San Diego Junior Theatre, the nation’s longest-running youth theater program, is celebrating its 75th season, aptly titled Best Year Ever.
First up, to mark the milestone, the Junior Theatre Parent Auxiliary hosts the “JTogether” Picnic at 11 a.m. Saturday in front of Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado Theatre, the theater’s home.
There will be music, food and drink for purchase for members and the public alike, as well as information on upcoming classes, camps and shows.
The theater’s 2022-23 season, beginning in October, includes four premieres:
- The SpongeBob Musical, Oct. 28–Nov. 13, SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the annihilation of their undersea world in this award-winning musical, based on the beloved animated series. Lightning Thief director Jason Blitman helms the production.
- Edgar Allan Poe’s Gruesome Gallery of Grotesquerie, Jan. 13–22, co-developed in collaboration with students and performers, the production fuses storytelling, poetry, music and puppetry to explore the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
- How I Became a Pirate, March 3–19, a band of comical pirates lands at the beach looking for an expert digger to join their crew as they seek the perfect spot to bury treasure in a swashbuckling musical adventure.
- Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, April 28–May 14, the tale of Matilda, a little girl with unloving parents but a kind teacher who begins to recognize and appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality.
- Grace for President, June 30–July 9, Grace is stunned to discover that all U.S. presidents have been men so she decides to run for class president in an adaptation of the book by Kelly S. DiPucchio.
- Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, July 21–Aug. 6, The adaptation showcases some of the songwriting duo’s tunes, including “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” as well as some new characters and surprising twists.
Also, look for the final Saturday performance of each production offer American Sign Language interpretation, made possible by a contribution from The Conrad Prebys Foundation. Members of the deaf community may reach out directly to the box office for the best seating.
General tickets go on sale Sept 1, starting at $16. For tickets and more information, visit the theater online, or call the box office at 619-239-8355.
Notable junior theatre alumni include Tony Award-winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell and Casey Nicholaw, director/choreographer of such Broadway hits as Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon and Something Rotten!