Join In!

"Join In!" was a Canadian educational children's television show which aired on TVOntario between 1989 and 1995. It was created and produced by Jed MacKay, who also wrote all of the show's original songs. The first two seasons were directed by Doug Williams. The next four seasons were directed by Wayne Moss. It won the Alliance of Children and Television's Best Pre-school Program Award and was also a finalist three times for the Gemini Award for Best Pre-school Program.

"Join In!" continued TVOntario's leadership through the 1980s in developing educational television shows for children that were plot-centered instead of magazine-style. The show was ground-breaking in a number of ways: it was designed to combat "passive" viewing and to reflect the ethnically diverse world that was rapidly evolving. Although the cast was racially integrated—with two "minority" cast members and one "majority" member—this fact was never mentioned by the characters. Their shared humanity was the implicit focus. Every program had a number of elements woven into the plot line that invited its audience to "Join In!"—in games, songs, puzzles or stories. The cast also broke the "fourth wall", talking to the camera—and thus the audience—as if they were right there on set. The songs broke away from the usual children's format, offering a wide variety of rhythm and styles. The cast also sang live on each show.

The series revolved around three adults named Nikki, Zack, and Jacob, who shared a studio loft together. After the second season, Nikki moved away and was replaced by Kia. In a typical episode, the three would be planning for some kind of play or production—where Nikki would be in charge of music and sound, and Jacob and Zack would be in charge of the set, lighting, costumes, and so on—when some form of problem would arise. The show also featured a toy wizard named Winston, his wife Emmelina, and their dog Abra, who lived in a toy house in the loft. The show was filmed in Toronto, Ontario.

Cast

*Zack - Marty Brier
*Nikki - Pamela Sinha
*Jacob - Rudy Webb
*Kia - Mishu Vellani
*Winston (voice) - Rob Cowan
*Emmelina (voice) - Maxine Miller
*Abra (voice) - Billy Van

Crew

*Producer - Jed MacKay
*Directors - Wayne Moss, Doug Williams
*Composer - Jed MacKay
*Music Director - Bruce Ley

References

[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0456101/ "Join In!"] on the Internet Movie Database


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