Wednesday, September 2, 2015

George Street Playhouse celebrates healthy kids in the arts Sept. 19

George Street Playhouse presents "Be Unstoppable: A Celebration of Healthy Kids in the Arts" on Sept. 19

FREE interactive activities, nutritious food and performances by GSP’s Educational Touring Theatre and American Repertory Ballet highlight special Hub City Sounds event

The 2014-15 George Street Playhouse Educational Touring Theatre cast in "Austin the Unstoppable." (Photo by David Kelly Crowne)

New Brunswick, NJ -- George Street Playhouse is proud to host “Be Unstoppable: A Celebration of Healthy Kids in the Arts” as part of the New Brunswick Cultural Center’s Hub City Sounds Festival on Saturday, September 19, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event, which also serves as the official “kick-off” of a collaboration between The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and George Street Playhouse for Austin the Unstoppable, will feature a performance by GSP’s Educational Touring Theatre of Austin on the Playhouse’s Mainstage at 10:30 a.m. The day also includes interactive activities, a healthy lunch and an afternoon performance by American Repertory Ballet dancers.

An original GSP musical promoting health and wellness, Austin the Unstoppable is the tale of an 11-year-old gamer and junk-food junkie who – along with his family – must face the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle when his mother is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The production explores the challenges the family must face when having to make healthy choices together.

The musical, with book and lyrics by Barry Wyner and music by Daniel Israel, was commissioned by George Street Playhouse through the Victoria J. Mastrobuono New Work Development Program, Bristol-Myers Squibb and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Research for the development of Austin the Unstoppable was provided by Shaping NJ. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is the presenting sponsor of the production, providing $550,000 in grants to make it possible for Austin to tour in schools statewide.

The show is stage managed by Erica Leigh, and features the talents of Alexa Adderley, Kirk Geritano, Alexa Johnson and James Ross. (A PDF with detailed show information, including cast and crew bios, can be downloaded here.)

Immediately following the performance, a discussion with the audience about topics and issues explored during the performance will take place in the Mainstage theatre. A free healthy lunch and dessert bar catered by Elijah’s Promise follows in the Playhouse’s Cabaret, with activity and information tables available to guests.

The event is capped off at 12:30 p.m. by American Repertory Ballet dancers who will present Grumpy Bird, a children's ballet based on the children’s book by Jeremy Tankard that is choreographed by Matthew Keefe and set to music by Mozart, and Mary Barton’s Once Upon a Summer’s Day.

The performance will mark the fourth consecutive year that GSP’s Educational Touring Theatre has participated in the Hub City Sounds Festival. For further information on this and other GSP Touring Theatre performances, contact GSP’s Education Department at (732) 846-2895, ext. 117, or