Students and teachers who plan to put on school musicals in their communities can get a little professional advice at the Junior Theater Festival on Friday through Sunday at the Cobb Galleria.
The event is billed as the world's largest musical theater festival for young people, and will include more than 2,000 drama students and teachers from more than 50 schools around the U.S. and Canada.
Among the instructors planning to attend are Atlanta Grammy-winning record producer and musician Bryan-Michael Cox, Disney Theatrical Group President Thomas Schumacher and Thoroughly Modern Millie composer Jeanine Tesori.
Tesori will receive the 2011 Junior Theater Festival Award for Advancement of Musical Theatre for Young People
Two area student performing arts groups, Dawson County Arts Council in Dawsonville and Holly Theatre in Dahlonega, will take part.
The Dawson County Arts Council students will perform selections from the musical "Guys and Dolls" for adjudication, while the Holly Theatre students will present parts of "Once on this Island."
Each Junior Theater Festival group performs a 15-minute selection of a musical for professional adjudication by a panel of distinguished theater professionals. The panel evaluates each groups music, acting, dance and overall performance. Each cast receives valuable feedback about its creativity, engagement in the performance, understanding of the material and connection to the lyrics and movement.
In addition, both students and teachers participate in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, gain from professional development, enjoy theatrical fellowship and attend a world-class professional production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" at the Fox Theatre.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., the students will record their dreams for the future in video booths and upload them to the Internet.