PHILADELPHIA, PA: Boys
and girls will love Walnut Street Theatre for Kids production of Junie
B. Jones The Musical. The Junie
B. Jones book series is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and the worlds
funniest first-grader is front and center at Walnut Street Theatre. Kids,
parents and grandparents can read the books together and see their favorite
characters live on stage in an hour-long musical filled with lots of laughter. Due
to popular demand, the Walnut has just announced the production has been extended!
B. Jones will now run June 2nd through June 17th.
Its Junie B. Jones first day of First Grade, and things sure are different than they were in Kindergarten. Between new friends, getting glasses and not being allowed to play in the kickball tournament, theres a lot going on! Plus, Mrs. Gutzman, the friendly cafeteria lady, doesnt deliver fresh-baked cookies to class like she used to do. Join Junie B. and her friends Sheldon, Herbert and Jose as they find their own way to stardom at the First Grade Kickball Tournament. Through singing, dancing, and a little help from her grown-up friends, Junie B. Jones learns that practice wont make perfect, but it sure helps out! Take a page from Junie B.s Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal: its the bestest musical ever, featuring Junie B. herself and a whole school filled with lovable charactersexcept May, of courseshes a tattletale.
Street Theatre for Kids encourages families to read together and discover a
whole new level of imagination when they see books come to life onstage. Thousands
of students across the Delaware Valley attend WST for Kids performances and
experience live theatre for the first time as part of school trips. Junie
B. Jones The Musical, suited for Grades K-6, has two special student
matinee performances on Friday, June 2nd and Wednesday, June 7th, and
additional performances have just been added for parents and kids. The Walnut
takes pride in bringing families together, introducing students to live
theatre, and beginning a creative conversation through reading and the arts.
B. Jones The Musical is based on the wildly popular book series by
Barbara Park. This year marks the 25th anniversary of her series
that has sold over 60 million copies in North America and become a staple in
elementary school classrooms worldwide. Parks first Junie B. Jones book was published in 1992. Over the course of the
28-book series, her work has spent over 180 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Not long after setting out to teach high school history and political science, Park realized that her true calling in life was to bring laughter to children through writing. She went on to publish over 50 picture books and middle grade novels and won more than forty childrens book awards, including several Childrens Choice Awards. Adding to Parks stories is illustrator Denise Brunkus, whose images lead kids through Junie B.s action-packed grade school days. In addition to the Junie B. Jones series, Brunkus enjoys the popularity of her illustrations for over 60 childrens books including Read All About It! and Charlie Hits It Big.
Junie B. Jones The Musical was first produced in 2004 by TheatreworksUSA and was nominated for the 2005 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. Bookwriter and Lyricist Marcy Heisler adapted Junie B. Jones for the stage. Heisler also wrote the lyrics along with award-winning lyricist and composer Zina Goldrich. Goldrichs musical talent has also been featured in Broadway orchestra pits for Avenue Q, Oklahoma! and Titanic, as well as on TV in Nickelodeons Wonder Pets and Disney Channels Johnny and the Sprites.
native Ellie Mooney brings the adventures of the worlds funniest first-grader from
the page to the stage as Director and Choreographer. Recently, Mooney has
directed and choreographed Walnuts ongoing Independence Studio on 3 production
of Jerrys Girls. Mooneys other WST directing
and choreography credits include I Love a
Piano in the Walnuts Independence Studio on 3 along with Fancy Nancy: The Musical and Charles
Dickens A Christmas Carol as part of
the WST for Kids series. She can currently
be seen on the Walnuts Mainstage as Miss Prism in Oscar Wildes The Importance of Being Earnest. Mooney
is also a teaching artist at The Theatre School at Walnut Street Theatre. Mark
Yurkanin (A Christmas Carol; Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude; Skippyjon Jones) joins the production as
the Music and Vocal Director.
From the school cafeteria and Mr. Scarys classroom, to the stinky school bus and the kickball field, Scenic Designer Laura Revelt creates a stage fit for any kids fantasy. Revelt is currently the Walnuts Shop Management Apprentice and is excited to take on her second opportunity as WST for Kids Scenic Designer after designing Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude in February. Fashioning the school clothes for Junie B. and her lovable friends is Walnuts Costume Apprentice, Aidan John Miller. The Walnut welcomes back Sound Designer Ryan Peavey (Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Skippyjon Jones) and Lighting Designer J. Dominic Chacon (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice; Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude).
cast of Junie B. Jones The Musical are all members of The Theatre
School at Walnut Street Theatre. In the title role of Junie B. Jones is Joslynn
Cortes. Jacob Schrimpf, Faith Sacher and Jared Calhoun will quick change into
the roles of Herb/Chenille, Lucille/Jose/Bobbi Jean Piper and
Sheldon/Camille/Lennie, respectively. Junie B.s rival, May, along with Junies
Mom and one of her friends, Grace, will be played by Jamie Beth Weist. Playing
the generous lunchlady, Gladys Gutzman, along with Junies teacher, Mr. Scary,
and Junies Dad is Rafael Martinez-Salgado.
The media sponsors for Walnut Street Theatre for Kids are Courier-Post and Mix 106.1. Tickets are only $14.50-$16.50 with group discounts available for groups of ten or more. Study guides are available for teachers and school groups on the Walnuts website. For tickets and information, please call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets can also be purchased online at Ticketmaster or by visiting the Walnuts website at www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org.