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03 March 2008

Upcoming 'Junie B. Jones' performances sold out at HACC
Harrisburg's 'SuperReader' super hero also will entertain theatregoers

“Junie B. Jones,” a musical based on the books by Barbara Park, will be performed to two sell-out crowds at HACC’s Rose Lehrman Arts Center at 2 & 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29.

Outspoken, precocious, lovable Junie B. Jones stars in a colorful, funny, fast-paced musical about new friends, new glasses, sugar cookies, the annual kickball tournament, and other various first-grade angst-ridden situations. Follow her adventures as she writes down the story of her life in her “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal.”

Free pre- and post-performance events round out the fun-filled day. Before the show, theatre-goers will get to meet the American Literacy Corporation’s SuperReader at 1 and 3:30 p.m. in the RLAC Studio Theatre. SuperReader, the alter ego of ALC Executive Director Floyd Stokes, wears a yellow mask and blue cape with an “R” on his chest to “save” children from a life deprived of books.

After each Theatreworks USA performance, there will be a free “Book and Cookie Party” in the lobby. The ALC will give each child a book and cookies will be provided by Cookies by Design, the original cookie bouquet company of Harrisburg.

“Junie B. Jones” is a broadway-style musical by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (Dear Edwina, “Taylor the Latte Boy”) and is based on four volumes Park’s “Junie B. Jones” series, which are ,illustrated by Denise Brunkus and published by Random House: “Junie B, First Grader (at Last!)”; “Junie B, Boss of Lunch”; “Junie B, One-Man Band”; and “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B (and Me!)”.

The production is directed by Peter Flynn (performer in Broadway’s “The Scarlet Pimpernel”) and the Lortel Award-nominated choreography is by Devanand Janki (Off-Broadway: “Zanna Don’t, Cupid & Psyche”). The scenic design is by Luke Hegel-Cantarella (Theatreworks USA’s “Corduroy”), and the costumes are by Lora LaVon. The show was nominated in 2006 for the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. The show premiered Off-Broadway in July 2004, and is now one of Theatreworks USA’s most popular productions.

Theatreworks USA is America’s largest and most prolific professional not-for-profit theatre for young and family audiences. Since 1961, Theatreworks USA has enlightened, entertained, and instructed over 72 million people in 49 states and Canada, now performing for about four million people annually. It is the only children’s theatre to receive both a Drama Desk and a Lucille Lortel Award.

Theatreworks USA has a distinguished history of not only providing young audiences with their first taste of the performing arts, but also giving young actors, writers, directors, and designers an early opportunity to work in this field. A list of Theatreworks USA alumni reads like a veritable “who’s who” of theatre: four-time Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks, Robert Jess Roth (“Beauty and the Beast”), Michael Mayer (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”); writers Marta Kauffman and David Crane (TV’s “Friends”), Lynn Ahrens and Steven Flaherty (“Ragtime, Once on This Island”), Jason Robert Brown (“Parade”), Larry O'Keefe (“Bat Boy”), Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (“Avenue Q”); and Tony-winning actors John Lloyd Young, Roger Bart, Chuck Cooper, and John Glover. Esteemed performers F. Murray Abraham, Henry Winkler, and Judy Kuhn also got their start with Theatreworks.

The “Junie B. Jones” shows are sponsored by American Literacy Corporation. The media sponsors are Central Penn Parent and WITF-TV.

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