News & Reviews

What’s New from San Diego Junior Theatre

Meet Robin Preiss Glasser, Fancy Nancy Illustrator, In Person

Jan 9, 2015, meet illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser in person, directly following the 7pm show of San Diego Junior Theatre’s production of Fancy Nancy, the Musical.

January 9, 2015, Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator of Fancy Nancy, will be at Casa del Prado Theatre in person, directly following the 7pm performance of San Diego Junior Theatre’s production of Fancy Nancy, the Musical. Refreshments will be served.

Ms. Glasser is known for her exuberant and entertaining presentations that captivate both children and adults. You can support SDJT by purchasing your Fancy Nancy books at JTAGS or in advance on Amazon Smile. A selection of books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Meet Robin Preiss GlasserIn addition to her fabulously popular Fancy Nancy series, Robin Preiss Glasser has also illustrated America: A Patriotic Primer, A is for Abigail, and Our Fifty States by Lynne Cheney; and Tea for Ruby by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Her illustrations can be found in more than a dozen children’s books, including Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!), Going to Move, and Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest, both by Judith Viorst. With her sister, Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, she collaborated on the award-winning You Can’t Take a Balloon series.

Dress “fancy” in honor of the occasion!

Purchase of a ticket to the Friday night performance is required to attend this event. In fairness to all fancy fans, limit one book to be signed per person.Thank you!


Strike Potluck Jello Challenge???



Dear Fellow Junior Theatre Alumni,

The ice bucket challenge was a great idea…that I didn’t have.

After tossing around several ideas for what the Junior Theatre Alumni version of this might be (“The Aqua Net Challenge?” “The Spirit Gum Challenge?” “The Strike Potluck Jello Challenge?”), I have decided to spare you the goo, and appeal to your sincerity.

Like you, I am a Junior Theatre alumnus.  This organization was a big part of my childhood (and now it’s likely to be an even bigger part of my old age!).  This past year has been rich with amazing flashbacks of how much this organization was responsible for my development as a young person.  Today, the faces are different, but the heart of this organization has remained more similar than you might imagine.  I am convinced that if you walked into the Casa del Prado today, it would be only a matter of minutes before you found the young equivalent of yourself.  I’ve found a few of mine.

Despite our unfortunate 1950’s name, Junior Theatre has gracefully changed with the times and continued to meet the needs of a changing San Diego.  We’ve gone from being “nifty ” to “awesome.”   Initiatives such as our tuition assistance and ticket subsidy programs, inclusion training for teachers, and sensory-friendly performances (for kids on the autism spectrum) and ASL interpreted performances (for the deaf community) ensure that no young person with a desire to experience theatre, either as a student or as an audience member, is ever turned away due to need or ability.  I am really proud of that fact.

I don’t have to tell you that Junior Theatre is a nonprofit. Each year, funding becomes more and more challenging to procure, but Junior Theatre has an amazing history, rich with tens of thousands of alumni whose lives have been touched by the program.

It’s Giving Tuesday, and “giving” has never been simpler.  With our new online donation platform, you can make a small monthly sustaining donation that will keep giving all year long.  If you don’t have cash, you can still participate by forwarding this note to  five of your Facebook friends.


AND AS A SILLY BONUS – if we can raise a mere $10,000.00 from alumni, I will take the “Strike Potluck Jello Challenge,” and post a video on Facebook to prove it.

Please consider making a donation today!



Executive Director


P.S.  Mark your calendars for June 2017 – San Diego Junior Theatre’s 70th Anniversary.  Plans are currently percolating for how we will celebrate this in a big way. To stay informed, sign up for our email list at

Save the Date: #GivingTuesday Dec 2

#GivingTuesday is December 2, 2014 – charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more.

Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.




#TeacherFeatureTuesday: Bernard Baldan

JT teaching artist extraordinaire Bernard Baldan is a 25-year veteran of stage, film, and television as well as a produced playwright and a much sought-after arts educator.

Bernard BaldanIt’s time for another Teacher Feature! JT teaching artist extraordinaire Bernard Baldan is a 25 year veteran of stage, film, and television as well as a produced playwright and a much sought-after arts educator. He founded a theater company called Indian Magique which grew into one of the largest professional theater companies on the west coast – The San Diego Repertory Theatre.

Bernard has won Atlas Awards at The Old Globe Theatre for both leading and supporting roles and has directed or shared the stage with everyone from Academy Award winners to circus clowns. He created the role of ‘Scrooge’ in the West Coast’s longest continuous production, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. West Coast and World Premieres include The Runner Stumbles (Father Revard), Red Noses (Brodan), and La Gaviota (Don Pedro Murrieta). Bernard is a proud member of Actors Equity. You can find him teaching at our holiday camps and during the Winter session. We’re thrilled to call you one of our own, Bernard!

Bernard Baldan on Facebook

Out of the Wings: Catalina Maynard

Get to know the director of Maricela de la Luz Lights the World!

Catalina MaynardGet to know the director of Maricela de la Luz Lights the World!

A native San Diegan, Catalina is proud to be a member of the Junior Theatre Family. Ms. Maynard received her training in theatre at San Diego State University with an emphasis in performance. For the past twenty years, she has worked with a variety of theatre companies and academic intuitions throughout the country which include; Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Musical Theatre West, Company of Angels – Los Angeles, and the Harney Academy in Boston, MA, where she is currently the director of the Acting & Performance Workshops; a position she has held since 2001.

Selected projects include You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Trail of Mister Wolf, Chato’s Kitchen and Charlotte’s Web. In addition, Ms. Maynard has worked as an artist/instructor for many arts organizations throughout Southern California. Working with students K-12, her projects focus on exploration and discovery through playwriting, the importance of community using an ensemble process, and cultivating leadership skills through rehearsal and performance. Ms Maynard was awarded the CAC Artist In-Schools residency grant for three years focusing on original theatre pieces through the exploration of relevant and topical issues. Catalina is a member of ION Theatre Company, where she also co-directed The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.

Pay What You Can Fridays

SDJT  is excited to offer “Pay What You Can” performances for the first Friday night of every production in our Off-Park series at Roosevelt Middle School.

“Pay What You Can” Fridays have been generously underwritten by an anonymous donor to ensure that Junior Theatre is accessible to new families who may not otherwise have the means to attend a production. “Pay What You Can Fridays” supports the organization’s mission of accessibility and affordability for all members of the community.

“Pay What You Can” tickets are limited to (4) four per family and are available at the box office, one hour before the performance (6:00 pm).  Offer is based on seating availability and tickets will be sold on a first-come first-serve basis until sold out.

A suggested donation of $5.00 per family is requested, however any amount will be accepted. To take advantage of this offer, “Pay What You Can” families must be first-time attendees and provide family contact information including name, email and zip code.


Pay What You Can Performance Schedule:


Maricela de la Luz Lights the World             November 21, 2014

Flight of the Lawnchair Man                          February 8, 2015

Much Ado About Nothing                               March 3, 2015