Theatre for Young America presents Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Union Station City Stage. Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook runs at Theatre for Young America February 13th to March 24, 2018. Theatre for Young America revisits a popular character with JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK. Children’s book readers first met “almost 6 years old” Junie B. Jones in Barbara Parks’ books. Parks introduced the character in 1992 and eventually authored a series of 29 similarly titled and tremendously popular books. JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK is the ninth in the series. Allison Gregory has adapted this story (with some additions from JUNIE B. JONES LOVES HANDSOME WARREN) for the stage. The Theatre for Young America offers its regional premiere from February 13 through March 24 at City Stage in Union Station, directed by Artistic Director Valerie M. Mackey.
Junie B. (Kyra Weinberger), pint-sized destroyer of grammar and syntax, is a precocious kindergartner who hates her middle name. As we enter the story, she is proudly showing off the furry black mittens given her by Grandpa (Steven Eubank) to her friends Grace (Morgan Walker) and Lucille (Jackie Sass). Although Ricardo (R.H. Wilhoit) is her current boyfriend, Junie B. hopes the mittens will attract the attention of the new boy in school Warren (Thomas Eric Morris). During recess someone stole Junie B.’s mittens. She is upset and when she later finds a colorful pen, she decides to keep it because “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” She shows Warren her new pen, but he just thinks she is nutty!
The dilemma and learning opportunity for Junie B. is whether she should keep the pen, or turn it over to lost and found. The audience learns, along with Junie B., the lesson that giving can provide.