Tonawanda News

The Town

June 6, 2014

A chance to shine


Tonawanda News — The Junior Theater Celebration program partners Shea’s with iTheatrics, a New York City-based group with a mission to make the joy of musical theater available to all children. To do so they adapt Broadway musicals for elementary, middle and high school students and creating educational materials to go along with teachers’ lesson plans. 

“We just want them to feel like they’ve been celebrated, that they can share what they’re doing with the larger community,” said Timothy Allen McDonald, a founder of iTheatrics. “Ultimately this is about celebrating that we have art in our schools, that children are being enriched by it and that every (school) should have that.”

iTheatrics decided to expand to Buffalo because of the great respect they have for Shea’s but also because of one of their leading theater experts, Cindy Ripley, a Western New York native. 

McDonald says this event is an anchor used to help start programs in local “under-served” schools. This goal is to make the Junior Theater Celebration an annual event so that schools can have something to work toward each year, something that will bring them together to learn from each other and build a strong musical theater community among Buffalo’s youngest generation. 

“I just want them to feel confident about who they are any what they have to share with the world,” Holden said. “Music is a vehicle for that, one way to express themselves and be heard and share a piece of who they are. This happens to be my way of supporting them and giving them an opportunity to get out here and be proud of who they are.” 

The students will be working with representatives from iTheatrics from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 710 Main Theatre. The event is not open to the public. 

Contact reporter Mia Summerson at 693-1000, ext. 4313.

Contact reporter Mia Summerson at 693-1000, ext. 4313.

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