A group of 40 Australian students will take part in a week-long pilot of Newsies Jr. The workshop presentation will culminate in the second annual Junior Theatre Celebration Australia event, set for October 28 at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle.
The intensive workshop, taking place October 23–27, will condense the 2012 Disney musical (based on the 1992 film) into a 60-minute adaptation. The five-day process will ensure the new edition is suitable to be performed by students and young musical theatre performers.
Coordinated by OzTheatrics, the pilot program will be directed by musical theatre writer and iTheatrics Founding Chairman Timothy Allen McDonald, iTheatrics Director of Education and New York Resident Director Marty Johnson, and iTheatrics New York Resident Choreographer Steven G. Kennedy.
“MTI Australasia is so excited to be able to support the development of up-and-coming musical theatre stars in this country,” Managing Director Stuart Hendricks said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see what they create during the pilot week.”
Newsies features a score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Fierstein. The musical received two 2012 Tony Awards: Best Original Score for Menken and Feldman and Best Choreography for Christopher Gattelli. The story follows a young newsboy who leads a band of fellow runaway “newsies” in a strike against some of New York’s most powerful publishers.
The Junior Theatre Celebration Australia provides an opportunity for young Australians—ages eight to 18—to celebrate their love of musical theatre. As part of the event, youth theatre groups will perform ten-minute extracts of various Broadway JR. productions for industry professionals. JTCOz is produced by OzTheatrics and AMICI Trust alongside international partner iTheatrics and sponsor MTI Australia.
Prior to the Newcastle event, the International Junior Theatre Celebration will be held at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand October 21.