If your child has participated in a musical theater production then you’ve probably encountered helper text around the title of the show. Modifiers like “Jr.” “Kids” or “Getting to know…” are not-so-secret code words that indicate the show is an adaptation of a full length musical designed specifically for young performers at different ages.

From the outside, these modifiers can all seem to mean the same thing, so here is a quick breakdown of what these terms mean and how they can hep you select the best shows for your child.

Non-Adapted Shows

On occasion, PAA produces full length musicals with our older students. Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical (Fall 2019) and Disney’s Newsies (Fall 2018) are two examples. These are not adaptations; they are the full musical and challenge our students with a non-adapted musical theatre learning opportunity.

Adapted Shows

Shows adapted for youth performers are often shorter than their full length (2 hr) counterparts, and have music, lyrics, and text that have been changed to support performers ages 18 years and younger.

When a musical is an adaptation, the original show title is amended with modifier text. This modifier text indicates the overall length of the show and its suitability for different skill sets.

For example…

The original musical is titled Annie.
Annie Jr is the 60 minute adaptation of the original full length musical.
Annie Kids is the 30 minute adaptation of the original full length musical.

Theater Licensing Companies

Since musical theater shows are copyrighted, PAA purchases a license to produce each show from various theater licensing companies. To further confuse things, each licensing company has its own way of naming their adapted versions.

For example…

Theatrical Rights Worldwide owns rights to The Addams Family.

The Addams Family
Original Full-Length Version

The Addams Family School Edition
Adapted from the original production to make the show more producible for older school groups.

The Addams Family Young@Part®
60 minute version

The Addams Family Younger@Part®
30 minute version

Music Theater International own rights to Willy Wonka:

Willy Wonka
Original Full-Length Version

Willy Wonka TYA
Theatre for Young Audiences Version has been condensed to one act, with the option of using a smaller cast.

Willy Wonka Jr.
60 Minute Version

Willy Wonka Kids
30 minute version

Rogers and Hammerstein own rights to Footloose

Original Full-Length Version

Getting to know…Footloose
60 minute version.

Having adaptations of legendary broadway shows makes them accessible to young actors and actresses. The shows retain all of the beloved songs and familiar characters but with an age-appropriate level of difficulty that allows PAA students to learn, perform, and grow!