Auditions are fast approaching for students in kindergarten through 12th grade for The Newton Theatre Arts Academy's production of Elf The Musical Jr.
Auditions will be held at noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, and at 6-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, with call backs at 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Rehearsals start on Monday, Sept. 30, and run on Sundays from 3-6 p.m. and on Mondays from 6-8:30 p.m..
Children in kindergarten and first grade will be part of a Children’s Chorus, and cost is $175. They will rehearse with on Sundays from 3-4:30 p.m. and on Mondays from 6-7 p.m.. Main storytellers and also the ensemble is for kids in second through 12th grades, and cost $300. They rehearse on Sundays 3-6 p.m. and Mondays 6-8:30 p.m..
Elf Jr tells the story of an orphan named Buddy who accidentally crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. This would-be elf is brought up, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. Buddy makes a journey to New York City to find his true identity. When Buddy discovers that his father is on the “naughty list” and that his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, he is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
“Being in these shows builds the students confidence and they find that by the end, their fellow actors have become like a family,” said Sara Bartlett, Education Director of the Newton Theatre Arts Academy. “We had kids who were in Frozen this summer who came back to watch Jungle Book because they wanted to support their friends from Frozen. It is such a fun and positive experience for the kids and we have great parents who help out as well.”
Bartlett said she has found over the years that theater also helps kids to be more empathic.
“You have to get into the shoes of someone else while you are up there on stage and you have to learn to work as a team with your fellow actors,” she said. “Elf is such a beloved movie and the musical is adorable - who would want to do Elf at Christmas?”
Junior versions means that a full length Broadway show has been shortened to about an hour.
“They take out some dialogue and shorten songs,” Bartlett said. “They also make the shows easier for young voices to sing.”
This year's winter and spring shows will have three performances: two for students during the day and one that evening for the public.
“There is something magical that happens when kids see other kids perform - that’s why I call it our Kidz4Kidz shows,” Bartlett said. “All of our directors, music directors, choreographers and teachers are seasoned veterans who love working with young people.”
The performance of Elf The Musical JR. will be held on The Newton Theatre stage at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019.
To sign up for auditions, visit: https://www.skypac.org/arts-academy/.