Now in its fifth year, the Junior Theatre Festival Australia will look a little different in 2020. The largest celebration of musical theatre for young people in Australia will see 800 drama students from two continents join together online for the first time since its inception.
Festival co-producer and founder of Hunter Drama, Daniel Stoddart says that cancelling this year’s event wasn’t an option with young people needing to events like Junior Theatre Festival more than ever.
“With all the COVID restrictions, we were facing the prospects of disappointing hundreds of junior performers,” Daniel said.
“Now more than ever, these young people need to be able to express their creativity and feel connected.
The Junior Theatre Festivals is also usually staged on both the east and west coasts of the USA as well as in Europe. But this year the Australian version is the only one which has not been cancelled.
“All eyes are on the Australian team to see how an event this large can pivot to an online model, while still providing all of the opportunities, fervour and atmosphere for students and teachers alike,” said Daniel.
Over 800 students age from 7 to 18, plus teachers and chaperones, will tune into the live presentation at the Civic Theatre for the opening ceremony on the evening of Friday 30 October. The next day the 19 participating teams will present a Broadway Jr showcase piece for an expert panel featuring both US and Australian adjudicators, including CEO of iTheatrics, Timothy Allen McDonald, who’ll be Zooming in from New York City.
The event will also see special guest and Tony Award nominee Eddie Perfect participate in a Q&A with performer Alinta Chidzey and conduct an interactive music workshop.
For more information about the festival visit the OzTheatrics website.