FIRST-EVER HIGH SCHOOL PRODUCTION OF GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT ADAPTED SCRIPT BEING PERFORMED BY JONATHAN DAYTON HIGH SCHOOL IN SPRINGFIELD, NEW JERSEY ON APRIL 14-17
NEW YORK, N.Y. – March 29, 2016 – The first-ever adapted version of GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT intended for performance by high school students is currently in development and will debut on April 14. The pilot production is being presented by Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, New Jersey.
The two-time Tony Award® winning hit musical is a stage adaption of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees’ 2004 multi-platinum Grammy Award® winning rock opera American Idiot and includes several songs from their follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown. The book was written by Billie Joe Armstrong and director Michael Mayer (SPRING AWAKENING, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE). The music was composed by Green Day, and the lyrics were written by Armstrong. After a production at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009, the show moved to New York’s legendary St. James Theatre and opened on Broadway in April of 2010. AMERICAN IDIOT launched an international tour in Toronto December 2011, with performances throughout North America and the United Kingdom with special engagements in London, Seoul and Tokyo.
“The power of American Idiot lies is its authenticity and immediacy,” said Michael Mayer. “These qualities have been touchstones for us as we made the musical. Nothing is more authentic than young people playing characters close to their own age and experience; the immediacy of the story of these kids’ search for meaning is evident each time we turn on the TV, check our Twitter feed, log in to Facebook, or engage with the world in a variety of ways.”
The story centers on three disaffected young men; Johnny, Will, and Tunny who are struggling to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the three disgruntled men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths are quickly estranged when Tunny enters the armed forces, Will is called back home to attend familial responsibilities, and Johnny’s attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship.
“Piloting AMERICAN IDIOT is an incredible experience because we’re getting to work with a piece of living, breathing theatre,” stated Ashley Bauers, music teacher at Dayton High and Director of the pilot. “More importantly, we’re confronting issues this show brings up that are vital and relevant topics to discuss with our kids. Ideally, the audience will walk away from this production empowered to have these conversations with their loved ones.”
Several top Broadway professionals have joined in developing the pilot. In addition to Mayer who adapted the script, Alison Morooney, dance captain for the national tour worked with the students to teach them the techniques of the show’s Broadway choreographer Steven Hoggett. Masque Sound, with the help of Broadway sound designer Keith Caggiano is helping the school with professional sound advice and equipment. TV news producer Ron Ralston is working with students in the school’s A/V department on a 3 camera taping of the show highlights of which will be available via www.greenday.com Additionally, two students in the show are creating a ‘behind the scenes’ documentary. For a clip from the documentary visit https://youtu.be/Vm7mFC5CpUA.
When the show debuted on Broadway, Charles Isherwood of the New York Times wrote “…a pulsating portrait of wasted youth that invokes all the standard genre conventions… only to transcend them through the power of its music and the artistry of its execution, the show is as invigorating and ultimately as moving as anything I’ve seen on Broadway this season. Or maybe for a few seasons past.”
Associated Press found the show to be “visually striking [and] musically adventurous,” and Time magazine’s Richard Zoglin wrote that the score “…is as pure a specimen of contemporary punk rock as Broadway has yet encountered [yet] there’s enough variety…”
The pilot production will be performed April 14-17 at the Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, New Jersey. For additional information and tickets contact [email protected].
About Music Theatre International
Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.
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