Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
a play by Allison Gregory
adapted from the book series by Barbara Park
directed by Beth Lopes  
January 26, 2018 - February 11, 2018


The world’s funniest grade-school know-it-all is back! And Junie B. is convinced that someone stole her furry black mittens at recess. So, when Junie B. finds a cool pen on the floor, it’s Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers. But why does she keep having those bad dreams? Will she ever get her mittens back? And will she win over the new boy in Room 8? 

Previews: January 26–February 2, 2018
Regular Performances: February 3–11, 2018

Recommendation: Grades K-6. Theatre for Young Audiences … and Their Families is just that, a multi-generational experience for all ages (unfortunately, no children under the age of four and babes-in-arms). The only requirement is that each audience member occupies a seat and sits quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.

Note: ​This production contains haze effects.

Running Time: Theatre for Young Audiences performances are never more than 90 minutes.

Before Allison Gregory (Playwright) wrote her first play, she didn’t even know that you could be a playwright! She studied English and dance in college because she loved dancing since she was about 6 years old (ballet class!). After that, she traveled around the country dancing in concerts and at fairs and even in the back of a pick-up truck in a parking lot. It was hard work! But that’s what got her into an actual real play: she was cast as an Amazon (a tall person), even though she’s a shorty. Hooray, that all those dance classes paid off! After that, she studied acting and then, what do you know, she started acting in plays. But that is not the best part, because (yay-yay-hooray), she became a playwright and wrote this play! And, also, some other plays. Her family is very supportive of her writing.

The late Barbara Park (Author) grew up in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. She said of her childhood, “It was a small town surrounded by farmland…the kind of town where you greet people by name on Main Street. It was only an hour’s drive to the ocean, so every summer we spent family vacations on Long Beach Island. My brother and I would ride the waves during the day and play miniature golf at night.” She and her husband, Richard, lived half of the time on Long Beach Island and the other half in the Arizona desert. In the words of Junie B. Jones, Park was a “lucky duck.” Park wrote many middle-grade novels, early chapter books and picture books for kids. And, just like Junie B. Jones, she got into a bit of trouble as a kid and was sent to the principal in first grade for talking. “There were lots of notes sent home that year, as well.” Park said her sense of humor was “a little bit off-center”—at the movies, she would laugh at parts that no one else thought were funny.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Joseph Abrego (Ricardo/Principal/Lucille’s Grandpa) I grew up in Northern California and started acting and singing when I was in middle school. I moved down to Southern California to attend UC Irvine and studied theatre and singing there with talented and passionate professors who taught me a lot about acting, music, artistry and humanity. I graduated from college in 2016 and, since then, have had the pleasure of taking part in musicals such as Evita, Carousel, Man of La Mancha and In the Heights. I hope you enjoy Junie B. Jones just as much as I did when I was a kid.

​​​​Rosemary Brownlow (Junie B. Jones) I’m so happy to be making my SCR debut with this great play! When I was in kindergarten, my teacher was Miss Lee and I had a turtle named Kelly. I was like Junie B., but I liked learning and listening at school a little bit more. I went to college in a town called Walla Walla in Washington state and then got my MFA in acting from UC Irvine. I have done plays at lots of theatres all over the country. My favorite roles I’ve played, besides Junie B., are Rosalind in As You Like It and Rachel in My Name Is Rachel Corrie. My advice to girl nutballs: try to channel most of it, probably, but never, ever lose it. Thanks and love to Carolyn, the first person who believed in me, for showing me what children’s theatre can do, and “hi” to my favorite people: my husband, Tyler, and our puppy, Clarinet!

Paul Culos (Meanie Jim/Mitten Crook/Grandpa Frank Miller) Like Junie B., I was a troublesome grade schooler, struggling to sit still, keep quiet and pay attention. There were plenty of timeouts and visits to the principal’s office for me. Those impulses eventually sparked my passion for theatre, which seemed to scratch all of those itches. After training for acting at Western Michigan University, British American Drama Academy and UC Irvine, I began my professional career in Los Angeles. As a member of the Antaeus Company in LA, I regularly perform classics, including the recent production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Right after that, I starred in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Ensemble Theatre Company during this past holiday season. You can also catch me on TV in “Modern Family,” “The Middle,” “Superior Donuts” and “Shameless.”

