Moorestown Theater Company presents the world premier of “Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens, Jr.”

The award-winning Moorestown Theater Company (MTC) has been asked by Music Theatre International (MTI) to stage the World Premiere Workshop Production of a new children’s musical, “Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale For Mr. Dickens, Jr.” The workshop production, which MTC is calling Preview Stage, has three December shows on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Moorestown Upper Elementary School. Tickets are $10. MTI staff will come from New York to see the world premiere of this musical.

“This is a huge honor for the Moorestown Theater Company,” said MTC producing artistic director Mark Morgan. “Of the thousands of theater companies in the United States that produce theater for children, MTI came to us to give this new script its first-ever staging! We are humbled to be asked and very thankful for the opportunity this workshop presents for our young performers.”

“I wanted to have a theater company that was close to New York City, whose work I was familiar with, and that I trusted to do a great job with new material,” said MTI senior operations officer John Prignano, “and the first one that I thought of was the Moorestown Theater Company.”

Prignano said that he plans to travel to New Jersey, not only to see the musical performed, but to speak with the MTC staff and cast members to get their thoughts about the show’s script and songs, as well as the workshop process.

This new children’s musical, which is based on one of the stories in the best-selling “Magic Tree House” Collection of children’s books by Mary Pope Osborne, tells the story of Jack and his younger sister Annie, who go back in time to 1843 to convince Charles Dickens not to give up on his writing career. With a little bit of magic that they are allowed to use in the stories via Merlin the Magician from “Camelot,” Jack and Annie show Mr. Dickens what the world would be like without his stories. Their magic brings out the three Ghosts(that are so well-known from Dickens’ most famous story, which help to convince Mr. Dickens to continue his writing career in general, and to write “A Christmas Carol,” specifically. Other characters that Jack and Annie meet in this musical include Morgan Le Fay, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Pickwick, Tiny Tim, Queen Victoria and the three Ghosts. The book of the musical is by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne, with the lyrics by Randy Courts and Will Osborne and the music by Randy Courts.

The Workshop directing staff for MTC’s Preview Stage 2014 consists of director Mark Morgan, vocal director Carol Ann Murray and choreographer Kaitlin Tumulty, all of Moorestown. For more information about this World Premiere Musical, visit the MTC website, or call (856) 778–8357.