Adapting Broadway Musicals

iTheatrics Adapations

 

At iTheatrics we adapt musicals so that they can be performed by kids in school and afterschool settings. We create these adaptations for a distinguished list of clients, including Music Theatre International, Disney Theatrical Productions, Tams-Witmark Library, Inc., Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, and Samuel French, Inc. Lots of people ask about the process of adapting a big Broadway musical for kids, so here’s a quick overview of how we do it.

 

On Paper

 

We start by adapting the musical on paper. This means abridging the show to a shorter running time, reviewing the score to ensure it can be readily sung by young voices, and making sure the show’s content is kid-friendly while keeping it true to the author’s intentions. Once we’re satisfied with the paper draft, team iTheatrics does a table read of the adaptation. These reads are lively, always hysterical and quite insightful. We gather notes from the table read, complete a second and third draft until the show is ready to be tested in a workshop production with students from around the country in our Broadway Academy.

 

In Workshop

 

The objective of this workshop is to ensure that the storytelling is clear, and to make sure the music is in the best possible keys for young voices. Throughout the process we are also testing the best ways to direct the show with kids, while identifying challenging sections of the show and coming up with solutions. We share these recommendations in the show resources sections that are included with all iTheatrics’ adaptations.

 

Each workshop culminates in a staged reading performance for the show’s authors, owners, as well as the performers’ families and teachers. Directly after the performance, we sit down with the show’s authors and collect their input and insight. With this critical feedback, we go back to the script to make any last minute changes and edits.

 

Ready for Licensing

 

Then we start getting the show ready for licensing. This means creating the set of resources included in all of our adaptations. This includes recording sessions for Vocal and Accompaniment CDs, video shoots in New York City for Choreography DVDs, and writing lots of helpful information designed to make sure that anyone who decides to put on one of our adaptations will be successful.

 

Once all the resources are created, the show is made available to schools and afterschool programs through the licensing agency that represents that show.

 

From start to finish, it takes us about two-and-a-half years to adapt a show and get it into the hands of kids and teachers. It’s a whole lot of work but we know that when a kid gets a script from us, they’re going to be transformed by the power of musical theater, and that makes it all worth the work.

Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior Collection

In 1997, MTI’s Chairman and CEO, Freddie Gershon recruited Timothy Allen McDonald to launch the Broadway Junior Collection at Music Theatre International. That year saw the launch of a single show, Annie JR. Now MTI’s Broadway Junior Collection® includes JR. shows (60 minutes) for middle school performers, KIDS shows (30 minutes) for elementary performers, School Edition shows for high school performers and TYA shows for adults to perform for family audiences.

A ShowKit® for a Broadway Junior title includes:

Student books (30): Student books include the script and the vocal score with an introduction to musical theater and a glossary of important theater terms and vocabulary.

Piano/Vocal Score (1): The Piano/Vocal Score consists of the vocal music and piano accompaniment for the show and it serves as a helpful resource for the music director.

Director’s Guide (1): The Director’s Guide is a basic step-by-step manual in how to produce and direct a musical. It includes an annotated script featuring icon notes with quick tips, design resources (costumes, set, sound, lighting, and props), casting resources, rehearsal resources, curriculum and community connections, and corresponding digital resource materials.

Rehearsal & Accompaniment CDs (2):

The Rehearsal CD features young performers singing the music of the show. The Accompaniment CD features professional, live musicians performing the music of the show without the singing. The Accompaniment CD is to be used for performance.

Choreography DVD (1):

This resource demonstrates the show’s larger musical numbers fully choreographed and broken down into several segments, including step-by-step instructions and adjustments for performers. Should the choreography include any special steps, a segment is included that breaks down those steps for performers of all levels.

Media Disc (1):

This CD contains digital versions of several items included in Resources as well as other essential templates and forms. In many cases, the documents can be edited to meet a director’s specific needs. Highlights include templates for creating a budget, program and rehearsal calendar and sides that can be printed and distributed at auditions.

