News & Reviews

What’s New from San Diego Junior Theatre

Spring 2015 Classes are Online!

Spring 2015 Classes and Camps from San Diego Junior Theatre are now enrolling

San Diego Junior Theatre’s Spring 2015 classes and camps are now online. Register and enroll today!

Spring 2015 Classes and Camps are now Online!



Out of the Wings: Ira Bauer-Spector

We are delighted to welcome back San Diego-based theatre artist Ira Bauer-Spector as director of Flight of the Lawnchair Man.

Ira Bauer-Spectre

Out of the Wings: Ira Bauer-Spector, director of San Diego Junior Theatre’s premiere of Flight of the Lawnchair Man.

Flight of the Lawnchair ManWe are delighted to welcome back Ira Bauer-Spector. Ira is a San Diego-based theatre artist whose directing credits at San Diego Junior Theatre include: James and the Giant Peach (NYA Award – Outstanding Production), HONK!, Zanna, Don’t! (AMT), Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale (Alumni) and Pinkalicious: The Musical (Rippledink’s Repertory).  He has worked at many theatres in San Diego including: The Old Globe (assistant to Rupert Holmes), San Diego State University (Into the Woods), American Rose Theatre (Spring Awakening), Diversionary, North Coast Repertory, ACT – San Diego.  He has also performed as an actor extensively across the country.  Honors include: FringeNYC Award for Outstanding Ensemble for Dear Harvey (Diversionary), Kennedy Center SSD&C Directing Fellowship Finalist for Cabaret (CU-Boulder), NYA Award Nomination for Outstanding Directing for James and the Giant Peach (SDJT).

He is the Founding Artistic Director of Breakthrough Workshop Theatre, a non-profit theatre organization in San Diego.  With BWT, highlights include the award-winning Dear Harvey at the 1st San Diego Fringe Festival, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Bette Midler Project and “BWTinRep” (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown & Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead), as well as writing, directing and starring as Miss M in the World Premiere of Miss M Saves the Universe! at the 2nd Annual San Diego International Fringe Festival.

Education: BFA Musical Theatre/BFA Theatre Performance, University of Colorado at Boulder; MFA Musical Theatre (Directing Emphasis), San Diego State University.

Fancy Nancy the Musical Video

“A Fancier Place” from Fancy Nancy the Musical. Come see Nancy, Bree, Lionel, Rhonda, and Wanda at SDJT!

“A Fancier Place” from Fancy Nancy the Musical. Come see Nancy, Bree, Lionel, Rhonda, and Wanda, in a play directed for San Diego Junior Theatre in Balboa Park by Barb Schoenhofer!

#TeacherFeatureTuesday: Leasa Thernes

Meet Leasa Thernes, JT teaching artist, award winning filmmaker and choreographer.

LeasaLeasa Thernes is the Co-founder of Lost Artist Films and has written, directed, and/or produced five short films. She has directed and choreographed numerous Ballets and Theatrical Productions, and her choreography was awarded the Gold Medal for Group Dance and the Silver Medal for Solo Dance at the 2004 Maccabi Games (Jewish Olympics) in Boston.

Leasa can be found teaching choreography and dance at several companies and studios in and around San Diego. She has been a Teaching Artist at San Diego Junior Theatre since 2003, where she teaches dance, acting, and also directs and choreographs.

Leasa will be teaching Winter Camp next week and dance classes on Sundays during the Winter session. We are proud to call her one of our own!

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