Schoolhouse Rock Live !!
book by Scott Feguson, George
Keating and Kyle Hall
music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens,
Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall and Tom Yohe
July 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16,
21, 22, 23, 2006
Sharon Lynn Wilson Center
In the dark
we hear the sound of an alarm clock ringing and we are introduced to
Tom, a young teacher preparing for his first day of school, standing in
his bathrobe. As he rehearses what he will say, he hears the school bell
and the sound of the children settling into their desks. One at a time
we see Tom’s “other sides”, as they enter speaking his thoughts. We are
introduced to George, the romantic side; Dori, the goofy side; Schulie,
the sweet side; Joe, the cool side; and Dina, the mature side. They tell
us his thoughts that range from “I love children” to “these monsters are
going to eat me alive”. Tom decides to try and watch some television
while he settles down and collects his thoughts. When he turns on the TV
we hear the theme to Schoolhouse Rock. The characters begin to sing one
of the familiar songs that Tom instantly recognizes. Tom is swept
up in the excitement and begins to sing and dance with the others. As it
ends, he is startled to find himself standing with a group of strange
people that he does not recognize. They explain to him that they
represent all of the thoughts in his head. They represent everywhere he
has been, everyone he has known, and every person that he has ever met.
They explain that they are there to help Tom remember that teaching is
as easy as 1,2,3.
thinking that all of this is a hallucination, he continues to try and
get rid of the others. They explain to him that he needs them; and
“necessity is the mother of invention”. Tom is asked to remember why he
wanted to be a teacher in the first place. He remembers that his
grandmother and her mother before that were teachers. Teaching was one
of the few opportunities for women to work at that time. He also
remembers working at his grandfather’s hardware store as a child and
sneaking away on Saturday mornings to watch Schoolhouse Rock. Caught up
in the moment, Tom remembers one very important thing; that learning
should be fun.
When the gang
becomes exhausted from all of the excitement, Tom encourages them to
stay active and to keep their blood moving. Joe and Shulie enter in
their leather jacket and poodle skirt and dance to George’s rock and
roll physics lesson.
Tom goes over
all of the parts of speech that they have covered (adjectives, adverbs,
pronouns, nouns, and verbs) and wonders what they have left out.
Conjunctions! – and where do they come together – at the junction!. Joe
reminds Tom that English will not be the first language of many of his
students. School will be a very important transition to America for many
of his students, just as America went through an important transition as
it struggled to expand and continues to expand. Hey! Wow! The thought of
going to the moon has the whole group energized, and what kind of word
bets expresses that energy – “Interjections”. Tom then thanks them all
for helping him remember that learning can be fun.