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JPAS THEATRE KIDS! CAST IN NATIONAL CHOREOGRAPHY DVD IN NYC

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by NYC News Desk

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Recently, five JPAS Theatre Kids! returned from New York where they were part of a national cast of MTI Junior choreography videos which will be used in thousands of schools and performing arts centers across the country. The students were cast for the honor at the 2011 Junior Theater Festival (2011 JTF) in Atlanta, GA (presented by New York's iTheatrics and Atlanta's Theater of the Stars and sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals) where they participated as part of the JPAS Theatre Kids! Competition Team. At the festival, the Broadway Junior scouts were on the lookout for outstanding students. 400 students were invited to audition for choreographer Steven G. Kennedy, 68 were selected for the final call-back and ultimately 25 students were cast for the taping.

The JPAS Theatre Kids! selected were:
Rebecca D'Antonio, an 11 year old who lives in New Orleans (70131) and is entering 6th grade at St. Andrew the Apostle. iTheatrics resident choreographer Steven G. Kennedy said about Rebecca, "Rebecca is a fantastic performer with an amazing work ethic. When we stopped or were focusing on a scene that she wasn't in she would quietly got to the corner and rehearse. There was no stopping her. It was a true pleasure to have her be part of our cast."
Coldin Grundmeyer, a 13 year old student who lives in Belle Chasse and is entering 8th grade at Holy Cross and NOCCAA. Said Kennedy about Coldin, "Coldin is a joy to work with. He was willing to do everything we asked and he doubled his level of his performance every day he was there."
AaRon Richert, a 10 year old student who lives in New Orleans (70131), and is entering 6th grade at Lusher Charter Middle School. Said Kennedy about Aaron, "Aaron's personality proves that he is a natural for the stage. He is an imaginative artist and it was a delight to see his ideas come to life."
Gabriella Trentacoste, a 12 year old student who lives in Gretna and will enter 7th grade at Ursuline Academy. Kennedy said about Gabriella, "Gabriella embodies the spirit of why we do educational musical theatre. She had a wonderful enthusiasm and worked very hard. We saw in every movement how much she wanted to be there."
Olivia Worley, a 13 year old who lives in New Orleans (70115) and is entering 8th grade at Metairie Park Country Day School. Kennedy said about Olivia, "Olivia is a very talented girl and a great communicator. She let me know that she was willing to work very hard and we were so impressed by her that we decided to highlight her in one of the pieces."
Educational theatre consultancy group iTheatrics selected an exceptional cast of 25 students, ages 10 to 16 and representing eight states, to perform in instructional choreography DVDs for soon-to-be-released Music Theatre International titles Doctor Dolittle JR., Finian's Rainbow JR., Disney's Winnie the Pooh KIDS and Disney's The Little Mermaid JR., it was announced today by Timothy Allen McDonald, founding CEO of iTheatrics. (The full cast list follows.) Choreographed by iTheatrics resident choreographer Steven G. Kennedy and guest choreographers Aubrey Lynch and James Brown III in collaboration with dance assistants Lauren Chapman and Kelby McIntyre- Martinez, the DVDs are designed to empower any teacher or community member to create innovative and compelling musical-theatre dance numbers. They will be used in the thousands of schools and performing arts centers across the country that license the musicals from the MTI Broadway Junior Collection(r).

The Junior Theater Festival is the world's largest musical theater festival dedicated to groups working with elementary and middle school students. The 2011 Festival was held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA and brought together more than 2,100 students, teachers, and Broadway professionals to raise their voices in celebration of on-stage and backstage excellence in musical theatre.

The MTI Broadway Junior Collection(r) is MTI's special collection of musicals for younger performers, which includes "JR." titles, 60-minute musicals for middle-school performers; and "KIDS" titles, 30-minute musicals for elementary-school performers. MTI will release the DVDs as part of its ShowKit of resources for schools and educational musical theatre groups designed to help guide both cast and crew through a successful production. The ShowKit includes the choreography DVD, actor's scripts, fully orchestrated CDs to rehearse and accompany the cast, and a director's guide for teachers that includes an annotated script and step-by-step information on producing, casting, rehearsals and performance techniques as well as curriculum connections that tie important themes of the musical into classroom studies.

