Jumpstart Theatre Update 18: Breakfast and Rehearsals

By Ginny Butsch posted 12-20-2016 15:48


A program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools that currently have none.

This is a series of monthly updates about the JumpStart Theatre pilot program launched this year in Cincinnati, Ohio. To view previous updates, click here.

JumpStart Breakfast: The first annual JumpStart Theatre Breakfast was held earlier this month at The Center in Cincinnati, Ohio to raise awareness and funding. On Cincinnati's first cold morning of the year, 100 local supporters were welcomed with a hot cup of coffee, a slideshow of the first year of activities, and music from MTI's Broadway Junior collection. The highlights of the morning were the poignant stories and encouraging reports from those who have been involved with the program. After the formal program, many lingered to chat with JumpStart teachers and staff to learn more or brainstorm ideas about getting involved. Everyone departed feeling excited for new opportunities and reenergized to start their day. Attendees contributed $11,000 to support the program!


JumpStart supporters sit down to breakfast by Funky's Catering.


Jack Jose, Principal of James N. Gamble Montessori High School discusses the impact of the JumpStart program.


Marty Cunningham, Music Director of St. Clement Church, reacts to Jack's story.


To see more photos of the event, click here.


Audition/Rehearsal Updates: Felicity-Franklin held their first auditions for Honk! JR with plans to post the cast list before the holiday break. Approximately 50 students auditioned, the room was filled with excitement as they read scenes and practiced their songs.

2017%20Felicity-Franklin%20auditions%201.jpg Felicity-Franklin students auditioning.


At the end of the auditions, the teachers talked to the students about the importance of accepting any role, working together, and being supportive of the program in the school. They gave an example of how the teachers and coaches were working together to make sure that students could be in the play even if they were involved in other activities or sports.  


Aiken has cast Once on This Island JR and is holding rehearsals for all cast members during their third bell, then after school for principal characters. Dee Anne Bryll observed a recent rehearsal and thought they had an incredible energy. At the end of rehearsals, students can suggest one idea for improving the production. One suggestion was asking another student to "pull back" because they could not be as good. Director Kara Barbee thoughtfully replied that she wanted all of them to increase their energy to match his, working at the best of their ability. A fantastic life lesson for all of us!


Becca Kloha Strand, JumpStart Program Mentor, reported that Gamble Montessori has started rehearsals for Annie JR and has been making good use of their time. "They have allowed the cast time to explore and get familiar with some of the show material and, more importantly, to build trust and communion as a group," she shared.


Dater just held their auditions last week and Holmes and Finneytown are eagerly preparing for January auditions. 


Apply now! Any Cincinnati-area middle school without a theatre program is encouraged to submit their application prior to February 1 in order to be considered for Class III (beginning 2017-18 school year). 


Thanks to all of our partners and supporters on JumpStart Theatre: