Rocking the Schoolhouse

By Beacon Staff

Starting Friday night, kids plan on rocking the schoolhouse when Whitefish Theatre Company presents their annual kids musical. In a take off of the Emmy Award winning 1970s educational cartoon, kids do a hip romp through school subjects, singing about math, grammar, history, and biology.

In the last rehearsal before opening night, 31 antsy cast members walk through the finale for School House Rock Live! Junior. They take their places as Director April Dawn Vogel adjusts the look of the scene. Four boys on spotlights practice focusing beams on the cast, and the actors learn to bow before hitting the dressing rooms to put on costumes for the full show—a preview for families.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Abigail Blake runs here and there. As the assistant to the director, Blake has her hands full. She works in the sound booth and helps with hair, costumes, and make up. But most important, she’s the one who lets the cast and crew know how many minutes remain until curtain time. “The hardest thing is telling everyone to listen,” she says.

As Blake scurries off to locate an actor, each cast member rotates through
hair dressers, make up artists, and microphone assistants. Faces contort as the hair spray comes out, and mouths mime “ouch” when ponytails get pulled too tight. Many kids still hum the finale song “Interjections.”

The music is catchy—hence the attraction for the kids. While some of the first time actors may be nervous about the opening, Blake says that she is looking forward to it. “We’ve worked so hard, and we’re really excited,” she says. The buzz is downright palpable.

Catch School House Rock Live! Junior May 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and May 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. and May 11 and 18 at 4 p.m. Tickets for evening reserved seating performances are $14 for adults and $10 for seniors and students; general admission matinees are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for students. Call 862-5371 for tickets.

Photos: James Early gets his microphone taped on, and Charlotte Mack gets a headdress. –Becky Lomax, for the Beacon

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