Twenty years ago this fall, the school musical was revolutionized by a new model called Broadway Junior. Music Theatre International introduced the self contained “showkit” that provided school teachers and their students all the resources required to put on a successful musical.
The “great big Broadway show” was reconceived with a streamlined run time 60-70 minutes and vocal parts were re-arranged for young voices. Supplementary materials were provided to make musicals part of classroom curriculum.
The first musical to make its Broadway Jr. debut was Annie, since then numerous shows have joined the list, which boasts titles from Fiddler on the Roof, to Into the Woods, Once On This Island and Peter Pan.
Along the way Broadway Jr. went through some growing pains, including a pilot production of West Side Story Jr.
In the video series below, MTI CEO Freddie Gershon and iTheatrics’ Timothy McDonald (who oversees the creation of Broadway Jr. titles) take viewers on a short history of Broadway Jr. Included are several Broadway Jr. performances that showcase the work of incredible kids from across the country.
Annie — How It All Began
Launching Broadway Junior
The Adaptation Process
The Fumble of the Rumble