The Next Chapter
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
For the Musical Theatre of Anthem’s “lucky” 13th season, the company will bring to the stage new performances sure to delight patrons of all ages.
MTA will produce eight shows offering tremendous opportunities for performers of all ages, including casting all youth who audition in productions for those ages 6 to 19, as well as opportunities for adult actors.
“I am so thankful for all of the support from everyone involved at MTA and am really excited to head into our 13th season,” says Jackie Hammond, MTA board member and producing artistic director.
“We are really looking forward to bringing Disney’s ‘Moana Jr.’ to life on stage. We also have a number of crowd family favorites, including Disney’s ‘Aladdin Kids’ and Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland Jr.’ Stephen Schwartz’s ‘Godspell’ will be one of the largest productions of our season, and we are honored to be celebrating our 100th show with the timeless classic ‘Our Town,’ sponsored by Evon Kishbaugh, in memory of Lyle Kishbaugh, one of MTA’s founding board members. We are looking forward to an incredible season of shows, workshops, training and more.”
The Musical Theatre of Anthem’s performances are held at 42201 N. 41st Drive, Suite B100, Anthem. For more information, call 623-336-6001 or visit musicaltheatreofanthem.org.
Here are next season’s offerings.
Ages: 8 to 18 (all youth are cast)
Auditions: July 19
Performances: July 30 to August 1
Disney’s “Moana Jr.” is a musical adaptation of the 2016 Disney animated film, bringing the adventures of Moana and her village of Motunui to life onstage. “Moana Jr.” features all the beloved songs from the film, written by Tony-, Grammy-, Emmy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. This heartwarming coming-of-age story follows the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage. Moana and the legendary demigod Maui embark on an epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as both learn to harness the power that lies within. With empowering messages of bravery and selflessness, “Moana Jr.” is sure to bring out the hero within each of us.
“Alice in Wonderland Jr.”
Ages: 6 to 18 (all youth are cast)
Auditions: August 8 to August 9
September 17 to September 20
Travel down the rabbit hole and join Alice, one of literature’s most beloved heroines, in her madcap adventures. Featuring updated songs from Disney’s animated motion picture, “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” is a fast-paced take on the classic tale.
Alice’s journey begins innocently enough as she chases the White Rabbit. Her adventures become increasingly stranger as she races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game.
“Junie B. Jones The Musical Jr.”
Ages: 6 to 14 (all youth are cast)
Auditions: October 3 to October 4
November 12 to November 15
“Junie B. Jones The Musical Jr.” is an adaptation of four of Barbara Park’s best-selling books brought to life. Join Junie B. on her first day of first grade, where many changes are in store: Junie’s best friend Lucille has found new best friends, and Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. While in Mr. Scary’s class, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and she may need glasses. Add in a friendly cafeteria lady, an intense kickball tournament and a “top secret personal beeswax journal” and first grade has never been more exciting.
Ages: 15 to adult (all youth ages 15 to 19 cast)
Auditions: October 3 and October 4
Performances: December 3 to December 6
The story follows the small town of Grover’s Corners through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage” and “Death and Eternity.” Audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry and eventually—in one of the most famous scenes in American theater—die. Thornton Wilder’s final word on how he wanted his play performed is an invaluable addition to the American stage and to the libraries of theater lovers internationally.
Ages: 6 to 12 (all youth are cast)
Auditions: January 9 and January 10
Performances: March 25 to March 28
Based on the iconic animated film, with an Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, Disney’s “Aladdin Kids” will send audiences soaring on a flying carpet ride filled with romance and adventure. When street urchin Aladdin vies for the attention of the beautiful princess Jasmine, he uses a genie’s magic power to become a prince to marry her. Specific to Disney’s “Aladdin Kids” are the Djinn, a group of unique stage magicians who execute the show’s magical moments.
Ages: 15 to adult
(all youth ages 15 to 19 are cast)
Auditions: January 9 to January 10
Performances: April 8 to April 18
“Godspell” was the first major musical theater offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin,” “Children of Eden”). Led by the international hit “Day by Day,” “Godspell” features a parade of beloved songs. A small group of people help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and hefty doses of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus’ life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’ messages of kindness, tolerance and love come to life.
Ages: 12 to 15 adult (all youth are cast)
Auditions: January 9 and January 10
Performances: April 29 to May 8
Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are the labels that can last a lifetime. With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, “13” is a musical about fitting in and standing out. Evan Goldman is plucked from his fast-paced, preteen, New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parents’ divorce. Surrounded by an array of simpleminded middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link of the food chain, or will he dangle at the end with the outcasts?
“School House Rock Live Jr.”
Ages: 8 to 15 (all youth are cast)
Auditions: June 7
Performances: June 17 to June 19
The Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning educational cartoon series and pop culture phenomenon is now the basis for a musical. “School House Rock Live Jr.” follows Tom, a young schoolteacher who is nervous about his first day of teaching. He tries to relax by watching TV, when various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from the set and show him how to win his students over with imagination and music. Memorable songs like “Just a Bill,” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” and “Conjunction Junction” bring his lesson plans vividly to life.