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Children's theatre production puts focus on fairness, friendship in 'Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook'

Junie B. Jones
(Image courtesy of The Theatre School)
The Theatre School at DePaul University will present "Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook," written by Allison Gregory, adapted from the book series by Barbara Park and directed by Krissy Vanderwarker.

The children's production runs Jan. 11 through Feb. 17 at DePaul's Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo Drive in Chicago.

In the theatrical world of Junie B. Jones, everyday life is packed with amazing discoveries, cool new kids and lifelong lessons about being a good person and a good friend. 

"Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook" is a part of The Theatre School's Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences series and is recommended for audiences ages 5 and older. A teaching guide is available online at

Performances are 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays. Special 10 a.m. Friday performances will occur Feb. 2 and 9. A Sunday performance will be held 2 p.m. Feb. 4. There is no performance on Saturday, Feb. 3.

The Feb. 8 performance will be audio described and the Feb. 9 and 10 performances will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

The Jan. 25 and Feb. 4 performances will be followed by a post-show discussion and the Jan. 13 performance will be followed by a cast autograph session.

Tickets are $10 with discounts for active military and their families and DePaul employees, alumni and students. Tickets are available at or by calling 312-922-1999.

The cast features Caroline Hendricks (Junie B. Jones), Rachel Blakes (Grace/Pink Fluffy Girl), Marian van Noppen (Lucille/Grouchy Typing Lady/Choir), Elizabeth Weiner (Mrs./Mother/Parrot), Jasper Johnson (Jim/Mitten Crook/Choir), Johnny Tran (Handsome Warren/Fireman/Choir), Noah Kurnik (Ricardo/Lucille's Grandpa/Choir) and Aidan Senn (Principal/Grampa Frank Miller/Choir).

The production team includes Courtney O'Neill (scenic design), Madeleine Byrne (costume design), Katelyn Le-Thompson (lighting design), Kendall Baron (sound design), Tim Combs (technical direction), Mariah Schultz (dramaturgy) and Ben Gates-Utter (stage management).

Director Vanderwarker teaches storytelling at DePaul's Theatre School in addition to being freelance director and co-artistic director of Dog & Pony Theatre Co. in Chicago. Her directing credits include "Breach," "The Dinner Party Project," "Mr. Marmalade" and "Osama the Hero." She has also directed "Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure" for the Lookingglass Theatre Company, "The Grown-Up" for the Shattered Globe Theatre and "Bethany" for Steppenwolf Theatre's First Look Festival. She has a master's in fine arts from DePaul's Theatre School.