Nicole Erb (​​​Lucille/Grouchy Typing Lady) When I was growing up, I used family parties as an excuse to perform. I forced family members to sit and watch my shows that were part-singing, part-very-bad-dancing and part-stand-up comedy. My performances always started with a fake fall (pratfall). I’ve always loved making people laugh, even if it made me look silly. I feel very lucky to get to continue to tell stories, sing, badly dance and make people laugh. My advice to you: keep practicing fake farts, silly voices and weird walks because someday, someone might even pay you for them! You might have seen me in commercials, in movies or on TV in shows like “Big Time Rush.” I’m a sketch comedy writer and performer (silly voices and wigs) at Upright Citizens Brigade. I studied theatre and playwriting at Temple University and acting at UC Irvine.

​​​​Gio Munguia (Handsome Warren/Real Live Fireman) As a kid, I always liked making up characters and making people laugh. But it wasn’t until I was 18 that I figured out what I wanted to be: an actor. I went to UC Irvine to study musical theatre, where I met some of my best friends and some of the best people in the world. My professor and mentor Gary Busby, for example, is someone I can go to with any question and ask him for advice. I’ve played roles like Shrek in Shrek: The Musical, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors and Marius in Les Misérables. I hope you enjoy today’s show!

​​​​​Ann Noble (​​​​Mrs./Mother/Parrot) This is my sixth show at SCR, after Ella Enchanted: The Musical, Flora & Ulysses, The Light Princess, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Anastasia Krupnik. I’ve also done The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, which originally starred Lily Tomlin, where I played a woman with a terrible haircut; Stanley Ann, a one-woman show about Barack Obama’s mother, who led an incredibly courageous life; and Hedda Gabler, a classic play about the original “mean girl.” My love for theatre started in high school, where I was blessed to have some wonderful teachers who fostered my interest in writing and performing in plays. In fact, that’s what I do when I’m not acting: I write plays and teach other people, even kids, how to write plays about themselves and the world around them.

​Jasmine St. Clair (​​​​​Grace/Pink Fluffy Girl) Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a performer. When I started out in dance at the age of 9, I knew that all I wanted to do was make people smile by using my talents. I was a dance major in high school, received a bachelor of arts degree in theatre from Temple University and a master of fine arts degree in acting from UC San Diego. I recently did a wonderful show called The Last Tiger in Haiti—it’s about where my family is from, Haiti—at the La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. I’ve had the opportunity to co-star on the TV show “Shameless” on Showtime, participate in numerous national commercials and work on cartoons. I love living in Los Angeles and living my dream everyday!
Creative Team
Beth Lopes (Director) At a very young age, my parents started taking me to theatre and my interest was ignited. (Thank you, parents!) I was lucky enough to attend a high school with exceptional drama teachers who encouraged me to pursue a career in the arts. I traveled all the way from California to New York City to study acting at New York University and that’s where I encountered brilliant mentors and friends who guided me towards my true theatre love: directing. I traveled back to California to become a better director under the instruction of the extraordinary professors at UC Irvine. It was through them that I was first introduced to the wonderful people and artists at South Coast Repertory and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here directing this lovely play about the fabulous Junie B. Jones!

Keith Mitchell (Scenic Design) I have designed many shows based on books you may have read, like Ella Enchanted, Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Anne of Green Gables. I enjoy reading and painting and even illustrated a book written by JoAnn Dickinson, called I Love to Go Camping, because, guess what? I love to go camping! Sometimes, I make sets for commercials for Taco Bell, KFC and Star Wars TV Dinners (spoiler alert: tie fighters are chicken nuggets) Last year, I made a spaceship, a cabin, a haunted house and a giant winter throne with snowboards and skis and hockey sticks, for all the 2018 Winter Olympians to sit in! Also, I meet lots of famous celebrities. In fact, I’ve met Elmo, the Cookie Monster and Smokey the Bear! I am a University of Southern California Trojan alumnus.

