Shirland School music department to present Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr.


The cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr. at Shirland School spent numerous hours at rehearsals to bring this production to life this Thursday evening, April 20 at 7 p.m.

Shirland School's music department is presenting Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr. on Thursday evening, April 20, with one showtime of 7 p.m. The school is located at 8020 North Street, Shirland, Illinois 61079.

Memories of the original 1970's Emmy winning Saturday morning cartoon will come to life on the Shirland School stage under the direction of Ms. Dawn Heavilin. Join forty-one cast members as they bring this fast paced musical to life.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. is based on the TV show created by George Newall and Tom Yohe, which came from an idea by ad executive David McCall. It was adapted and produced for the stage by Theatre BAM and conceived and directed by Scott Ferguson, who also wrote the book with Kyle Hall and George Keating.

Music and lyrics were written by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, David Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall and Tom Yohe.

Songs such as Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get your Adverbs Here, Three is a Magic Number, Unpack Your Adjectives, Just A Bill, Conjunction Junction, Interplanet Janet, plus other favorites are certain to create smiles and memories of the original television show.

While watching the show on ABC, children and adults had the opportunity to learn important lessons and to gain information through a brilliant style of musical storytelling.

The story behind Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr. revolves around Tom Mizer, portrayed by Jordan Nelson, a new teacher who wakes up and prepares for his first day of school by practicing what he is going to say to his students.

Tom struggles to find the right way to introduce himself and the ensemble enters speaking Tom's anxious inner thoughts.

Tom decides he needs to relax and turns on the television where he discovers that Schoolhouse Rock is on. He is shocked when the characters on TV start talking directly to him, and various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from the set, showing him how to win his students over via imagination and music.

On the flip side, Tom's attempts to scare them away fail, George (Jordan Paul) explains that the characters are just ideas in Tom's head.

Dina (Grace Lerch) points out to Tom that the audience is also part of his psyche.

Shulie (Anna Brust) and the rest of the group pull him into the world of Schoolhouse Rock by explaining, and acting out, the world of nouns. “Nouns are a Person, Place, or a Thing.”

Tom still remains confused and anxious, but George reassures him that's why the group is there, to help him prepare for his first day.

Action moves forward as each character sings a song to demonstrate how easy teaching can be. Tom confesses how much he had forgotten about Schoolhouse Rock.

Shulie reminds him that the TV show had helped him pass a Constitution exam when he was younger. Tom refers to the song, “The Preamble.” This prompts Tom to have fun with his teaching in such a unique manner. Keeping in mind that many of his students may use English as a second language, he introduces the “Great American Melting Pot.”

More songs capture attention as they continue to educate as the story continues to unfold.

Behind the scenes in Shirland are assistant directors Mrs. Heather Dobnick, Mrs. Ciara Fischer-James, and student director Cleo Meyers. The sound engineer is Mr. Jamie Wilson. Scenery, props and artwork were created by Mrs. James and the Shirland Art Class, Mrs. Dobnick and Mrs. Hannah Pals, who also handled technology.

Student choreographer Aleena Lange is arranging the coordination of dance numbers, certain to grab the audience's attention. Stage crew, lights and curtain are being set up by Aubrey Carlson and Xander Way.

Makeup is being applied by Mrs. Jacqueline Serns, with alumni Sophi Stout and Barbara Eberley.

Making this show extra special: Shirland School alumni are taking part in backstage action, such as Xander Way who portrayed Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man Jr.

There is no cost to enjoy this show but donations would be greatly appreciated! All are invited to relive memories of their childhood or for the newer generations to be introduced to a classic.

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