In 2022-2023, Young Actors Theatre will create its first movie musical, JONI & THE WHALE, an original piece written by Broadway veteran David Reiser, a YAT alum!
YAT will be hosting David and other professional YAT alums from Broadway, Hollywood, and the West End to teach students about the process of making films, musicals, and creating new works.
WHAT IS 'JONI & THE WHALE'? Joni & the Whale is a heartfelt musical comedy about super smart student-athlete Joni Whitmire, one semester away from graduating early from her Dad's alma mater, Southeast Tech, so she can finally escape the religious South and make her way north, where her Mom’s family comes from. Joni and her Dad firmly believe that practice -- not prayer -- makes perfect; until Joni is compelled to give prayer a try, and suddenly finds herself mysteriously winning every race, and Southeast Tech winning every game! But when the power of prayer spins beyond her control, Joni must dive deep into where she comes from, in order to discover who she really is.
It has been developed in NYC with the best of Broadway, including: -Star of ANASTASIA, Christy Altomare -Star of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Laura Dreyfuss -Actor in BRING IT ON and SPIDERMAN: TURN OFF THE DARK, Jason Gotay
Now, Young Actors Theatre is working closely with the lead commercial producer on this piece, Joni Film LLC, as well as exciting executive producers, such as Broadway star Caissie Levy (Elsa in Disney’s FROZEN, Rose in CAROLINE OR CHANGE, Molly in GHOST).
FALL SEMESTER 2022 In Fall 2022, Students will be immersed in master classes and workshops to learn how a movie musical gets made from every angle, learning: —script structure —cinematography —music and lyrics —production management —art direction —public relations and marketing —acting for the camera —and much more… Students will also learn about the many jobs/departments that collaborate to create a new work, such as: —Executive Producer —Line Producer —1st Assistant Director —Storyboard Artist —Musical Supervisor —Film Editor —Distributor —and so many more!
SPRING SEMESTER 2023 In Spring 2023, students will put their new skills to work in making the original movie musical, JONI & THE WHALE.
Students will have the opportunity to: A) take on specific production roles, working closely with the professional team to create the behind-the-scenes magic of JONI & THE WHALE. B) audition and start rehearsals for the many characters that make up the on-screen world of the Southern college town in, JONI & THE WHALE.
SUMMER 2023 Finally, in Summer 2023, we will rehearse and film the piece all across Tallahassee! Students will work on set, behind the scenes, and star on camera, as they collaborate with our professional YAT alums to make this exciting vision into a reality.
This 2022-2023 special project will provide students an immersive learning experience in how to make a movie musical, where they will collaborate to make the full-length musical film of JONI & THE WHALE.