Fall Production


Sarah Santilli - ssantilli@uaschools.org
Chris Lape - cblape@uaschools.org


Current Jones students and their families should use this link (https://tinyurl.com/FallPro2022) to gain access to our Fall Pro 2022 Canvas page.  All announcements, documents, and information will be posted to the Canvas page.  Students not involved in Newsies Jr. will be removed from the Canvas page.  All others interested in Fall Production should browse the information listed here on the Jones school website.


Forms and payment are available under the “Fall Pro” tab on the JMS PTO website: www.jonespto.com 

These forms are available from late August until early October.


Link to the ticket website available under the “Fall Pro” tab on the JMS PTO website: www.jonespto.com 

This information is available during October each year.

Click the “Current Production” tab below to see performance dates.

What is Fall Production?

Fall Production is an organization for all students at Jones Middle School. There are several levels of involvement to facilitate busy schedules. Students involved in JMS athletics, community organizations, private lessons, etc. are still encouraged to participate. Performers include leading roles, featured actors/singers, and ensembles that rehearse 1-5 days a week for eight weeks. Tech Crew is involved everyday in the last 9 days. All students involved should expect to be present at dress rehearsals and performances.

Shows are selected on a three year thematic rotation: Fantasy, Modern/Contemporary, Traditional. Our philosophy is to teach through performance and expose students to a wide variety of experiences. In this way, all students have the opportunity to perform in each category during their three years at Jones. We also keep a detailed history of the organization.  If you have any information to share, please send it to Sarah Santilli, at ssantilli@uaschools.org. You can also view pictures of our past productions in the auditorium hallway.

The Production Staff firmly believes that a student's academic performance should not suffer because of their rehearsal schedule. We value your time and create rehearsal schedules to be efficient, avoiding as many conflicts as possible. At times, students will have down time during rehearsal and are encouraged to bring their homework.

Parent Coordinators organize parent volunteers to help make sure Fall Production is always a success! We rely on the tireless efforts of parent committees to take care of every detail, allowing the Directors to focus all their attention on the students. If you would like to get involved, please contact our Parent Coordinators at jonesfallproduction@gmail.com. Parent Coordinators for 2021 are Elaine Alicea and Allison Cummons.  Thank you, parents, for all your hard work and dedication to Fall Production!

We hope you get involved in Fall Production!


Newsies Jr.

Audition Dates:

Monday, August 22, 4:00-6:00pm

Tuesday, August 23, 4:00-6:00pm

Wednesday, August 24, 4:00-6:00pm

Thursday, August 25, 3:30-5:30pm (Callback Auditions for invited students only)

Friday, August 26: Tech Crew Applications Due

Saturday, August 27, 4:00pm (Cast List Posted Online)

*Audition Materials are currently available on our Canvas page!

Performance Dates:

Thursday, October 20, 9:00am, 5th Grade Matinee

Friday, October 21, 7:00pm

Saturday, October 22, 7:00pm

Sunday, October 23, 2:00pm

*All Cast and Tech Crew students will be participating in all performances.

Ticket Information:

Tickets are $10.00 in advance and at the door.  All seats are reserved and can be purchased online with a credit card on the JMS PTO website www.jonespto.com starting Wednesday, October 5 at 6:00am.

Plot Synopsis:

Disney's Newsies JR. is a 60-minute version of the 2012 Broadway musical, based on the 1992 film. Inspired by the rousing true story of newsboys in turn-of-the-century New York City, Newsies JR. features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein.

When powerful newspaper publishers raise prices at the newsboys' expense, the charismatic Jack Kelly rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions. Together, the newsies learn that they are stronger united and create a movement to fight for what's right.

Including the now-classic songs "Carrying the Banner," "Seize the Day," and "Santa Fe," Newsies JR. is a timeless story full of spirit and heart.


Full synopsis available here: https://www.mtishows.com/disneys-newsies-jr 

Production Team

Chris Lape (Producer): coming soon!