 

Disney Theatricals:

Aida School Edition

Disney’s 101 Dalmatians KIDS

Disney’s Aladdin Dual Language Edition

Disney’s Aladdin JR.

Disney’s Aladdin KIDS

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR.

Disney’s The Aristocats KIDS

Disney’s Cinderella KIDS

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR.

Disney’s High School Musical JR.

Disney’s High School Musical 2 JR.

Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS

Disney’s The Lion King JR.

Disney’s The Lion King KIDS

Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.

Disney’s Mulan JR.

Disney’s My Son Pinocchio JR.

Disney’s Peter Pan JR.

Disney’s Sleeping Beauty KIDS

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS

 

 

JR. Titles:

Annie JR.

Bugsy Malone JR.

Captain Louie JR.

Dear Edwina JR.

Doctor Dolittle JR.

Fame JR.

Fiddler On The Roof JR.

Finian’s Rainbow JR.

Godspell JR.

Guys And Dolls JR.

Hairspray JR.

Honk! JR.

Into The Woods JR.

Legally Blonde JR.

Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR.

Magic Tree House – A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens JR.

The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley JR.

The Music Man JR.

Once On This Island JR.

The Phantom Tollbooth JR.

Peter Pan JR.

The Pirates of Penzance JR.

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR.

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR.

Seussical JR.

Shrek The Musical JR.

Singin’ in the Rain JR.

Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.

Xanadu JR.

KIDS Titles:

Annie KIDS

Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS

Magic Tree House: The Knight at Dawn KIDS

Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon KIDS

The Music Man KIDS

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS

A Year With Frog And Toad KIDS

School Edition Titles:

Avenue Q School Edition

Les Miserables School Edition

Miss Saigon School Edition

Ragtime School Edition

Rent School Edition

Sweeney Todd School Edition

 

For more information contact Music Theatre International

 

 

 

Tams-Witmark Music Library Inc. Young Performers’ Edition Collection

Since 2010, iTheatrics has worked with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. in creating the Young Performers’ Edition (YPE) Library featuring some of the most beloved musical titles. These YPE musicals are adapted to a shorter running time, approximately one hour, and designed for elementary and middle school aged performers. Each show is rehearsed in a workshop environment, making sure the adaptation fits the needs of younger performers. The YPE Collection gives students an opportunity to engage with these classic musicals, while learning valuable lessons and gaining important life-long tools.

Young Performers’ Edition Collection includes:

Young Performer’s Book (30): Each book includes the adapted script and corresponding music for your performers.

Piano/Vocal Score (1): This score includes the vocal and accompaniment music for the show and serves as an additional rehearsal tool for music directors.

Production Guide (1): This guide includes background material for the history of the show, the creators, and the show itself. It also comes filled with directorial pointers and ways to integrate a school curriculum and the community as well.

Disc Set (1) including the following:

Sing-Along CD (1):  This CD consists of all the music sung by young performers along with the accompaniment so your students can sing-along in rehearsal.

Performance CD (1): This CD consists of just the accompaniment music that can be used in performance.

Staging & Choreography DVD (1): This DVD provides helpful tips on staging and choreographing specific dance numbers or complicated staging moments.

Young Performers’ Edition:

Anything Goes Young Performers’ Edition

Bye Bye Birdie Young Performers’ Edition

Crazy for You Young Performers’ Edition

The Wizard of Oz Young Performers’ Edition  

 High School Edition

A Chorus Line High School Edition

Coming Soon

42nd Street

For more information contact Tams-Witmark

 

The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization Getting To Know Collection

iTheatrics teamed up with the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization in 2012 to develop and adapt musicals for the Getting To Know Collection. These classic shows are edited to approximately one hour and crafted to best suit young performers. Every musical is tested in a workshop to ensure they are achievable for a cast of young performers, and they remain true to the authors’ intentions. Additionally, production packs are filled with resources to make these musicals easy to produce. The Getting to Know Collection, aptly named after the beloved song from The King and I, provides students and directors the opportunity to “get to know” the most cherished musicals in the American theater cannon.

