The students who traveled to the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival West on behalf of Atomic City Children’s Theater are Isabella Bailey, Mikaela Brown, Savannah Brown, Verona Brown, Taylor Kanzleiter, Yuneso Kim, Kate McDonald, Aliana Montoya, Ean Nickols and Elise Ovaska. Courtesy/James Barker Photography
Atomic City Children’s Theater student Ean Nickols won a Freddie G Excellent Individual Performance by a Male award at the 2017 iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival West, which happened Feb. 10-12 in Sacramento, Calif.
The iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival West is a monumental weekend of theatrical fellowship dedicated to student-driven musical theater programs. JTF West brought together 1,500+ students and teachers from 35 groups, as well as Broadway professionals and leading educators to celebrate outstanding student theater productions and the transformative power of theater.
In the spirit of collaboration, students presented 15 minutes from a musical in Music Theatre International’s Broadway JuniorTM library of titles for adjudication by a panel of leaders in education and theater.
The 11 Atomic City Children’s Theater students, ages 9 to 14, presented selections from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS for Rob Rokicki, composer and music director and performer (The Lightening Thief; Love, NY); Derek Bowley, musical director (Kennedy Center tour and premiere of The Phantom Tollbooth, world premiere of The Trumpet of the Swan at the Kennedy Center), and Shay Rodgers manager of education and choreographer for Theatre Under the Stars in Houston.
“Atomic City Children’s Theatre worked as a family creating a graceful fairytale that fit the company perfectly,” Rogers said. Bowley said, “These performers had cuteness and charm to spare. The joy in their performance was infectious, and brought the mood in the room up.” Rokicki added, “Atomic City Children’s Theater offered strong performances delivered with lovely voices. They had a great commitment to storytelling and worked well as an ensemble.”
Ean Nickols and Savannah Brown were named to the Junior Theater Festival All-Stars, made up of outstanding performers attending the festival. The All-Stars performed a song during the closing ceremony for all 1,500 festival attendees.
The 2017 iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival West was a first-time event. The Junior Theater Group produce JTF West, iTheatrics provided educational supervision, and the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) provided programming exclusively for Junior Thespian troupes.
Since 2003 iTheatrics has produced the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival Atlanta, the world’s largest festival celebrating young people and the transformative power of musical theater. The January 2017 iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival Atlanta united 6,000+ students and educators from 115 educational musical theater groups. JTF Atlanta and JTF West’s title sponsors are Music Theatre International (MTI), Disney Theatrical Group, and Playbill, Inc.®.
The students who traveled to the iTheatrics Junior Theater Festival West on behalf of Atomic City Children’s Theater are Isabella Bailey, Mikaela Brown, Savannah Brown, Verona Brown, Taylor Kanzleiter, Yuneso Kim, Kate McDonald, Aliana Montoya, Ean Nickols and Elise Ovaska.
Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Tuck Everlasting, Newsies); songwriting team Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (Dear Edwina, Junie B. Jones); Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Hairspray; Ryann Redmond (If/Then, Bring It On The Musical); Luca Padovan (Newsies, School of Rock!); songwriter and music director Rob Rokicki (The Lightening Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical running Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre this March), composer/lyricist Matthew Lee Robinson (Atlantis, Happy People); Dean McFlicker, dancer, choreographer and senior vice president and creative director of original production, live events and promotional programming at NBC Entertainment (Hairspray! Live), and composer, music director, orchestrator Deborah Wicks La Puma (Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical, Cornerstone Theater Company) were some of the celebrities at the festival cheering the students on.
At the festival, students and teachers also took part in professional development and workshops honing skills on and offstage. Most importantly they had the opportunity to connect with hundreds of fellow educators, students and working artists who share their passion for theater.
About Atomic City Children’s Theater
Atomic City Children’s Theater (ACCT) is proud to celebrate its 9th year. The program opened its season in November presenting Disney’s Peter Pan JR. ACCT is rehearsing DreamWorks Shrek the Musical JR. to be presented Feb. 24-25. ACCT is an official after-school program with the Los Alamos Public Schools district and offers local school age students performing, directing, choreographing, and technical opportunities through direct on-stage performing experience.
About the 2017 Junior Theater Festival West
The 2017 Junior Theater Festival West was a monumental weekend of theatrical fellowship. All JTF West participants enjoyed a concert highlighting the works of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen) featuring Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Broadway’s Hairspray).
Also at JTF West, songwriting team Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (Dear Edwina, Junie B. Jones); Ryann Redman (If/Then, Bring It On The Musical); composer/lyricist Matthew Lee Robinson (Atlantis, Happy People); songwriter and music director Rob Rokicki (The Lightening Thief, The Percy Jackson Musical running Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre this March); Luca Padovan (Newsies, School of Rock!), and Deborah Wicks La Puma (Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical, Cornerstone Theater Company) talked candidly about their experiences and presented works from new shows.
Producer Tom Rice previewed Speech and Debate, a film about high schoolers who are passionate about theater, adapted from the Broadway stage play of the same name by Stephen Karam (The Humans).
Andrew Keenan-Bolger signed copies of his book Jan. 31 written with Kate Wetherhead (Legally Blonde) “Jack & Louisa: Act 3″ released by Penguin Random House.
The festival hosted pop-up concerts featuring Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich; Rob Rokicki; Luca Padovan, Matthew Lee Robinson, and Deborah Wicks La Puma.
iTheatrics launched its new textbook, “The iTheatrics Method,” published by GIA Publications. The book is designed to make sure that anyone, anywhere can create a successful and self-sustaining musical theater production and/or program.
About Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS
Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS is based on the treasured Disney animated films and features music and lyrics by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, George Bruns, Tom Adair, Winston Hibler, Ted Sears, Sammy Fain Jack Lawrence, music adapted and arranged and additional music and lyrics by Bryan Louiselle and a book adapted by and additional lyrics by Marcy Heisler. The story opens on Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday. Three fairies – Flora, Fauna and Merryweather – must use their magic to save her from the spell of the evil sorceress, Maleficent. The fairies ensure that Aurora only falls into a deep sleep that can be ended with a kiss from her betrothed, Prince Phillip. To prevent Phillip from rescuing Aurora, Maleficent kidnaps and imprisons him. The good fairies are the last hope to free Phillip so that he can awaken Aurora.