Posted by: Kaitlin Perry (January 18, 2012)
im verry sad that jtf is over its one of my favorite places i leaned so much and met tons of new people i cant wait to see smash i think its going to be great im so ready to be back there it allways brighten up the new year :)
Posted by: Holly Lindsay (January 18, 2012)
This last weekend I attended the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, GA. It was my first time attending and I attended on the Professional Development track. During the session explaining about this site and other MTI resources, a fellow vocal coach asked for a space to be added to this site that will support those students that have gone to college or straight into a professional career. A mobile nest to come to and get a strong dose of positive encouragement among the harsh rejections that come from the big wide "grown up" world.
This is where I come in. I, my dear colleagues, am at simplest a girl that has loved musical theatre her entire life. In short detail I am a fine arts educator with dual degrees in vocal music education and theatre. Much like many of you, I have taught in a variety of places, spaces, and fields with various sized budgets (or no budget), a wide array of kids, and in many different areas all over the country. I am at the point in my career where I have realized as I get older, so do my students and they are now spread out through the United States and Europe following their own adventures.
Which brings us to the question at hand: How do you support them as they bravely make their way into the world? Below are just a few ideas and a few resources that I have found to be helpful.
1. Become technological. This does not mean "complicated". Even Kindles come with Skype applications now a days, If you are an "I" supporter (pad/phone, etc.) face time your kids. These modern forms of video phone are a great way to run through an audition piece. Plus, we all know face to face contact is always best. Use the walkie talkie application. At the very least, text.
2. The written word. Although place of residence can be tumultuous at this time, a piece of snail mail is still the best form of affirmation. If you are worried about finding a card or writing a note, don't be! Simply send a flier of a show the child was in with a catch phrase like "Break a leg" or "Knock 'em dead!" My personal favorite: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars." Sent at the right time (often for me I don't know it is "the right time") it sends a reminder to the students to buck up, be positive, go, and do.
3. Allow those students to have access to you. Something that has worked well for me is a virtual office time. I alternate between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening where I am available by Skype, text, email, phone, etc. You may be thinking that seems out of the question, you are too busy. Please know, I do not stop my life the 2 hours of the office time. I often am working on my lesson plans for the next week, so it works well. We fine arts educators are masters of multi-tasking anyway.
Tips and tricks on how to use the above tools effectively will be coming in the next blog. Until then, keep doing what you do.
Posted by: Kaitlin Perry (January 8, 2012)
i cant wait till jtf its gonna be great. im ready to meet new people and learn everything i possibly can from jtf . this performance is going to be very special to all of us at cct because of the fact that were dedicating it to Phillip who has came with us the past 2 yrs. i hope everyone does their best and may the best group win. 2012 jtf here we come!!!! :)(:
Posted by: Cindy Ripley (January 7, 2012)
Tags: Junior Theater Festival
Who knows what language the kids from BATAVA Academy have been conversing with Dr Doolittle JR, but we do know we are in for a treat on Saturday night, January 14 at the New Works Showcase presentation in the MTI Showspace Theater. This dynamic group of performers is packing to leave the great state of Texas and return again to JTF. They have some valuable advice for kids and directors alike…check it out! Break a Leg our friends from Batava!
Advice from BATAVA Students:
-“It’s okay to be nervous to perform in front of others, because you have to remember that they are just as nervous as you.”-Jessica Sieling, BATAVA student
-“Use some of the workshops as an opportunity to make new friends! Channel your nervous energy into POSITIVE energy (for your performance).” -Cecilie Wahl, BATAVA student
-“Have confidence and believe in yourself and the group.” - Andrew Fleming, BATAVA student
-“Participate in all activities and competitions at the festival. Make the most of your experience.” -Anna Young, BATAVA student
-“Just have confidence and never doubt yourself. It may seem hard at times, but you must persevere! Don’t over think things and work to your fullest potential.” - Brandon Mayville, BATAVA Student
Advice from the Directors:
-“Be the best you can be at all times and remember you are representing not only yourself, but your entire group. Actions speak louder than words.” - Relana J. Gerami, Artistic Director of BATAVA
-“The adjudication is only a part of the experience, be sure to absorb as much as you can at the workshops and presentations.” - Benjamin Luss, Managing Director
-“This is a great event to get exposure from trained theatre professionals. Enjoy every moment and be a sponge.” -Bryan Keyth Wilson, BATAVA Resident Choreographer
-“Take the time to enjoy your experience at JTF, and instead of being nervous just realize that no matter what happens you have already won just by being there. Have fun, it will be something you will remember forever!” Whitney Wyatt Nolder, Assistant Director at BATAVA
Posted by: Cindy Ripley (January 6, 2012)
An enthusiastic bunch of kids from the Academy of Theater Arts of Williamsville, N.Y., (yes, a few miles from the home of the chicken wing!), are heading south to showcase My Son Pinocchio JR Saturday evening January 14 at the Junior Theater Festival. It promises to be a stellar performance for sure! Dina and her students have some valuable tips for everyone who attends!
Advice from ATA kids:
-Take the time to talk and meet with other groups, there are so many interesting and talented kids out there who love theatre just as much as you do!
-Don't spend time worrying about how you will measure up to the other groups, this isn't a contest to see who is the "best" but it is a great opportunity to have a weekend that is FULL of everything theatre!
-Remember that everyone in your group matters, be supportive of one another and proud of what you are bringing to JTF.
Advice to Directors from Dina Slawson, Director of ATA:
-Try and take advantage of everything you can. The workshops and adjudications can be tremendous teaching tools for you as a director, you will find that you can learn just as much as your students!
