High School Pilot Production of American Idiot Premieres Today

News   High School Pilot Production of American Idiot Premieres Today
 
A New Jersey high school is testing a new pilot production of the edgy, politically charged Broadway rock musical that has members of the original Broadway creative team involved.
Stark Sands, John Gallagher Jr. and Michael Esper in the original 2010 Broadway production of <i>American Idiot.</i>
Stark Sands, John Gallagher Jr. and Michael Esper in the original 2010 Broadway production of American Idiot. Paul Kolnik

Tony winner Michael Mayer, American Idiot's co-book writer and original director, worked on the new high school adaptation of the show that will premiere April 14-17 at the Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, NJ.

Green Day provided the score to the musical, based on the album of the same title, that features lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong, who co-authored the musical's book. Music Theatre International holds the rights to Green Day's American Idiot, which was seen on Broadway in 2010.

The creative team and representatives from MTI will attend performances at Dayton in April to determine whether this new adaptation will move forward for licensing in schools across the U.S. and beyond.

The pilot production will incorporate choreographic techniques from the original Broadway production (created by Steven Hoggett and adapted by Alison Morooney). Masque Sound and sound designer Keith Caggiano are involved in shaping an authentic sound with the students for this new version.

In a partnership with TV news producer Ron Ralston and Dayton’s A/V department, highlights from a three camera taping of the show will be made available on GreenDay.com at a date to be announced. A documentary created by students involved in the production is also in the works.

“The power of American Idiot lies is its authenticity and immediacy,” Mayer said in a statement. “These qualities have been touchstones for us as we made the musical. Nothing is more authentic than young people playing characters close to their own age and experience; the immediacy of the story of these kids' search for meaning is evident each time we turn on the TV, check our Twitter feed, log in to Facebook, or engage with the world in a variety of ways.”

The story, according to the creators, “centers on three disaffected young men; Johnny, Will, and Tunny who are struggling to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the three disgruntled men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths are quickly estranged when Tunny enters the armed forces, Will is called back home to attend familial responsibilities, and Johnny's attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship.”

Dayton music teacher Ashley Bauers, who is also directing the pilot production, added, “Piloting American Idiot is an incredible experience because we're getting to work with a piece of living, breathing theatre. More importantly, we're confronting issues this show brings up that are vital and relevant topics to discuss with our kids. Ideally, the audience will walk away from this production empowered to have these conversations with their loved ones.”

To attend the Dayton premiere, email tickets@springfieldschools.com.

Visit MTIShows.com.

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