It’s exhilarating…it’s engaging…it’s enchanting, energizing, exciting, and yes, it’s even educational! “SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!, JR” is The Dreamland’s fourth annual children’s theater winter production, and the show features more than 50 of Nantucket’s young actors ranging in age from 6 to 14. The children and the production team led by director Casey Bokus, under the leadership of The Dreamland’s incoming director of children’s education Laura Gallagher Byrne, have been hard at work to produce a spectacular and unforgettable show for the Nantucket audience.
The play will open with a 5:30 pm performance on the evening of Friday, February 10, and will be followed up by a series of evening and matinee performances through Sunday, February 19. For a full list of performances, please visit The Dreamland’s website at www.nantucketdreamland.org.
Open to friends, family and the entire Nantucket community, the cast and crew have been in rehearsals since December in an effort to provide the best experience possible for the audience. The staged version of “SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!, JR” is an adaptation of the classic 1970s and 80s animated television series of the same name, that covered educational topics like grammar, science, economics, history, mathematics and civics.
On the eve of his first day of teaching, Tom’s fears and insecurities about “getting through” to his students result in a fit of insomnia. He (played by Eli Holland) gives in to the condition, grabs the remote and finds “Schoolhouse Rock” of his childhood come to life. A host of quirky, characters emerge from the television, the fun begins, and lessons are revealed through an enlivening series of songs and dances. Dori (Ella Hofford), George (Andrew Daume), Shulie (Aille Sweeney), Joe (Colin Christie), Dina (Haley Ray), and the incredibly talented ensemble, guide Tom and the audience through an incomparable education, covering an array of subjects. Language and grammar are tackled in four lively numbers, including the and memorable favorite, “Conjunction Junction”; math is presented in “Three is a Magic Number”; the lessons on history and civics include “The Preamble” among other clever numbers; “Do The Circulation” introduces us to biology, and the heavens are inimitably presented by “Inter-planet Janet”. By the end of the show, Tom’s confidence and joy for teaching is renewed, and the intellects and imaginations of the audience are enriched.
Caleb Beidelman serves as stage director for the production; costumes are designed and produced by Karen Wheeler; the technical team is led by Danny Harrison, The Dreamland’s technical supervisor; Carolyn Butler serves as the music director; Colleen Whelden is the junior mentor coordinator, and this team is assisted by a talented and devoted group of Nantucket student interns and mentors.
Tickets are $12 for all performances and are available at The Dreamland Box Office, or online at www.nantucketdreamland.org. It is recommended that patrons purchase their tickets early, as The Dreamland expects capacity crowds at several of the performances.