-JTF is all about instilling a love and passion for theatre into those who attend, NOT who wins...Make sure you share this philosophy with your students and let them know that every group stands out for something they bring to the weekend.
-Try to meet other directors, there are directors who attend JTF from all over the country and from many different venues...there is so much we can learn from each other!
-Have FUN! Don't STRESS! JTF is a unique and wonderful opportunity for us to spend a weekend with people who have the same love and passion for theatre as we do...Instill this in your students so they will enjoy the weekend as well!
Posted by: Cindy Ripley (January 5, 2012)
Tags: Junior Theater Festival
A sneak peak at Finians Rainbow JR you say? In Atlanta? At the Junior Theater Festival? January 13-15? Yes Sir!
Things are just fine in Glocca Morra AND especially in Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois. This dynamic group of kids is busy preparing for their showcase of Finians Rainbow in the Showspace Theater, Saturday evening of the three day festival.
Tina Reynolds and her troupe have some great advice to share with those of you attending for the first time, or for you “old timers!”
Top advice from Brooks Middle School kids:
-Be a sponge: take in as much as you can while you're there
-Journal your experiences - it's so overwhelming that all the exciting opportunities and moments can be forgotten
-Have fun and be supportive of all groups attending!
-Meet as many kids from other cities and states and enjoy sharing your likes and differences
-Rest when you can - the schedule is very busy, take advantage of sleep so you can experience the weekend to the fullest
Advice from the director, Tina Reynolds:
-Don't miss the Director's reception - it's a great opportunity to meet other director's, share information and keep in touch throughout the year
-Communication and Knowledge is key for your kids & team - share as much information as possible with them so they have a clear picture of expectations, itinerary, and what's coming next.
-Encourage your kids to take risks in the Saturday workshops and directors also enjoy the different opportunities available to learn and network
-We call this a "business trip". The kids will undoubtedly have an amazing time, but maintaining a level of professionalism we find is important and helpful
-Encourage your kids to get as much rest as possible before the trip. It's a non-stop weekend and you do want the kids to fall ill or get tired when so many things are not to be missed
Posted by: Cindy Ripley (January 1, 2012)
Tags: Junior Theater Festival
Where is Neverland anyway? A troupe of amazing YMCA-arts kids from Boothbay, Maine will travel 1260 miles to the JTF mainstage to be a showcase group for Junior Theater Festival 2012. No doubt this imaginary location will come to life for all of us as they take the mainstage for Peter Pan JR. January 13-15. The Y-Arts are returning for their fourth consecutive year to JTF. Distance is isn’t an issue for this crew, this past year they became pen pals with a group from PS124 and the kids are very excited to meet them at the festival!
Take note of some great advice from this exciting group from northern New England and their Director Emily Moore!
Advice from Boothbay YMCA kids:
-"No matter what happens just know that you did your best, had fun, and enjoyed every moment of the trip. From the plane ride, to the performance, to the dance party, everything counts!" -Mackenzie Colby
-"Don't think that you can't talk to anyone outside of your group. Sit with different people and get to know members of other groups. Most importantly... make friends!" -Sophia Thayer
-"You're not at JTF to be the best theatre group there. You're there to show people what you can do and do the best you can, learn from other groups and do what you love: performing! There's nothing else you can do but that!" -Noelle Timberlake
-"When you're performing in front of the judges, don't worry about anything else but having fun by singing and performing your hearts out. Doing the things you love to do!" - Courtney Chaney
-"Remember that the judges are cheering for you! They want you to do well and have fun. Also, remember that the criticism they give you is meant to help you improve as a performer, not discourage you." -Kate Hilscher
Advice from Director, Emily Moore:
-"Make sure your kids understand how important it is to meet kids from the other performing groups. Every year I insist that each member of my group meet 3 new friends and introduce them to me. It turns it into a game and helps them with an ice-breaker: "So my crazy director, Emily, wants us to meet new people. Will you meet her with me?" Works every time!
-"Remember, the festival isn't about winning. Just being at the festival with your kids shows that you care about their theatre experience. Mistakes will happen but just smile and know that your kids are learning from them."
Thanks guys……break a leg! cr
Posted by: Cindy Ripley (January 1, 2012)
Tags: Junior Theater Festival
New Orleans. Anyone who has been there immediately can recreate the smell of beignets from Café Du Monde, feel the energy that pulses the town and let the jazz from every corner haunt you forever. Another true treasure of Nola will appear at the 2012 Junior Theater festival in Atlanta, Georgia, January 13-15. Jefferson Performing Arts Center, known as JPAS, will showcase Music Man Kids, and guarantees to have you waving a flag on “Shipoopi” for sure.
Here is some advice from Lynne Bordelon and some fantastic JPAS kids for those of you attending JTF for the 1rst time or the 5th time!
-Ross Quinn: “Don’t be scared to go out there and perform.”
-Olivia Worley: “Don’t be nervous because it really is just a lot of fun.”
-Jorden Majeau: “If you try your hardest, you will realize this weekend will be about making friends just like you and making memories that you will remember your whole life.”
-Gabriella Trentacoste: “Give it your all and do the best you can.”
Lynne L. Bordelon:
-“Always have an exact meeting place for your group, so it will be easy to find each other and get a game plan for each day.”
-“Don’t get ahead of yourself! Enjoy every moment. Learn all you can. Educational opportunities surround you every second of the day.”
-“Rest well! Each day is packed with so many activities!”