Florida Rep Education Announces 2020-2021 Season! Conservatory, Theatre for Young Audiences, and Junior Theatre Festival!

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FORT MYERS, FL – Florida Repertory Theatre’s Education Department is pleased to announce its 2020-2021 Season line-up for its Theatre Conservatory, Theatre for Young Audiences Touring Series, and its third offering for the 2021 Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta.

Overseen by Education Director Kody C Jones, Florida Rep’s Educational Programming reaches upwards of 45,000 young people and families each year. Its core programs are Theatre for Young Audiences, Theatre Conservatory, Classes, Summer/Winter/Spring Camp Intensives, Junior Theatre Festival, and artist in residency programs. All programming is paired with state educational standards to help bring children more interaction with high-quality theatre.

Florida Rep Education’s Conservatory is a program for young artists who want to pursue a professional theatre career, offering them an introduction to the real-life professional theatre experience. This season’s 3-show Conservatory season boasts an exciting new co-production with Florida Rep’s professional season to mount “West Side Story,” one of the most beloved American musicals of the 20th Century. The co-production will pair Conservatory students with the theatre’s professional Ensemble actors and designers for the first-ever partnership of its kind.

“This season’s Conservatory Season is proving to be the most ambitious and diverse selection of stories yet,” said Education Director, Kody C. Jones.

Tickets for “West Side Story” are currently only available by subscribing to Florida Rep’s 9-show mainstage season (online at http://www.FloridaRep.org), and single tickets will go on sale July 15. Tickets for the other Conservatory productions are $15 for students and $25/$30 for adults and are available online in August of 2020.

For the third year, Florida Rep Education will send students to perform at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, this year with selections from Stephen Schwartz’s musical, “Godspell,” directed by Assistant Education Director, Christina DeCarlo. The Junior Theater Festival is the world’s largest celebration of young people performing musical theatre. It brings together student musical theater troupes from all over the world for a weekend of performances, education, and development. Each troupe performs 15 minutes from a Broadway Junior show for adjudication by a panel of musical theater experts.

“Junior Theatre Festival is an experience like no other where students from all over the world come to network, learn, and compete with various musical theatre entries,” said Jones. “We are already prepping for our third year at the Junior Theatre Festival after winning back-to-back trophies in Choreography the past two seasons.”

Auditions for the 2021 Junior Theatre Festival production are August 11 and 12 from 2 PM to 6 PM. at a later date at http://www.FloridaRepEducation.org and on the Education Department’s social media outlets.

As part of Florida Rep’s mission to make professional live theatre accessible to audiences of all ages, one of its flagship education programs its Touring Theatre for Young Audiences Series (TYA). Touring to schools and community groups throughout Lee and Collier Counties, and beyond, the TYA series takes the arts directly into the schools and invites students into the theatre to view professional productions with professional actors paired with study guides and tailored to meet Sunshine State Standards of Learning.

“We’re excited to announce that our 2020-2021 Theatre for Young Audiences Season will focus on the voices of young women and feature all-female protagonists with stories written by female playwrights,” Jones continued. “The amount of strength and perseverance exhibited by this coming TYA season’s characters is overwhelmingly powerful and inspirational – and showcases characters any young person can relate to!”

Bookings for the 2020-2021 TYA series go live in April, and teachers and educators are encouraged to book early, as dates are limited. To make a booking for your school, contact Education Outreach Manager Catalina Porterfield at (239) 219-1551.

For more information about all of Florida Rep’s educational programming, tickets, and showtimes for Conservatory productions, visit http://www.FloridaRepEducation.org or call (239) 332-4665 ext. 1551.

Florida Rep Education operates in the Historic Arcade Theatre as part of Florida Repertory Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson & Hendry with limited free parking in the Fort Myers River District. Follow Florida Rep Education on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

2019-2020 CONSERVATORY SEASON

WEST SIDE STORY
Book by Arthur Laurents • Music by Leonard Bernstein • Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
NOV 27 – DEC 16, 2020 • Previews: Nov 24 – 25
Historic Arcade Theatre • A Co-production with Florida Rep’s Mainstage Season

From the first notes to the final breath, “West Side Story” is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the “American” Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of our time.

URINETOWN
Music by Mark Hollmann • Lyrics by Mark Hollmann & Greg Kotis • Book by Greg Kotis
in the Historic Arcade Theatre
May 13-23, 2021

Winner of three Tony Awards, “Urinetown” is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics, and musical theatre itself! In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Out of the chaos, a hero decides that he’s had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
Book & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens • Music by Stephen Flaherty
In the ArtStage Theatre
August 2021 • Dates TBA

From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Seussical,” “Ragtime”), comes the Olivier Award-winning “Once on This Island,” a highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the timeless fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid.” Ti Moune, a peasant girl, rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, with whom she falls in love. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death, the stakes being Ti Moune’s life. Her determination and capacity to love, though, is not enough to win Daniel’s heart, and Ti Moune pays the ultimate price.

2021 JUNIOR THEATRE FESTIVAL

GODSPELL
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz • Book by John-Michael Tebelak

“Godspell” was the first major musical theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin,” “Children of Eden”), and it took the world by storm. Led by the international hit, “Day by Day,” “Godspell” features a parade of beloved songs, including “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All for the Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.”

2020-2021 THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES ON TOUR

ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL
By Karen Zacarías • Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma • Adapted from the book by Gail Carson Levine
Grades – Kindergarten to 6th grade

Not every princess needs rescuing. Based on the Newbery Honor book, this “Cinderella” twist follows Ella, a princess who is given the gift of obedience at birth by her misguided fairy godmother. As she grows up, Ella must outwit her wicked stepsisters, a hungry ogre, and this troublesome curse to find her voice and live happily ever after.

MOCKINGBIRD
Adapted by Julie Jensen from the National Book Award-winning novel by Kathryn Erskine
Grades – 5th to 8th

Caitlin is an 11-year old girl on the autism spectrum. Not all things make sense to her. For Caitlin, emotions are mysterious and voices are almost always too loud. Suddenly she must grapple with the unthinkable: a mass shooting has taken her brother away. He was the one person who helped her cope.  Now she is alone with her grieving father and a cacophony of children at school. We struggle as she does, but we also take comfort in the times when she finds a friend, draws a multicolored mockingbird, and can finally cry for her brother.

EURYDICE by Sarah Ruhl
Grades – 9th thru 12th

In Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl re-imagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. With contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists, and breath-taking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.

Florida Rep Education performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre and ArtStage Studio Theatre in the Fort Myers River District. Information about current and upcoming programming is online at http://www.FloridaRepEducation.org or by calling 239-332-4665 x1551. You can follow Florida Rep Education on Instagram and Snapchat @floridareped and Facebook at .Facebook.com/FloridaRepEducation.

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