Sarah Santilli (Stage Director): This is Sarah's twelfth year at Jones Middle School teaching Vocal and General Music and eighteenth year teaching overall. Local productions include Secret Garden (Rose) with BRAVO; Mary Poppins (Katie Nanna, Featured Dancer), Tarzan the Musical (Mother), The Little Mermaid (Atina), and Seussical (Bird Girl) with Westerville Civic Theatre; Cinderella and Mary Poppins with Butterfly Guild; and She Loves Me (Customer #1), Side Show (Venus de Milo/Violet US), and Les Misérables with Gallery Players. Sarah directed for the Columbus Children's Choir and has produced/directed several school and community shows in Central and Northwest Ohio. She has music education degrees from The Ohio State University and Capital University, where she also received Kodály Certification and recently taught graduate level Musicianship.

Patrick Bertke (Assistant Director): Patrick is a Senior at Upper Arlington High School and has participated in Fall production since the 6th grade. In school, he is the bass section leader of Vocal Ensemble and additionally sings in Symphonic Choir and Camerata. In the winter, you may see him in musical theater productions at the high school as well. Recent credits include 42nd Street (Julian Marsh), Something Rotten! (Nigel Bottom), and Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Ensemble). He is thrilled that musical theater plays such a prominent role in his life and that he can be a part of it at both high and middle school levels!

Amy Leacock (Music Director): Amy Leacock graduated from BGSU with a degree in vocal music education and is a director and accompanist for the UAHS choral department. Her previous experiences include one year at Jones Middle School, ten years at Arbor Hills Junior High in Sylvania, OH and two years at Pleasant View School for The Arts in North Canton, OH. She is a certified adjudicator through the Ohio Music Educator’s Association. Mrs. Leacock served as the Chancel and Treble Choir director at the Sylvania United Church of Christ for four years. She is currently the assistant director of the Scioto Valley Chorus and was the baritone of the 2009 International Championship Sweet Adeline quartet Moxie Ladies! She sang jingles and commercials in Toledo for five years; the old WNCI jingles were sung by her group. She is in demand as a clinician for Sweet Adeline’s Young Women in Harmony and travels throughout the US for camps and clinics and Honor Choirs. Amy's musical theater experiences include: stage directing, music directing, choreographer, pit player, pit director, and actress in countless musicals. She runs a Musical Theatre camp in the summer at Muskingum University. She and her husband Chris are the proud parents of two daughters McKenzie and Ava.

Sophie Miller (Choreographer): Sophie Miller is a senior at Upper Arlington High School and returns to Fall Pro as choreographer after being the assistant choreographer for Mary Poppins Jr. and Matilda Jr.  She also performed in Shrek Jr. as a featured dancer and 3 Blind Mice.  As a student at Marjorie Jones School of Dance, Sophie has many dance credits to her name, including teaching Ballet, Tap, and Hip Hop, demonstrating Ballet, Tap, and Jazz, co-Choreographer for the Competition Tap Dance 2021-2022, and as co-President of Youth Outreach United where she teaches dance at the Boys and Girls Club.  She has participated in many summer intensives, including Ohio Dance Masters, Dance Masters of America, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Giordano Dance Intensive in Chicago.  Sophie plans to attend a university in Ohio and study special education.

Rose Babington (Choreography Mentor): Rose is pleased to be involved with Fall Pro for the first time. Rose has been performing for over 25 years, most recently at the 2022 Thurber House Awards and in Cinderella (Butterfly Guild) and Cabaret (Short North Stage). Local directing and choreography credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, the Jebby Awards, and coming this winter, Butterfly Guild's The Sound of Music at the Palace Theater. By day, she serves as Senior Director for the State Partnerships team at ACT, the national testing organization. She thanks her husband Rob and daughter Leona for their support and applauds Sophie and the student choreography assistants who put so much talent, leadership, and energy into the show.

Anthony Stype (Tech Director): Anthony is a theatrical jack-of-all-trades, whose love for the craft began in sixth grade when he joined the tech crew for Fall Production at Jones Middle School. He earned his B.A. in Theatre at The Ohio State University and moved to Chicago where he worked as a stagehand for the The Goodman Theater. Anthony currently serves as UA’s district performing arts supervisor. His handiwork can also be seen all around central Ohio in the form of dazzling lighting designs, sturdily-built sets, and pleasing projections. Anthony would like to thank his wife, fellow JMS alum Robyn Rae Stype, for her never-ending love and support.

