Junior Broadway

How to Produce Musicals with Children 9 to 13

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About the Book

In 1983, the authors provided, “in spunky detail” (Booklist), a step-by-step guide to producing musicals with middle school students that was “infused with common sense and high energy” (VOYA). Then in 1998 they brought their increased experience and knowledge to a completely revised and fully updated version of their “highly recommended” (Library Journal) work. The present book is a reprint of that edition.
Voice, music, choreography, costumes, make-up, scenery, lighting, props, sound effects, backstage management—all phases of producing a major musical play with children as actors and stage crew are covered here, as well as the program, souvenirs, and photographs, not to mention handling pre-show jitters and throwing the after-the-show party. The techniques are tailored to children’s abilities and needs (e.g., what to do with the “love scene”).

About the Author(s)

The late Beverly B. Ross, taught fifth grade in Vienna, Virginia.
Artist and editor Jean P. Durgin lives in Vienna, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Beverly B. Ross and Jean P. Durgin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6704-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition      1

1. A Broadway Musical: Why, Who and How?      3

Hidden Benefits      6

The Classroom Teacher’s Advantage      7

Co-directing with Another Teacher      8

Parent and Community Helpers      10

The Show Goes On      11

2. Choosing and Adapting a Script      15

What Makes a Script Suitable?      15

Script Sources      18

The Importance of Minor Roles      19

3. Finances and Organization      22

Where Does the Money Come From?      22

The Parents’ Meeting      25

Presenting the Script      30

Seeing a Professional Show      32

Audition Announcement      32

4. Auditions and Casting      41

Audition Judges      42

Audition Day      43

Casting the Play      44

Announcing the Cast      48

5. Rehearsals      51

Rehearsal Location      52

Staging      53

The Prompter      54

Keeping the Fun in Rehearsal      55

Dress Rehearsal      59

6. Directing      62

Blocking Out the Action      62

“Slow and Loud”      63

Eye Contact      64

Directing for Success      64

The Love Scene      67

Technical Help      70

Creative Problem Solving      71

7. Music      73

Musical Director      74

Tips for the Accompanist      75

Voice Coach      76

Tips for the Voice Coach      76

Lesson 1: Getting Acquainted      76

Lesson 2: Diction and Breathing      79

Lesson 3: Volume and Range      81

Voice Lesson Tape      82

Gestures and Staging      84

Musical Ups and Downs      85

No Voice Coach      86

8. Dance, Finale and Encore      89

Choreographing the Dance      89

Dance Patterns      92

Teaching Children to Dance      93

Sample Dance      101

Finale and Encore      103

9. Costumes and Makeup      106

Costume Coordinator      107

Keeping Costs Down      108

Hats      113

Specialty Accessories      115

Hoop Skirts and Petticoats      117

Color Can Do Wonders      117

The Quick Change      120

Costume Committee      122

Non-English Speaking Parents      123

Makeup      124

Specialty Makeup      126

Makeup Stations      127

10. Scenery      130

Scenery for Kids      131

Designing the Scenery      132

Backdrop      134

Drawing the Backdrop      136

The Flat      140

Choosing Colors      143

Scenery Painting Day      145

Feet-in-Concrete Trick      150

Mini?ats      150

Trains      151

11. Backstage Dynamics      155

Stage Manager      155

Tips for the Stage Manager      158

Stage Crew      159

Props      161

Sound Effects      167

Lights      168

12. Programs and Photographs      171

Programs      171

Photographs of the Show      175

Videotapes      178

13. The Performance      179

Preshow Jitters      180

The Pep Talk      183

Adjusting to a Larger Stage      183

Reserved Seats      186

Crazy Cue Cards      186

“Break a Leg”      187

Cast Party      190

Some Good Things Never End      191

14 On Tour      195

Advance Party      195

Kids on the Road      197

Community Encores      198

The International Children’s Festival      198

15 Checklist and Re?ections      203

Countdown Checklist      203

What Have the Children Gained?      208

What Have You Gained?      209

Index      210

Book Reviews & Awards

“offers practical hints…. There is enough general information here to warrant use by any group producing a musical. Highly recommended”—The Book Report.