BY KALEY ALLARD
“Getting Educated: Schoolhouse Rock Style”
The Birder Players production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! was a trip back in time; a blast from my past that was both educational and entertaining. Despite being in its inaugural year, the cast and crew put on an amazing tribute to the ever popular Saturday morning cartoon show. With a cast of six professionals and many other children from the Birder Studio of Performing Arts, the show consisted of Schoolhouse Rock classics and favorites. Musical numbers included: Verb: That’s What’s Happening, Unpack Your Adjectives, Just A Bill, Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla (Pronouns), Great American Melting Pot, Interplanet Janet and my personal favorite, Conjunction Junction.
Despite its educational foundation, the show was not without its fair share of laughs. The cast encouraged audience participation which included singing and dancing along. When the characters of Dori, Shulie and Dina performed Sufferin’ Till Suffrage, the tale of women’s work towards equal voting rights, audience members, myself included, were chosen to go on stage and participate in the voting processes. Once the initial shock had passed, it was a great way to interact with the cast and feel as if you were a part of the story.
Sallie Harrigan who portrayed the character of Dori was gracious enough to speak with me following the production, “I love what we do. We are professionally trained actors who are able to introduce kids to live action theatre. The students who attend the Birder Studio of Performing Arts are able to perform with us and gain valuable experience to help them as they pursue their own acting careers.” Harrigan’s commitment to the program are representative of the studios mission to educate, inspire create and achieve.
Proceeds from this event as well as others, are used to fund scholarships for the children attending the Birder Studio of Performing Arts. If you would like more information on the Birder Players or the Birder Studio please visit their website at http://www.birderstudio.org.