Encore Michigan

Farmers Alley Theatre closes 2023-2024 season with “School of Rock”

Show Announcement July 06, 2024

Farmers Alley Theatre is raising the roof off the Festival Playhouse with the high-spirited and exuberant School of Rock. 

Based on the hit movie, School of Rock follows down on his luck, failed rocker Dewey Finn as he tries to earn a bit of extra cash by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of awkward straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out?

Starring David B. Friedman as Dewey and Farmers Alley Theatre favorite and Broadway veteran Hannah Elless as Headmistress Rosalie Mullins, the show features an amazing lineup of talented young performers who rock live on stage every night. With 14 new songs plus all the beloved original songs from the film, School of Rock is a testimony to the transformative power of music.

If the rebellious Dewey is the rocking heart of the show, his students, all played by young West Michigan performers, are its soul. Farmers Alley Theatre welcomes Daniel Schubkegel (Freddy), Asrael Lila McCarthy (Zack), Maggie Martin (Laurie), Ella Sabuda (Katie), Lila Teall (Summer) and Paris Thomas (Tomika) as School of Rock’s core band members and manager. Rounding out the adult cast are Jeff Meyer as Ned Schneebly and Sydney Harrison as Patty Di Marco. 

The musical is directed by Richard Roland, a New York theater veteran known for productions like The Secret GardenBrigadoonForever Plaid, and Chicago

Richard says, “School of Rock is about people finding their individual voices and claiming their true selves. Children and adults alike, through the unconventional interventions of Dewey Finn, are coaxed out of their various confinements of silence and self-doubt, stepping forth into new confident identities no longer held back by fears, insecurities, or social pressures. Everyone has the potential of being a rock star, literally and figuratively, and Dewey is the unwitting Pied Piper who unlocks the potential of those whom he encounters and encourages them to pursue those dreams.”

Managing Artistic Director Jeremy Koch echoes Richard’s sentiments. “We chose School of Rock because its message aligns with our mission as theatre educators: fostering young performers to develop their creativity and expressivity in an environment that allows them to reach into themselves and bring out their excitement to a ready audience.”

Rob Weiner, Farmers Alley Theatre Founder and Executive Director, agrees as well. “Not only is School of Rock fun and fully engaging, it’s the perfect vehicle for promoting the power the arts have to touch lives at any age. The energy the young actors bring to the stage is so vibrant, so alive, that it’s truly a must-see. What a spectacular way to end our season in our home away from home, Festival Playhouse, and to thank our Farmers Alley team and our show and season sponsors, who’ve made this and every 2023-2024 show possible.”

School of Rock runs for only two weeks, from July 17 to July 28, 2024. Tickets start at $45. $10 rush tickets are offered for all performances starting one hour prior to curtain (subject to availability, theatergoers must be present at the box office). Student ticket pricing is $15 for all shows. Preview performance tickets on Wednesday, July 17 are $25. ASL Interpreted Performance on Sunday, July 21 at 2:00pm. Tickets are available for purchase at www.farmersalleytheatre.com or by calling the Box Office at (269) 343-2727. 

Week of 7/15/2024

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