The Young@Part® collection is comprised of 45 to 75 minute adaptations of popular musicals from the TRW catalogue designed to provide a rich dramatic and musical experience for elementary and middle-school aged kids. On the verge of launching two new Young@Part® titles, we sat down with Fred Stuart, Chief Creative Officer at TRW, to learn about the thoughtful development process that goes into each carefully crafted show.
One of our biggest and best opportunities to meet our customers happens at the end of June each year in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) International Thespian Festival is held in this lovely and welcoming city each summer on the campus of the University of Nebraska. This year, nearly 4000 Thespians and their directors descended on the festival by trains, planes and automobiles (OK, mostly on 17 hour bus rides) and attended hundreds of high school shows and workshops with world-class presenters and teaching artists.
Team TRW attends the festival to have facetime with the people who make theatre happen with high school kids from around the globe. From as far away as Canada, London, Dubai, Qatar, and Saipan and Mound City, TX and…everywhere
Getting in the driver’s seat for a production of MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, the Eric Idle and John Du Prez penned Tony Award®-winning Best Musical, is a true opportunity to give your cast, crew and audiences the theatre experience of a lifetime. Since launching the wide-release of SPAMALOT over a year ago, there have been hundreds of productions around the world by groups from community, high school and university theatres to high profile professional companies to a new West End production, still lighting up the stage in London. SPAMALOT is a ticket sales machine wherever it is produced for the sheer excellence of a show that has become a beloved musical classic, that never existed in the shadow of its wonderful and iconic cinema source material Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The Theatrical Rights Worldwide Partnership Team was created in 2008 to provide human resources to schools in our community, New York City, that need a helping hand creating theatre programs, or enhancing existing departments. Our experiences in the NYC schools have brought us far more insight than we ever imagined. Seeing the faces of kids lighting up a stage for the first time as they discover the joy of artistic collaboration is exhilarating!
In October 2009 the Partnership Team began our work with over sixty first and second graders from the Family School, in the Bronx at P.S. 90, coordinated through Music Specialist Justin Dayhoff and Principal Pamela Lee. November saw the class take the stage for the first time to the delight of the hundreds of family and friends who filled the school’s lovely old auditorium.
Sonia Manzano may not have known it, but she has been preparing to write a musical her whole life! Manzano has played the beloved character Maria on Sesame Street for over 30 years. It seems just a few golden years ago that I used to watch her character come to life each day. Her still youthful appearance matches her infectious energy, especially when discussing her new Theatre for Young Audiences musical, NO DOGS ALLOWED! Her experience with the masterful musical theatre monsters of Muppet land may have accidentally prepared her for her career’s latest incarnation: Musical Theatre book writer!
The journey from page to stage has been a rewarding one for Manzano. After winning 15 writing Emmys® at Sesame Street, she penned the brilliant source material for the musical, NO DOGS ALLOWED!
Hillcrest High School in Midvale, Utah presented the Utah high school premiere of CURTAINS, November 18-21, 2009, with a superb production. TRW’s Broadway blockbuster features a book by Rupert Holmes, based on a concept by Peter Stone, with a classic score from the legendary Kander and Ebb.
CURTAINS played over 500 performances on Broadway, and received eight 2007 Tony® Award nominations including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Actor (A Winner for David Hyde Pierce), Best Actress, Best Featured Actress, Best Direction and Best Choreography. Kander and Ebb’s amazing score is perfectly woven into the fabric of the unfailingly clever book.
CURTAINS is set in the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical.
The Theatrical Rights Worldwide Partnership Team was created in 2008 to provide human resources to schools in New York City that need a helping hand with their Arts programs. The Family School opened in September, 2009 with a unique mission that is a perfect fit for our outreach program. In October 2009 the Partnership Team began our work with over sixty first and second graders from the Family School, coordinated through Music Specialist Justin Dayhoff and Principal Pamela Lee. November brought a follow-up assessment meeting between the Theatrical Rights team and Dayhoff and Lee that resulted in an agreement to continue the drama/music program in a new session that began in January, 2010. The program features an extended schedule, including an early morning before-school component.
The TRW Partnership Team just spent three amazing weeks with The Family School, Bronx, NY, working with their Kindergarten through 2nd graders on their first drama project! Team leaders Fred Stuart and Andrew Rainbow from the TRW Partnership Team worked with over 60 students, aided by Justin Dayhoff, the Family School’s music specialist and Family School staff.
Each class focused on the basic skills of drama and…on having fun! Breaking the group into four casts, the second week saw the development of a short play for each group. By week three, each group was in the final stages of remembering their lines and learning the awesome song composed by TRW’s Andrew Rainbow.
Finally on Thursday, October 22, 2009, The first Family School Drama Program show premiered!