Concord Theatricals Releases Young Actors' Version of Cats | Playbill

Education News Concord Theatricals Releases Young Actors' Version of Cats The long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has been adapted for schools and children's theatres by the youth theatre experts at iTheatrics.
Cats Matthew Murphy

Theatrical licensor Concord Theatricals has released a new Young Actors' Version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. The one-hour adaptation of the Best Musical Tony winner is designed for performance at school and children's theatres by the youth theatre gurus at iTheatrics.

"I first experienced the singular thrill of seeing kids interpret my work in 1968, when I wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for school children to perform," says Lloyd Webber. "The positive impact of the arts on health, social mobility, and well being is irrefutable. Music is an empowering force leading to more confident and resilient young people. Music and the arts are a proven and powerful way to address issues of self-esteem, friendships, attitudes, and creativity. This is needed more than ever. It gives me great joy to know that this version of Cats will become a part of many kittens’ lives."

"We’ve adapted the title so that it can be successfully performed by young people of all levels and experience, from ‘this is my first show’ to triple threats," adds iTheatrics founder and playwright Timothy Allen McDonald. "The show has been honed to its essence, revealing a story of forgiveness and acceptance. That’s a message I will be proud to see young people embrace and share with audiences worldwide."

One of the longest-running musicals in history at venues all over the world, Cats is adapted from T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, with Lloyd Webber providing music for Eliot's poetry. After premiering in London's West End in 1981, the musical continued its run at the New London Theatre for 21 years and nearly 9,000 performances; the 1983 Broadway transfer won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and was the longest-running production on Broadway for many years. The musical has gone on to be revived both in London and on Broadway, along with touring and sit-down productions worldwide. A 2019 film adaptation starred Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, and James Corden, among others.

Licenses of this new version of Cats include a show pack with a downloadable production guide, student vocal book, piano-vocal score, guide vocal tracks, accompaniment tracks, audition sides, official artwork, and choreography and staging videos.

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