Mary Pope Osborne's
Classroom Adventures Program

Junior Theater Festival

I’m about to travel to one of my favorite events of the year: the annual Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the holiday weekend, more than 3000 kids will act, dance, and sing at a show space in the Hotel Renaissance, Waverly. The young performers come from schools and amateur theater groups all over the country and will be performing excerpts from musicals from Music Theater International’s Broadway Junior Collection, such as Little Mermaid and Frog and Toad.

My husband Will and I love watching kids perform. But even more than that, we love watching kids joyfully support each other, as the kids in the audience shout encouragement and clap in rhythm with the kids onstage. There are theater competitions at the festival, but the true spirit of the wholeevent is one of supportive enthusiasm. In this environment, all the kids come out winners.

Will and I are happy to announce that Magic Tree House musical plays based on Dinosaurs Before Dark and the Knight at Dawn (composed & written by Randy Courts and Jenny Laird) will soon be part of the MTI collection of shows available for kids all over the country to perform. So next year at the Junior Theater Festival, along with singing mermaids and dancing frogs onstage, we hope we’ll see baby dinosaurs and knights in armor — and lots of Jacks and Annies as well.

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