World Premiere Pilot of the Brand-New Musical, The Big One-Oh! JR, Opens at Inspiration Stage Sept. 6

Katy High School students to take the stage in this never-before-seen show

SUGAR LAND, Texas (Aug. 22, 2019) – Inspiration Stage is proud to present a world premiere pilot production of a brand-new musical, The Big One-Oh! JR, based on the novel by Dean Pitchford. The show will be viewed and worked by the authors, composers and creators of the show from New York City.

“As the premiere pilot of a new Junior show, the actors and artistic team have the opportunity to create original characters, create the scenic design and create the choreography,” says the show’s director/choreographer and Inspiration Stage’s artistic director, Mandy Seymore-Sensat. “I’m beyond excited about the journey ahead of us. This pilot and world premiere is a huge honor and we are all jazzed to be a part of it This is an amazing opportunity for our production staff and cast — we get to breath life into this fabulous children’s book, from page to stage.”

Katy High School sophomore, Emily Adams, 15, who lives in Lakes of Katy, plays the mom in the Big One Oh! JR.

The Big One Oh! JR will be my personal Big One-Oh at iStage — it’s my 10th iStage show,” Adams says. “I am thrilled to be in this pilot with iStage! After watching Miss Mandy produce Matilda JR and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer JR pilots, I have seen what she can do with these shows even before they are official shows, and I think that is incredible. I am so honored to be a part of this amazing experience.”

The Big One-Oh! JR follows the story of Charley Maplewood, as he turns ten — the big one-oh — and decides to throw a party for himself, complete with a “House of Horrors” theme. Charley has never been one for parties — that would require friends, which he doesn’t have. So, of course things don’t work out as he plans. In trying to make friends, he ends up inviting the class bully Cougar to come, and that’s before he ruins the cake and sets the garage on fire. Will Charley be able to pull it together before the big one-oh . . . becomes the big OH-NO!?

Eleven-year-old Jaxon Daniel, a 6th grader at First Colony Middle School who lives in Sienna Plantation, is excited to appear in his 8th show with Inspiration Stage as the lead character, Charley Maplewood. Daniel says, “I am excited to play Charley. It will be a fun experience to create the entire show! This brand new pilot production is an amazing opportunity for everyone at iStage.”

Inspiration Stage is producing The Big One-Oh! JR in cooperation with and at the special invitation of iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI). iTheatrics adapts main stage Broadway musicals so they can be performed by kids in school and after-school settings. They create these adaptations for a distinguished list of clients, including MTI, one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies. Through the pilot process, Inspiration Stage’s creation of this brand-new musical will eventually be available for all theatres to license in the future.

Inspiration Stage is working closely with the NYC-based composers and creators of the show, including: Tim McDonald, iTheatrics founder and librettist for the show; Dean Pitchford, the lyricist and writer of the source material book, The Big One-Oh!; and two-time Tony Award winner Doug Besterman, who provided orchestrations.

Another Katy High School sophomore, Nate Sarlls, 14, a resident of the Falls at Green Meadows, will also appear in his 10th Inspiration Stage show as Vince. “I’m excited to tell this story for the first time ever and to learn a lot in the process,” Sarlls says. “I can’t wait for my second pilot production with Inspiration Stage and iTheatrics. My first one, Matilda JR, was really fun to work and I know iTheatrics and Miss Mandy will bring this book to life!”

With four shows over the weekend of Sept. 6 – 8, The Big One-Oh! JR has a cast of 40 talented youth, ages 8 – 17. Joining Seymore-Sensat on the iStage production team are music directors Benjamin Luss and Relana Gerami-Luss and stage manager Courtney Sackett.

Showtimes are: Fri. Sept. 6 at 7:30pm; Sat. Sept. 7 at 3:30pm and 7:30pm; and Sun. Sept. 8 at 3:30pm. For information and tickets, visit

The Big One-Oh! JR is the first show of Inspiration Stage’s 2019-2020 season. The remaining schedule includes:

  • Disney’s My Son Pinocchio JR, Oct. 4-6
  • The Addams Family High School Edition, Oct. 18-20
  • Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins JR, Nov. 1-10
  • Disney’s Frozen JR, Dec. 6-15
  • Into the Woods JR, Jan. 3-5
  • Lyle The Crocodile, Feb. 28- March 1
  • Harriet the Spy, April 3-5
  • Honk JR, April 17-19
  • A Chorus Line – High School Edition, May 1-3

Inspiration Stage is a national award-winning performance arts studio located in the historic Sugar Land Auditorium at 226 Lakeview Dr. The 2019/2020 season was recently announced and includes ten youth productions, as well as acting and production classes. Tuition assistance is available to qualifying participants. For tickets and information, visit