Kathryn Poppen (Costume Design) My theatrical career all started when I ran away to the circus. That is, to Music Circus in Sacramento, where I interned while in high school. I realized theatre allowed me to combine my favorite subjects (art, history and literature) with my favorite hobby (sewing) to tell a story through the characters’ clothing. Since earning a BFA in design from the University of Southern California, I’ve worked all over the country designing and assisting. I bedazzled Pee-Wee Herman, crafted an entire show of paper, created backyard wrestler costumes, designed a chicken Elvis and bought a lot of socks. The shows I’ve costume-designed at SCR are Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Last year, I designed costumes for SCR Summer Player’s Into the Woods.

K​aryn D. Lawrence (Lighting Design) I am a theatrical lighting designer, which means I love to paint with light! I fell in love with lighting design while studying acting at UC Irvine. From magical twinkle lights to flashy rock ’n’ roll strobes, I have fun making pretty pictures on stage. I have designed numerous plays and events including SCR’s Theatre for Young Audiences productions of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, The Light Princess, A Year with Frog and Toad and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, as well as Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Annie and Seussical for SCR’s Theatre Conservatory. One of my favorite designs each year is lighting the haunted mazes for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights! When I’m not playing with lights, I’m riding my horse in the mountains near my home in Los Angeles.

Ears Up Sound Design (Sound Design) Hi, we're Matt Caspary and Mark Glenn. We’re great friends who love to work together as a team. We met in graduate school at UC Irvine, down the road from SCR. We love making fun sounds and music that tell stories for people all around the country and the world! We have a sound playground in Los Angeles that we call the “Sonodeck”—it’s our laboratory where we create all kinds of sounds and music for theatre, theme parks and museums. You may have heard some of our sounds right here at South Coast Repertory for the Theatre Conservatory’s Junior Players show. Just last year, Mark created the sound for Pinocchio! We are thrilled to be working together again with this brilliant team of friends to tell you the story of Junie B. Jones!

Talia Krispel (Stage Manager) I am a New York-based stage manager. I grew up in Southern California and started seeing theatre at the age of 5 and was in my first production at age 9. One of my favorite roles was being Milky White (a cow!) in a production of Into the Woods. I went to the University of the Pacific as an actor. Shortly after I graduated college, I found my true calling as a stage manager on a Theatre for Young Audiences production of Sarah, Plain and Tall in New York City. My last young audiences production was SCR’s Pinocchio! Working backstage is so much fun—we’re like ninjas! I have been stage managing professionally for 15 years. When I’m not stage managing, I am often child-wrangling at theatres on- and off-Broadway. For Mychal and Dad. taliakrispel.com

The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Jasmine St. Clair, Gio Munguia, Nicole Erb, Joseph Abrego and Rosemary Brownlow in ​"Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Ann Noble, Gio Munguia, Jasmine St. Clair, Rosemary Brownlow, Nicole Erb, Jospeh Abrego and Paul Culos in ​"Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook." Photo by ​Tania Thompson.
Jasmine St. Clair, Nicole Erb and Rosemary Brownlow in ​"Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
​The cast of ​"Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Rosemary Brownlow in ​"Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
From the Blog
Barbara ParkAn Interview with Junie B. Jones Author Barbara Park
Learn more about the late author Barbara Park, creator of Junie B. Jones, in this interview excerpt originally published in Time Magazine.
Junie B. Jones is Perfectly ImperfectPerfectly Imperfect
Dive into Junie B. Jones’ world in this article by dramaturg Andy Knight.
The Cast of Junie B Jones if Not a CrookMeet the Cast: Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook
Most of the Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook actors are making their SCR debut with this show. In this article, they spill the beans on their own time in kindergarten and more.
An Excerpt from Junie B Jones is Not a CrookShe’s Got Spunk—Read an Excerpt from Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook
Let your heart get captured by Junie B.’s spunk in this excerpt from Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook. In it, Junie B. goes to the Principal’s office to look for her furry mittens in the Lost and Found.
Beth Lopes InterviewMeet Beth Lopes, Director of Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook
The world’s funniest grade school know-it-all is back in a play based on the popular book series by Barbara Park. Beth Lopes makes her SCR directing debut when she brings this hilarious and spirited character to life.

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