October 31, 2013
Cedar City, UT – During November, the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Playmakers program is taking Schoolhouse Rocks toIron County schools. Through singing and dancing, this juke box musical will introduce students to a number of topics such as grammar, math, science and history. Southern Utah University’s Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education funded this program through the Center for Innovative Education as part of their educational outreach initiative.
A group of 33 talented kids make up the cast and play multiple roles and sing over 14 songs in the 45-minute long show. Festival Education Director, Michael Bahr said, “It’s really great training ground if you’re trying to teach someone how to act, sing and dance as part of a larger ensemble group. No one is the lead. Everyone shares equal responsibility in the show.”
Instead of local schools coming to the Festival, the Festival is going to the schools. It’s a new twist, but part of a larger dream. “My first dream is to take these students out touring in the schools,” said Bahr. “My second dream is that we can tour all year because it provides training for those that are performing and curricular engagement for audiences. We can provide a construct for them to have conversations about the educational material in a high energy and interactive way.”
Popular in the 70s and 80s, Schoolhouse Rocks was originally a series of educational animated short films that would air on Saturday morning. Popular songs include “I’m Just a Bill,” “Conjunction Junction,” “Elbow Room” and “Verb: That’s What’s Happenin’.” These songs are very catchy and have great resonance with a crowd while teaching great lessons.
To learn more about the Festival education programs visit www.bard.org/education/index.html.
Interviews and photo opportunities are available upon request.