The students traveled to New York from June 25 through July 2 to rehearse and film the choreography DVDs.

Also! Lynne Bordelon, JPAS Theatre Kids! Competition Team Director, Lynne Bordelon, the director of the Competition Team, was chosen as an outstanding arts educator at the Atlanta iTheatrics Junior Theatre Festival and was awarded with the Freddie G. Teaching Experience - a weekend workshop in NYC where they got exclusive classes and teaching experiences from NYC theatre professionals.

"This past January at the Broadway JR. Festival in Atlanta, approximately 2,500 young people from grade schools with their teachers and adjudicators were given constructive guidance, tips, suggestions and evaluations of JR. performances and JR. productions from 50 schools in 37 states. Eight remarkable teachers were selected as being profoundly passionate, inspirational and exceptional. These eight were particularly nurturing and excelled at the craft of teaching. They are the Freddie "G" winners..." For More about Lynne's experience, read the Huffington post article here.

More about the JPAS Theatre Kids! Competition Team
he JPAS Theatre Kids! garnered top honors at the 2011 iTheatrics Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, GA January 14-16, 2011. Under the direction of Lynne L. Bordelon and Tammy Mansfield with Justine Anderson, the JPAS Theatre Kids Competition Team won first place "Outstanding Performance" in their division for their performance of selections from SEUSSICAL, THE MUSICAL, JR. The JPAS Theatre Kids competed among 2200 young performers from 54 theatre groups throughout the nation.

JPAS Theatre Kids! Competition Team is an intensive program that focuses on performance in a musical and teamwork. It prepares young actors to compete as a team at the annual iTheatrics Junior Theatre Festival. Members of the team study and prepare an abridged version of an MTI Jr. Musical and compete against other youth theatre groups from all over the nation. This was the first year JPAS Theatre Kids! Competed in the festival and JPAS is looking forward to participating again annually!

JPAS will hold auditions for it's new Theatre Kids! 2012 Competition Team on August 6 at the Westwego Performing Arts Theatre. JPAS Theatre Kids! Competition Team* is seeking talented young singers/dancers in grades 2-12 to join them in competing at the 2012 iTheatrics Musical Theatre Festival. Auditions will be held Saturday August 6, 2011 at the Westwego Performing Arts Theatre (177 Sala Avenue in Westwego). AUDITIONS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. To sign up for an audition slot, call 504-885-2000 x202 beginning Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 10am.Click here for more info.*Please note, there are fees associated with this program including some travel expenses associated with the festival competition.
More About JPAS Theatre Kids!

JPAS Theatre Kids! proudly presents theatre and musicals for kids, performed by all-kid casts! Theatre Kids! welcomes kids ages 7-12 who want to learn more about the theatre and dramatic arts. Productions chosen for this program are based on educational experiences for the kids and of course, fun! This program gives kids year-round opportunities to participate in theatre, experience the process of putting on a show as well as learning basic acting techniques and skills.

More About the Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS)
Founded in 1978 by Dennis G. Assaf and Hannah Cunningham, Jefferson Performing Arts Society is a non-profit professional arts organization whose mission is to promote arts performance, training and outreach by providing a diverse range of quality programs that entertain, educate and enrich the cultural and economic vitality of Jefferson Parish, Greater New Orleans and the Gulf South.
JPAS focuses on three main elements:
PERFORMANCE JPAS annually provides a wide range of theatrical performances that appeal to many interests and age groups. Most seasons include a selection of grand opera, musical theater, dance and music. JPAS strives to network and partner with national and International Artists and companies to bring new and diverse programming to the Southern Region.

TRAINING JPAS provides performance and technical based training in the arts for all ages with a particular focus on young people.

OUTREACH JPAS provides arts education programming in local area schools, as well as access to professional theatrical experiences that align to classroom curricula and Louisiana Content Standards, including Arts Adventure Series, Cultural Crossroads and Stage Without A Theatre. JPAS provides performers, musicians, artistic experiences and expertise to select area events and organizations to enrich the community.


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