2018-09-07 / Arts & Entertainment

Columbia Children’s Theatre opens its new season with Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Contributed by Columbia Children’s Theatre

Cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live! Cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live! Grab a big bowl of cereal and sprawl out on the shag carpet as Columbia Children’s Theatre (CCT) opens its 14th season with Schoolhouse Rock Live! , September 15–23. Show times are Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.

All performances are held at Columbia Children’s Theatre’s performance space on the first level of Richland Mall, 3400 Forest Drive next to Barnes & Noble. Tickets are $10 for children three years of age through adult.

The 7 p.m. performances Saturday evenings will have a special ticket price of $5 for everyone. Advance tickets can be purchased securely online at columbiachildrenstheatre.com. For more information, contact CCT at 803-691-4548.

The production centers around Tom, a nerve-wracked school teacher anxious about his first day of teaching, who tries to relax by watching TV. Various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from the set and show him how to win his students over with imagination and music, through such beloved Schoolhouse Rock songs as “Just a Bill,” “A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing,” and “Conjunction Junction.”

CCT Artistic Director Jerry Stevenson has assembled a group of seasoned area actor/singers to bring the fun and energy of the original cartoons to life. New to CCT (but not to Columbia Theatres), Scott Hull plays the role of the nervous teacher Tom. Cast members representing his personality include CCT favorites Lee O. Smith, Sara Jackson, Sarah Krawcyk, Jordan Harper, Paul Lindley, Baker Morrison, and Courtney Reasoner.

“We are so excited to bring back one of our favorite shows from eight years ago, which is based on material from 45 years ago, and, yes, I remember them,” said Stevenson. “It’s a shame we can’t all wear our pajamas and eat Count Chocula while we watch!”

The original Schoolhouse Rock television series was the brainchild of an advertising executive who noticed his son could remember all the words to popular songs on the radio but could not remember the multiplication tables. He reasoned that if important educational information was coupled with exciting animation and catchy music, children would be able to learn and remember it.

From this simple idea, Schoolhouse Rock was born and quickly adopted by ABC-TV which broadcast the series on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1985. Twenty years, 41 songs, and four Emmy Awards later, those of us who grew up with Multiplication Rock, America Rock, Science Rock, and Grammar Rock can still sing the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and know that “and,” “but,” and “or” all belong in “Conjunction Junction.”

First presented as a theatre piece at Chicago’s Café Voltaire in 1993 by the BAM Theatre Copany, SHR Live quickly became an off-loop cult classic and is regularly performed by school groups, community theatres, and professional companies around the world.

From children just discovering the TV series to “Generation X-ers” seeking a taste of nostalgia, audiences of all ages will delight in this surefire entertainment that’s simply good, clean—and educational—fun.

Columbia Children’s Theatre is a professional resident not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing quality live theatre experiences for families and young audiences, and is supported in part by the City of Forest Acres and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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