ADA – If you loved to sing or hum to Conjunction Junction or Just a Bill, take a trip down memory lane and relive vintage Saturday morning children’s television programming as the East Central University production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! comes to the Ataloa Theatre stage in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center on Feb. 14-15 at 7:30 p.m.
Schoolhouse Rock was an American programming series of animated musical educational short films that aired during Saturday morning children’s programming on ABC-TV, originally from 1973-85, and later revived with old and new episodes from 1993-99. The topics covered included grammar, science, economics, history, mathematics and civics.
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 listen, learn and remember it.
From this idea, Schoolhouse Rock was born and quickly adopted by ABC.
On Aug. 26, 1993, Theatrebam Chicago’s musical hit, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, opened at Chicago’s Cabaret Voltaire. The show was originally conceived by writer/director Scott Ferguson. It played for eight months to sold-out houses in a record-breaking run in the basement theatre of this eclectic vegetarian restaurant.
Schoolhouse Rock Live! is the story of Tom, a nerve-wracked school teacher who is nervous about his first day of teaching. He tries to relax by watching television when 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 songs as Just a Bill, Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, and Conjunction Junction.
“It’s definitely light on the plot, but heavy on character and play,” said Kurt Edwards, director of the play and assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Performance Studies. “It’s really a musical romp through favorites, kind of like a cabaret show strung together with light dialogue and storyline.”
Kayla Horton, an elementary education major from Moore plays Tara; JamieLee Beuchat, a musical theatre major from Sapulpa plays Dina; Bessie-Mei Soh, a musical theatre major from Stratford plays Dori; Corey Scott, a theatre major from Ada plays George; Keegan Buckaloo, a musical theatre major from Sallisaw, plays Joe; Annette Lorraine Wright, a musical theatre major from Okmulgee, plays Shulie; Kaitlyn Harkey, a psychology major from Broken Bow, plays Kat; Warren Lyon, from Sapulpa, plays Howard; David Spradling, from Marietta, plays Davie; Tyler Soden, from Owasso, plays Tyson; and Bailey Tyler, from Shawnee, is the stage manager.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for senior citizens and non-ECU students. ECU alumni can receive a $1 discount and admission is free to all ECU students, faculty and staff with ECU ID. To purchase tickets go online to tickets.ecok.edu or call 580-559-5751.
For more information on these morning performances, contact Edwards at 580-559-5756.