Junie B. Jones Navigates First-Grade Perils in New Musical by Theatreworks/USA, July 14-Aug. 20 | Playbill

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News Junie B. Jones Navigates First-Grade Perils in New Musical by Theatreworks/USA, July 14-Aug. 20 Junie B. Jones, a new musical by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, based on the popular series of books by Barbara Park, is the 2004 Free Summer Theatre production being staged by Theatreworks/USA at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village.
Mary Faber as Junie B. Jones
Mary Faber as Junie B. Jones Photo by Carol Rosegg

Performances play July 14-Aug. 20. Opening night is set for July 21. The production is by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation, which operates the Lortel Theatre.


Peter Flynn directs the one-hour musical that "leads audiences through a year in the life of a first grader, as written in her journal." In it, "Junie B. deals with a new group of friends, a new teacher, new eyeglasses and various other first grade angst-ridden situations."

Lyricist-bookwriter Marcy Heisler and composer Zina Goldrich were recently voted "Best Knocking on Broadway's Door Songwriting Team" in the Village Voice Best of NYC edition, and are best known for their song "Taylor, the Latte Boy."

Heisler and Goldrich are the 2002 recipients of ASCAP's Richard Rodgers New Horizons Theatre Award. Junie B. Jones is choreographed by Devanand Janki, and features costumes by Lora LaVon and scenic design by Luke Hegel-Cantarella.

The cast includes Mary Faber, Keara Hailey, Jill Abramovitz, Adam Overett, Darius Nichols and Michael McCoy.

Theatreworks/USA's Free Summer Theatre program, "completely reliant on philanthropy, reaches out to both children and their parents to enjoy the arts together." Hugh Jackman is the Honorary Chairman of the fundraising drive to support Free Summer Theatre. The program is in its 16th summer.

According to the troupe, "Theatreworks/USA aims to provide young New Yorkers with their own free theatre tradition, similar to Shakespeare in the Park, and that not only entertains, but also educates and fosters positive values and an appreciation for theatre." About 13,000 free tickets will be distributed for Junie B. Jones this summer.

Tickets for Junie B. Jones are free and available on a first come first served basis at the box office of the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) on the day of the performance, one hour prior to curtain time. Ticket availability is generally greater for weeknight and weekend performances.

For more information and a performance schedule, call (212) 642-6754 or visit Theatreworks/USA's website, www.TWUSA.org.


Now in its 44th season, Theatreworks/USA has become America's largest and most prominent not-for-profit professional theatre for young audiences. Theatreworks/USA has received myriad honors, including the 1996 Drama Desk Award, the 1996 Lucille Lortel Award, the 1998 Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence, and the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award.

Playing at home in New York and touring across the country to theatres, art centers and schools, Theatreworks/USA has performed "for approximately 74 million people in 49 states, and has an annual audience of over four million. The group's repertoire includes more than 115 plays and musicals created by noted as well as up-and coming playwrights, composers and lyricists."


In conjunction with the Free Summer Theatre production of Junie B. Jones, Theatreworks/USA is offering Camp Theatreworks, a five-day performing arts day camp for young people age 8-15, from July 19 through July 23 at Chelsea Studios. Led by Broadway caliber music directors and choreographers, Camp Theatreworks activities will be related to the songs and dramatic themes of Junie B. Jones. The week will culminate in a special camper presentation, followed by a performance of Junie B. Jones. For information, call (212) 647-1100 ext. 149 or visit the Camp Theatreworks website at www.camptheatreworks.org.

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