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Menchville’s “Schoolhouse Rock”- A Colorful Blast from the Past

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Members of the ensemble onstage during "Interjections!"

Laura Madler, Staff Writer

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The Menchville Players debuted this year’s musical, Schoolhouse Rock, on Thursday, April 27th, to great success. The Players put on four performances of the show, as well as a day performance for local elementary schools, all of which were well received by the Menchville community.

The musical is based on the music of the popular educational television series of the 70s and 80s, Schoolhouse Rock. The television series does not air anymore, but the catchy songs about school subjects are still well known to children of all decades. Schoolhouse Rock the Musical pulled together 11 of the most popular tunes, including “Just a Bill,” “Conjunction Junction,” and “Interplanet Janet,” that took the audience back to their elementary school days.

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Brook Lawler dances with Elvis (Ryan Schoenberg) during “Do the Circulation.”

Schoolhouse Rock featured a cast of 28 Menchville students. The only main character was a new school teacher named Tiffany, who was frantically trying to prepare for her first day of teaching. The role was played Samira Williams, who, despite not having a part in any songs until the final number, entertained the audience with her humorous antics and nerves about teaching her students. In order to perform so many iconic songs, the ensemble cast had a large cast of 27. The members of the ensemble chorus sang and danced to the tunes in colorful, constantly-changing costumes. For certain songs, solos were performed by members of the cast. During “Do the Circulation,” Ryan Schoenberg donned an Elvis costume and dance moves to lead the upbeat number, which was received with wild applause by the audience.

One of the things people enjoyed most about the musical was its colorful sense of whimsy. The creative set featured large rainbow-painted backgrounds covered with glitter and various letters and numbers- fitting with the school theme. From the ceiling hung stars and little disco balls that sparkled in the stage lights. The final song, “Interjections,” was perhaps the most exciting, as the whole cast came onstage in their colorful costumes and a hidden cannon shot confetti over the stage. This display was made possible by the dedicated light, sound, and tech crews, and stage managers Taelor Janney and Lauren Schaffer.

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(Left to right) Top Row: Brooke Roberts, Lina Daniels, Alicia Hurst, Emma Janney. Bottom Row: Brook Lawler, Sarah Smith-Nolker, Ashlyn Herring, Ashlyn Cooper, Olivia Kohlman

The cast of the musical put in months of hard work to create the performance. Rehearsals started in March and were every day Monday-Friday after school until 5:30. The hours of practice bonded the members of the cast as they worked together towards putting on a good performance. Said sophomore Emma Janney, a member of the Schoolhouse Rock ensemble and first time Menchville Player, “It taught me to work really hard, and that if you work hard, you can have a good outcome in the end. It will pay off and people will tell you they like it.”

The Menchville Players will not have any more performances this year, but will start preparing their next play in the fall.

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Samira Williams introduces the audience to her character, frantic new teacher Tiffany Mizer.

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Sophia Bauman, Ashley Morgan, Hannah Knick, and Mashayla Fox sing “A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing.”

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The opening song, “A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing,” features a ferry boat captain and the Statue of Liberty.

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Ryan Schoenberg, Ashlyn Herring, Arik Roan-Christensen, and Ashlyn Cooper perform a magical rendition of “Three is a Magic Number.”

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Alicia Hurst, Emma Janney, and Lina Daniels hold up multiples of three during the second song of the show.

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Senior Noah Nipp plays bass along with the Schoolhouse Rock band.

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Pete Mercier talks to members of the stage band during intermission.

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(Left to right) Top row: Brooke Roberts, Hannah Knick, Arik Rhone-Christensen, Alicia Hurst, Emma Janney, Elena Amundson. Bottom Row: Parker Bigley

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Wow! Hailee Ward and Samira Williams start the final musical number, “Interjections!”

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Members of the ensemble onstage during “Interjections!”

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