WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL ACADEMY
TO MAKE HISTORY AT THE MALTZ JUPITER THEATRE
The award-winning musical will premiere on the stage where it all started
November 11, 2010 (Jupiter) - The hit new musical that has earned internationally acclaim and inspired young audiences from New York to South Korea is making history with its world premiere in Florida.
Academy, the musical about a boy's prep school that got its start in Jupiter in 2008, has spent the past two years on a whirlwind journey, including several wins at last October's New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) and the top award for Best Musical in July at South Korea's Daegu International Musical Festival. Upon returning to the U.S., Academy's cast members even rang the closing bell at NASDAQ in New York.
Now, the show conceived nearly a decade ago by two South Florida natives - Andrew Kato, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre's artistic director, and writer John Mercurio - will finally receive its world premiere Dec. 7-19 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, with the help of a grant from the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts.
"The response in New York and Korea was overwhelming, and we are thrilled to produce Academy's world premiere in Jupiter, where the musical got its start," said Kato, who will direct the show. "The music is contemporary, the themes are universal and Academy is a high-energy, youthful show that all ages can enjoy."
The musical tells the story of two seniors at St. Edward's Academy who make a harmless bet on whether they can influence an unsuspecting freshman to break a few rules to succeed. But when the transaction goes recklessly out of control, the boys become entangled in a fight for their own academic and personal survival. Inspired by Goethe's Faust, Academy is a pop chamber musical about boys learning to become men - and remaining true to themselves.
First introduced in Jupiter during a 2008 staged reading through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund, Academy was one of 13 shows selected from among 300 entries for a workshop production at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF).
At NYMF, Academy won awards for Excellence in Writing: Score and for Outstanding Ensemble Performance, as well as the Daegu International Musical Festival Production Award, which included an all-expenses-paid trip to South Korea to present the show at the 2010 Daegu International Musical Festival. The show, one of 24 musicals presented during the 22-day festival, won the top award for Best Musical, and hundreds of young fans thronged the sidewalks to meet them. Academy garnered equal praise from international media and the New York Times, who wrote that the show was "one of the most impressive of the full productions" at the NYMF festival in 2009.
Academy's world premiere in Jupiter will be its biggest production to date. It will feature a cast of 21, including nine performers from its New York and Korean productions and 11 local children chosen from hundreds during the Theatre's First Step to Stardom auditions. The score will be supported by a 10-piece orchestra.
The show has also come full circle for the show's creators, Kato (a graduate of Jupiter High School) and Mercurio (a graduate of the Benjamin School). As youth, they wrote their first musical, Switch, which was performed on the same stage at the Institute for Theatre Training in Jupiter in 1987.
"The Theatre is making history with its world premiere in Jupiter, but the journey doesn't end there," Kato said. "This is just the beginning of an exciting journey for Academy, which will be presented next in Atlanta in 2011. We hope the show's mass appeal continues to inspire young audiences everywhere."
Tickets to Academy are $43-$60 and may be purchased by calling (561) 575-2223 or logging on to www.jupitertheatre.org. A select number of $15 student tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more for students 18 and under with valid ID.
About the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is an award-winning professional not-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and is located east of U.S. Highway 1 at 1001 East Indiantown Road and State Road A1A in Jupiter. For more information about the Theatre's upcoming shows and Conservatory of Performing Arts, visit www.jupitertheatre.org or call the box office at (561) 575-2223.
ACADEMY - At St. Edward's Academy, two seniors make a harmless bet on whether they can influence an unsuspecting freshman to break a few rules to succeed. But when the transaction goes recklessly out of control, the boys become entangled in a fight for their own academic and personal survival. Inspired by Goethe's Faust, Academy is a pop chamber musical about boys learning to become men - and remaining true to themselves.; Dec. 7-19, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter. Tickets: $43-$60. Phone: (561) 575-2223. On the Web: www.jupitertheatre.org.