Patricia Mendoza (Assistant Director): This is Patricia's 20th year teaching Spanish at Jones and 4th year assisting with Fall Pro.  She loves spending time with family, especially traveling together. Patricia enjoys trying new foods, listening to music, and dancing and playing tennis to stay active. Her family has two dogs including a new puppy!  The JMS fall production crew is amazing and the students have definitely given her the theater bug!

Alice Aichele (Backstage and Technology Assistant): Alice teaches 8th Grade American History at Jones and has been working in UA for sixteen years.  Although not a theatre veteran, Alice is an avid theatre goer and has a daughter who has been bitten by the theatre bug.  Alice helps off stage with several of the logistical aspects of the show and is excited to be part of this great Jones tradition.

Parent Coordinators 2021:

Raeanna O’Brien, Andy Swary, Caren Wildman


Previous Shows

2021—Matilda Jr.

2020—Frozen Kids (spring 2021)

2019—Mary Poppins Jr.

2018—Shrek Jr.

2017—Peter Pan Jr.

2016—Singin’ In The Rain Jr.

2015—High School Musical Jr.

2014—The Little Mermaid Jr.

2013—Annie Jr.

2012—Fame Jr.

2011—Beauty and the Beast Jr.

2010—Music Man Jr.

2009—High School Musical Jr.


2007—The Wizard of Oz/Disney Favorites

2006—Cinderella/King and I

2005—Peter Pan/Grease

2004—Annie/Tom Sawyer

2003—Music Man/Wizard of Oz

2002—Peter Pan/Grease


2000—Wizard of Oz/Disney Favorites

1999—Music Man/Grease


1997—Wizard of Oz/Grease

1996—Music Man/Tom Sawyer

1995—The Sound of Music/Disney Favorites (Snow White/The Little Mermaid/Peter Pan/Aladdin)

1994—Annie/Disney Favorites (Pete’s Dragon/Cinderella/Mary Poppins/Beauty and the Beast)

1993—Wizard of Oz/Oliver

1992—Music Man/Tom Sawyer

1991—Peter Pan/Calamity Jane/Fiddler on the Roof

1990—The King and I/Bye Bye Birdie (Jones and Hastings)


1988—Music Man

1987—The Wizard of Oz

1986—Broadway Favorites (Fame/Peter Pan/Music Man/Sound of Music/Shenandoah)

1985—Back to Broadway (West Side Story/Charlie Brown/Annie/Grease/Charlie Brown)

1984—Cheaper By the Dozen/Teen 1 & 2


1982—The American Dream Machine

1981—The Wiz/Annie/Grease/Saturday Night Fever/Electric Horseman


1979—Jones On Stage

1978—Jones On Stage

1977—Jones On Stage

1976—Bicentennial Show (May)

1976—Variety Show (November)


Audition Statement

Jones Middle School Fall Production auditions are open to all students in grades 6-8. Roles are cast based on audition performance and rehearsal availability.  Fall Production follows the Upper Arlington district anti-discrimination policy. Furthermore, students with parents on the production team do not receive special consideration. Directing staff with children auditioning are not present in the audition room and are not part of the casting decision for their child. Parent Coordinators and Parent Committee Chairs are not involved in any part of the audition process.  We strive to create the most professional and fairest experience possible for our students.

Every show presents different characters, requiring varying skill sets. Not every show has a character for every type of performer. Students who received roles as 7th graders are not guaranteed roles in 8th grade based on their previous experience. The audition panel seeks to put students where they will be most successful and best benefit the production overall.

Auditions are the hardest part of our jobs because we know the decisions made affect so many people personally. Over 100 students audition for Fall Production annually. Thank you for your understanding and support as students step outside their comfort zone, many for their very first time. Jones Fall Production accepts all students, regardless of audition outcome, as performers.  There are no cuts and everybody plays.

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