ATLANTA – Cobb Galleria Centre recently welcomed the 20th Junior Theater Festival, the world’s biggest and best celebration of young people performing musical theater attended by approximately 6,500 performers from across the United States and beyond.

The festival, held Jan. 13-15, featured 125 youth theater groups for an incredible weekend of fellowship, singing, dancing, acting, and learning. Original Mean Girls Broadway cast members, along with Pasek & Paul (songwriters/producers of Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman), and Thomas Schumacher, president & producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, highlighted the weekend.

What started 20 years ago as an event with 650 attendees has grown through the years to have a tremendous economic impact on the area, with attendees and their families filling up an estimated 7,000 hotel room nights throughout the three-day event. Cobb Galleria Centre’s exhibition halls are transformed into a 6,000-seat Broadway theater for the weekend.

“These students and teachers are not just the future of musical theatre, they are musical theatre. Their positive impact is huge. They chart cast albums, they sell out shows. They introduce so many to musical theatre through their own productions and they continually evolve this art form through their storytelling,” says Timothy Allen McDonald, founder and CEO of iTheatrics and the Junior Theater Group, which produces the international Junior Theater Festivals. “After 20 years of this festival, we’ve seen what prioritizing the arts can do for individuals, communities, and musical theatre itself, and we understand the importance of giving theatre kids the opportunity to be in the company of thousands of other people who care just as much about this art form as they do,” he adds.

Sponsors were Disney Theatrical Productions, Playbill, Inc.®, iHeartRadio Broadway, and founding sponsor Music Theatre International (MTI).

About Cobb Galleria Centre
The Cobb Galleria Centre is located in the beautifully landscaped 88-acre Galleria complex in prestigious northwest Atlanta. Cobb Galleria Centre is Atlanta’s premier convention facility with 320,000 square feet of event space, four exhibition halls, 20 meeting rooms, four executive boardrooms and a grand ballroom. Cobb Galleria Centre had more than 229,000 visitors to 187 events in 2022, resulting in an overall economic impact of $142 million. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook at, on Twitter at @CobbGalleria and on Instagram at

About Junior Theater Festival
Exclusive to organizations performing MTI’s 30 and 60-minute Broadway Junior® musicals and Online Editions, the Junior Theater Festivals bring together the best musical theatre  professionals from Broadway and beyond with the largest audience of artists and arts supporters. Organizers will produce the in-person 2023 Junior Theater Festival West (#JTF) happening February 17-19, 2023 in Sacramento, CA. iTheatrics also produces, hosts, and supports one-day Junior Theater Celebrations and Junior Theater Festivals in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. In 2019, nearly 15,000 people worldwide attended a Junior Theater Festival or Junior Theater Celebration.

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