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RMS brings ‘Junie B. Jones’ to life

Russellville Middle School students are bringing a literary classic to the stage April 4-5 with “Junie B. Jones, The Musical Jr.” Shows start at 7 p.m., and tickets are $5.

A cast of 70 characters plus tech students perform this musical that tells the story of kindergartener Junie B. Jones. Instructor Emily Rush said the audience will learn who Junie B. Jones is and experience some classic moments from the book series, along with catchy musical numbers.

“There’s kind of an unknown factor when it comes to the music for this because there hasn’t been a movie to go off of,” Rush said. “People don’t know what to expect.”

She likened the musical to a mixture of “Hairspray with a little bit of Dream Girls” but said the content is of a more relatable nature than musicals RCS has done in the past.

“It’s not Disney, but it’s a classic storybook character brought to life,” Rush said.

The musical is set in a classroom, lunchroom, Junie B.’s house, a school bus and a kickball field – all settings familiar to students who are in the musical and who will watch it. Junie B. Jones struggles with common themes, like mean girls at school and having to get glasses, and it is all told from her perspective, writing in her journal.

“It’s fun making it come to life for the little kids,” said Brayden Heaps, who will be playing Junie B.’s dad.

Like the book series, the musical has positive messages for children.

“It’s about growing up and how to survive and be yourself,” Rush said. “At the end of the day it’s going to be OK.”

Junie B. Jones is being played by Kaitlyn Speck.