The Getting To Know Collection Production Pack includes:

Student Scripts (30): The Student Script is made up of the script and music. The book is broken into three sections. The first section is titled “Getting To Know” and follows the history of the show, guides students on how to best use their script, provides an overview of the rehearsal process, and includes a list of characters and a plot synopsis of the show. The second section of the Student Script is the script of the show, as adapted by iTheatrics for this collection. The third and last section, the Vocal Book, includes all of the music sung in the show.

Piano/Vocal Score (1): This score includes a piano reduction of the music for use during rehearsals or in performance. Also included is specific information for the music director detailing the style of the music and how best to approach teaching and shaping the music for this production.

Production Guide (1): The production guide walks the director through the entire process of presenting the musical.  The first section is called “Getting To Know,” which explores licensing, the history of the show, and background on the show’s authors. It also includes an overview of R&H Theatricals and iTheatrics. The “Preproduction” section details how to best prepare for production and explores script analysis, the audition process, an overview on theater design, and the rehearsal process. The final section, “Production,” includes the exact script students will use, along with helpful notes and suggestions on directing, music, choreography, sets, props, costumes, lights, and sound.

Vocal Track CD (1): This recording includes all of the show’s songs performed by young singers, and these tracks are designed to be used during rehearsals.

Accompaniment Track CD (1): This recording includes the show’s orchestrations performed without vocals, and it is designed to be used once the cast is comfortable with their vocal parts and during performances.

Guide to Choreography and Staging DVD (1): This video guide details the choreography and staging for key numbers from the show.

Digital Resources Disc (1): This disc contains sides, music and forms to use for auditions, as well as vocal and accompaniment track excerpts to assist with the casting process. Also included is a music cue sheet, props list, scene-by-scene set breakdown, a list of costumes by character, and official show artwork.

Getting To Know Collection:

The Sound of Music

Oklahoma!

Once Upon a Mattress

The King and I

 

For more information contact Rodgers & Hammerstein

 

Samuel French, Inc. 101 School Editions

Samuel French, Inc., was founded in 1830 and originated the concept of theatrical licensing as we know it today. The company was started by an actual man named Samuel French, who released French’s American Drama in the mid-1800’s – the first such catalog of its kind. The company catalog has grown over the years to feature some of the most acclaimed work ever written for the stage, including notable dramatists such as Thornton Wilder, Caryl Churchill, Agatha Christie, August Wilson, Marsha Norman, Sarah Ruhl, as well as musicals such as Grease, The Secret Garden, Chicago, Fun Home, Heathers The Musical, Rock of Ages, Tuck Everlasting, Hands on a Hardbody, and more. Samuel French has offices in New York City, London, and Los Angeles, as well as bookshops in Hollywood and London. The company has developed numerous digital products including Abbott, an app for reading electronic plays, as well as Digital Sheet Music downloads, both firsts in the licensing industry.

101 High School Edition Musicals

These two-act musicals are adapted for high school-aged performers and licenses with resources including a Production Guide, Student Scripts, a Piano Conductor Score, Reference and Accompaniment tracks, and orchestrations. Orchestrations and full accompaniment tracks are available for each title, which means you have the flexibility to perform this show regardless of your music resources.

101 Middle School Edition Musicals

These musicals have a run time of one hour and are adapted for upper elementary- and middle school–aged performers; however, high school–aged students often perform them as well. These musicals are licensed with resources like a Production Guide, Student Scripts, a Piano/Vocal Score, Reference and Performance Tracks, Digital Resources, and a Staging and Choreography video.

101 School Editions

Heathers The Musical: High School Edition

Rock of Ages: High School Edition

Rock of Ages: Middle School Edition 

 

For more information contact Samuel French, Inc.