Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's James and the Giant Peach to Get Recorded; Nationwide Search Will Cast James for Album

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14 Apr 2014

Justin Paul and Benj Pasek
Justin Paul and Benj Pasek
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tony Award-nominated songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and book writer Timothy Allen McDonald, the creative team behind the musical James and the Giant Peach, have launched a nationwide search to cast a young actor as James for the musical's official album, which will be recorded May 12-13 in New York City.

"This contest honors the spirit of Roald Dahl, a remarkable writer who crafted fantastic stories about children placed in extraordinary situations," said book writer McDonald in a statement.

Paul added, "James and the Giant Peach is a complex, sophisticated and sometimes scary story, and yet time and time again we've seen our younger audience members lean in and embrace the show. So many of them asked us when they can put on the musical in their school, their community, that we started asking ourselves how we could make them an even bigger part of this adventure."

"Kids enjoy being challenged," said Pasek. "We've set some high expectations, and we can’t wait to see how they surpass them."

The creatives are seeking "boys with unchanged voices, and excellent singing and acting skills, who live in the U.S." Hopefuls can submit a DVD or YouTube video audition singing the song "On Your Way Home" from James and the Giant Peach.



Audition material, information and releases are available for download by clicking here, an instrumental track for "On Your Way Home" is available here, and a vocal track for "On Your Way Home" is available here.

DVDs, audition forms and releases can be summited to iTheatrics at 628 West 52nd Street, Suite 1F, New York, NY 10019. YouTube links, audition forms and releases can be submitted electronically to info@itheatrics.com. All entries are due by April 25 at 5 PM.

In addition to an honorarium, the young performer and one parent or guardian will receive round-trip transportation to New York City and housing.

James and the Giant Peach, according to press notes, "is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl and tells the story of a young orphaned child who finds a loving family in a most peculiar way. Sent by his mean, conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, James discovers a magic potion, which results in a tremendous peach occupied by some not-so-normal characters. From the center of the gigantic fruit, James and the unlikely crew launch a journey of enormous proportions. Together they discover that while we are all born into a family, we then go on to create a family of our own."

The musical premiered at the Seattle Children's Theatre (SCT) in November 2013 and was directed by SCT artistic director Linda Hartzell. An earlier incarnation of the musical played an extended workshop at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT.

Read the Playbill.com feature "A Giant Peach Ripens" with the creative team, who talk about the show's growth.

For more information, visit iTheatrics.com.