Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?” Everyone’s favorite Saturday morning cartoon is brought to life onstage in Southeastern Illinois College Theatre’s production of Schoolhouse Rock Live!
“Even if you’ve never seen the classic Schoolhouse Rock television series, you’ll leave this show feeling like you’ve learned a little something new,” said Callie Smith, sophomore at SIC and member of the cast.
Schoolhouse Rock Live! follows Tom (John Suh of Zeigler), a nerve-wracked school teacher who is nervous about his first day of teaching. He tries to relax by watching TV, 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 songs such as “Just a Bill,” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly,” and “Conjunction Junction.”
“This show is more than just fun, it’s educational with lots of songs and subjects that people will remember from the cartoon,” says director Gareth York. “For those who have never been exposed to these songs and characters, I look forward to seeing their reactions. For those who do remember, I invite them to join us on a trip down memory lane.”
Additional roles include Tom’s romantic side: Jordan Richey (Benton) and Bryce Wiley (West Frankfort); Tom’s goofy side: Kyli Grathler (Carrier Mills) and Callie Smith (Eldorado); Tom’s sweet side: Ethan Brinkley (Carmi), Alex McRoy (Harrisburg) and Donovyn Valdez (Carrier Mills); Tom’s cool side: Braden Cummins (Carrier Mills) and Brady Hodson (Harrisburg); and Tom’s mature side: Carson Brimm (Harrisburg), Heidi Willis-Smith (Harrisburg) and Katherine Woodard (Carmi).
Aaron McRoy of Harrisburg will be the stage manager for Schoolhouse Rock Live! The set design is the product of the cast and members of Allan Kimball’s scene design class at SIC. Costumes will be designed by Janet Hart and Gareth York, and John Hart of Hart’s Music in Harrisburg will once again provide the sound equipment.
The cast will be performing for area schools at SIC throughout the week, and includes a new component this year thanks to a cross-listed class that combines education and theatre. Students in this class are putting together teaching packet materials based on the show to give to each of the teachers whose classes attend the performances. Materials include a crossword puzzle, word search, and a variety of interactive activities for the classroom or home.
According to instructor Allan Kimball, “Many of the students are education majors learning to bring theatre aspects to the classroom to help enrich their future students’ learning experience.”
Schoolhouse Rock Live will be open to the public for one night only on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the George T. Dennis Visual & Performing Arts Center at SIC. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, staff, and seniors. Reserved seating is available and tickets may be purchased in advance by calling 618-252-5400, ext. 2486 or 2487 or 618-841-4649 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Remaining tickets may be purchased at the door.