Seven children’s theaters around the country will bring chapter book star Judy Moody to the stage, Candlewick Press has announced. The precocious third-grader’s theatrical debut will take place on October 21 at Oregon Children’s Theatre in Portland, in a play adapted from two books: Judy Moody Was in a Mood and The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt.
The project emerged when Michael Bobbitt, artistic director of Adventure Theatre MTC in Glen Echo, Md., met with a group of six other children’s theaters to discuss his idea of commissioning a play based on author Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds’ stories. The participants include Bay Area Children’s Theatre in Oakland, Calif.; Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.; First Stage in Milwaukee, Wis.; Oregon Children’s Theatre in Portland; Orlando Repertory Theatre in Orlando, Fla.; and the Rose Theater in Omaha, Neb. Starting in the fall and running through the spring of 2019, each theater will stage its own production of the play. The group commissioned Allison Gregory as playwright.
Since 2000, the Judy Moody books have become international bestsellers. The Judy Moody franchise includes the original Judy Moody series and three spin-off series: Stink, Judy Moody and Stink, and Judy Moody and Friends. To date, there are more than 22 million Judy Moody books in print worldwide, translated into 26 languages.
Karen Lotz, president and publisher of Candlewick and managing director of the Walker Books Group, said in a statement, “We’re so excited about this incredible, unprecedented collaboration.
We know young readers everywhere relate to Judy as their favorite dynamic and funny ‘real-girl’ character.”
McDonald said of the adaptation, “I’m thrilled readers will get to see my books make the leap from page to stage. Judy Moody has been to Antarctica, the Freedom Trail, Artichoke Island, and college. She has gone around the world in eight (and a half) days. But never before has she been on stage!”