martinez, the DVDs are designed to empower any teacher or community member to create innovative and compelling musical-theatre dance numbers. They will be used in the thousands of schools and performing arts centers across the country that license the musicals from the MTI Broadway Junior Collection(r).
The Junior Theater Festival is the world's largest musical theater festival dedicated to groups working with elementary and middle school students. The 2011 Festival was held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA and brought together more than 2,100 students, teachers, and Broadway professionals to raise their voices in celebration of on-stage and backstage excellence in musical theatre.
The MTI Broadway Junior Collection(r) is MTI's special collection of musicals for younger performers, which includes "JR." titles, 60-minute musicals for middle-school performers; and "KIDS" titles, 30-minute musicals for elementary-school performers. MTI will release the DVDs as part of its ShowKit of resources for schools and educational musical theatre groups designed to help guide both cast and crew through a successful production. The ShowKit includes the choreography DVD, actor's scripts, fully orchestrated CDs to rehearse and accompany the cast, and a director's guide for teachers that includes an annotated script and step-by-step information on producing, casting, rehearsals and performance techniques as well as curriculum connections that tie important themes of the musical into classroom studies.