Available May 5: The Big One-Oh! Online Edition!

Available May 5: The Big One-Oh! Online Edition!

MTI is releasing the worldwide licensing rights toThe Big One-Oh! Online Edition, an online adaptation of The Big One-Oh! specifically made so that the show fits onto a computer screen performed by actors working remotely. The announcement was made today by Drew Cohen, president and CEO of Music Theatre International. Theaters and educational musical theatre groups around the globe may license the musical starting on May 5th and immediately start rehearsals.

"With the historic release of The Big One-Oh! Online Edition, MTI is pleased to make available yet another way for theatres to continue their role as cultural centers in their communities during isolation," said Drew Cohen, President and CEO of Music Theatre International. "We're looking forward to applauding theatres all over the world as they explore this exciting new medium."

The approximately twenty-minute version was adapted from The Big One-Oh!, a new family-friendly musical based on the novel by Academy Award winner Dean Pitchford (Fame, Footloose), with lyrics by Pitchford, music by Tony Award winner Doug Besterman (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and a book by Timothy Allen McDonald ( Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach), iTheatrics' founder and CEO. Under McDonald's supervision, and in collaboration with Pitchford and Besterman, the story and structure of the Online Edition have been adjusted to make it possible to perform the musical online.

On Friday, April 17, iTheatrics presented a debut of the show performed by a cast of 16 teen and tween actors, from their homes in 11 states across the U.S.. Directed by Marty Johnson, iTheatrics' Director of Education, the performance gained over 12,000 views in less than 12 hours, 21,000 views to date.

"I never would have guessed that our show might take musical storytelling into this new frontier," says Pitchford. "I watchedThe Big One-Oh! Online Edition on the 17 th, and was awed to see our characters given life by these wonderful young actors - all of them singing and dancing, popping in and out of frame, and collaborating seamlessly from their own sequestered spaces."

"My son Lucas and I had a wonderful time reading Dean's novel together when he was approaching ten. I kept that shared memory close when we were writing the musical," says Besterman. "And now the Online Edition presents yet another way for families to connect, both within their own household and to their greater creative communities," he adds.

The Online Edition's accompanying Director's Guide offers step-by-step instructions for rehearsing and presenting this performance online. Sections detail how to create and fit choreography into each actor's frame, and how to put together group musical numbers while working within a video application designed for one speaker at a time.

The digital ShowKit® of materials includes music tracks to be played from each actor's device.

"We've created and tested this Online Edition and its accompanying resources, so that anyone, anywhere can successfully present this show online using conferencing software," says McDonald. "Music Theatre International is offering a crucial solution for theatre programs struggling from the COVID-19 cancellations," he adds.

Last fall, New York City's Atlantic Theater Company produced the world premiere of The Big One-Oh!, and leading theatrical licensor Music Theatre International announced the show had joined its Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) and Broadway Junior® libraries of titles.

Charley Maplewood is about to reach a milestone: he's about to turn 10 - the big one-oh! He has never been one for parties-that would require friends, which he doesn't have. Well, unless you count his monster friends, but they're only imaginary. Charley's still adjusting to his parents' divorce and his move to a new school. Now with a major birthday looming, he decides to throw a party for himself, complete with a "House of Horrors" theme. Of course, things don't work out as he plans. Will Charley be able to pull it together before the big one-oh becomes the big OH-NO!?

MTI is currently working on developing/securing the rights to other authorized online editions. For further updates, please check our message regarding COVID-19.

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