Aladdin Broadway star Michael James Scott will perform the headlining concert at iTheatrics' first Junior Theater Festival Texas, set for June 25–27 in Sugar Land. The event celebrating all things youth musical theatre will be the first in-person Junior Theater Festival since Junior Theater Festival West in Sacramento, California, in February 2020. Watch a welcome video for the upcoming event above.
The three-day event will see young performers from 50 groups representing 19 states gathering in Texas for a weekend of performances, workshops, and more, with an additional seven groups joining remotely. Safety protocols for the in-person event—which will include mandatory face masks, adjusted programming, and social distancing—have been developed by pharmaceutical engineer (and musical theatre enthusiast) Kush Shankar.
"The Junior Theater Festival’s core objective has always been to celebrate and support young people and their teachers, who make the world a better place one musical at a time," says iTheatrics and Junior Theater Group CEO Timothy Allen McDonald. "This past year has taken a tremendous toll on students and educators, and our team is drawing on all our creativity and problem-solving to give young people the chance to come together with people who love this art form just as much as they do. We’re working with the officials representing the city of Sugar Land and also our own COVID-19 health and safety consultant, Kush Shankar, to create a memorable and safe JTF Texas. We’re fortunate Kush knows our festival up and down, as he’s been an invaluable festival volunteer for the past 15 years. He’s integrating science with the magic of theatre to help ensure the safety of the community."
Created for organizations performing Music Theatre International's 30- and 60-minute Broadway Junior musicals and Online Editions, Junior Theater Festivals bring students and teachers together with Broadway professionals for a weekend of performances and workshops. A New Works showcase at the Texas festival will include a full 60-minute performance of The Big One-Oh! JR., a new children's musical based on a book by Dean Pitchford (Footloose) with lyrics by Pitchford, a book by McDonald, and music by Doug Besterman (Elf).
Festival sponsors for JTF include Playbill, Music Theatre International, and iHeartRadio Broadway.