“Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” Kicks-off Stony Batter’s 2019-2020 Season

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Stony Batter Players’ 2019-2020 season begins September 27 with Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Hale Studio Theatre. The musical production is directed by theatre and English faculty member Matt Maurer.

Showtimes are Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, September 29, at 2 p.m., and Saturday, October 19, at 10 a.m. during Family and Alumni Weekend.

Tickets are free and available to the public. To reserve seats, email burginreserv@mercersburg.edu by Friday, September 27. 

The production is the one-act version of the original Schoolhouse Rock Live!, which was originally adapted and produced for the stage by theatre BAM, from the series created by George Newall and Tom Yohe, based on short segments popular during Saturday-morning television from the 1970s through the 1990s.

“We hadn’t done children’s theatre in a few years and talked about doing a traveling show—it was something we could pull off in a short amount of time at the beginning of the year.” Maurer says. “We didn't want to try to travel with it because of logistics, but it was something that we could bring the area elementary students to us.”

This is the second time that Maurer has directed the show; the first time was in the late 1990s during his first teaching job at a public school in Ohio.

“I grew up with it,” Maurer said. “It’s near and dear to my heart and has the nostalgia factor. Anyone you talk to depending on their age has come across one of the songs from Schoolhouse Rock Live! at some point in their life,” Maurer said. 

The show can be cast for a small or large ensemble. “One thing that’s cool about a smaller cast is that everyone gets their own song or a duet,” Maurer says.

The cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. includes Carter Daughtridge ’23, Kaitlyn Dowling ’23, Frances Elwood ’23, Osa Iyoha ’22, Dalila Melkumova ’22, Folake Okunsanya ’22, Chelsea Seaby Bruno ’21, Emma Shuford ’22, and Jesse Zhang ’20.

Lindsay Owen is the show’s music director; Kelly Dowling is the production designer and stage manager; Denise Bennett is the choreographer; Joyce Cui ’22 painted the scene design; Miki Kato ’20 is the assistant lighting designer; and Charlotte Stauffer ’22 is the sound assistant. 

Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. is based on an idea by David McCall. The show was originally conceived and directed by Scott Ferguson; book by Ferguson, Kyle Hall, and George Keating. Music and lyrics are by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, David Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, and Newall and Yohe.