This past weekend marked the first ever Junior Theatre Festival on the West coast. JTF West
JTF is an amazing experience for kids (and teachers!) to celebrate and share the joys (and tribulations) of musical theatre for youth. I have had the pleasure to attend JTF in Atlanta for 5 years in a row, but this year, our team took a break from traveling to festivals.
Although I did not bring a team this year to either JTF Atlanta or the new JTF West, I have had many friends who attended this year, and I have been able to live vicariously through them.
Even through the written word...and photo...and video via social media, the excitement is contagious. It makes me look forward to an opportunity to select and prepare with a team of talented students who will travel to a National festival again soon.
Who knows, maybe the opportunity will arise!
One thing that all the directors that I know who attended either JTF festival this year are most excited about is a textbook.
Yes, a textbook.
But this isn't just ANY textbook, it is a volume that many teachers and directors have been hoping someone would write. A manual on how to run a sustainable, high quality musical theatre program with young people.
And we are all thrilled that FINALLY a textbook of this kind has been created.
And THEN to learn that my name was included in the "The iTheatrics Method is inspired by and dedicated to the following teachers that make this world a better place one musical at a time:" section!
It certainly made me stand a little taller, and smile to realize that although I am just one person...just one director of one small theatre program, I DO make a difference.
We all had a part in creating this manual. Just by being the leaders, directors, and mentors that we are, we have contributed to the process.
Even being one of many, it sure feels nice to be recognized!
I can't wait to actually get my hands on a copy of this book!
Check out the details:
The iTheatrics Method
The Quintessential Guide to Creating Quality Musical Theater Programs
by Timothy Allen McDonald / Cynthia A. Ripley / Marty Johnson
The iTheatrics Method is the world's first musical theatre education textbook specifically devoted to building high-quality, sustainable musical theatre programs in schools and community settings.
Created by iTheatrics, the leading authority on music theatre education, this book is the culmination of more than twenty years of hands-on teacher training conducted by master educators Timothy Allen McDonald, Cynthia A. Ripley, and Marty Johnson. These methods have been vetted by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ prestigious Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) initiative, and have been eagerly embraced by New York City’s Department of Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Written in an entertaining, conversational style, and featuring hundreds of images from successful musical theatre programs all over the world, this book also includes the advice of more than 100 instructors currently working in the field. Whether you’re a teacher just starting out or a seasoned professional, The iTheatrics Method is indeed your quintessential guide to creating quality musical theatre programs for students.
“I’ve seen the iTheatrics method firsthand, in teacher training and student workshops, and love the accessibility and focus on storytelling.”
— Julie Cohen Theobald
Executive Director of the Educational Theatre Association & International Thespian Society
“The collaborative group that created this remarkable book did so after spending two decades honing the craft of training educators to teach young people the arts. It is a must-read for all teachers.”
— Freddie Gershon
Chairman/CEO, Music Theatre International, Recipient of the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre
About the Authors
Timothy Allen McDonald is an award-winning playwright and director, founder and CEO of iTheatrics and Executive Director of the Junior Theater Festival, and he got his big break in the 7th grade musical thanks to his choir teacher, Mrs. Dolores Bowman.
Cynthia A. Ripley has 33 years of classroom teaching experience, was recognized by USA Today as a 2005 Teaching All Star, and started advocating for musical theatre in the 5th grade when she convinced her school’s administration to put on their first show.
Marty Johnson is a leading authority on musical theatre education, and has led professional development sessions for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the United Federation of Teachers, and New York City’s Department of Education. Marty made his theatrical debut in the local 4H’s production of Peter Pan in the fourth grade.