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The original animated Schoolhouse Rock television series was The brainchild of an advertising executive who noticed his son could remember all the words to popular songs on the radio, but could not remember the multiplication tables He reasoned that ~f important educational information was coupled with exciting animation and catchy music, children would be able 10 learn and remember it.

From this simple idea, Schoolhouse Rock was born as three-minute Cartoon music videos that Literally sang the praises of nouns, counting by fives, and gravity ABC-TV adopted the project and broadcast the series on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1985. Twenty-five years, 41 songs, and tour Emmy Awards later, those of us who grew up with Multiplication Rock, America Rock, Science Rock. and Grammar Pock can sing the Preamble 10 the U.S. Constitution and know that "and"," but" and "or' all belong In Conjunction Junction.

Generation X interest n Schoolhouse Rock stayed strong long after an exercise show featuring Mary Lou Retton bumped The SGIIGS off the air. The cartoons returned to the Saturday morning ABC line-up in 1992 and several new songs hove been added to I he repertoire.

Theatre BAM took Schoolhouse Rock in a new direction In 1990 and developed a stage adaptation of The series - - Schoolhouse Rack Live! which opened in Chicago on August 26, 1993

Theatre BAM's adaptation of Schoolhouse Rock Live! first ran late nights and the basement theatre at Care Voltaire and later moved to prime time and the Body Politic Theatre for a total or more than 300 performances jammed with nostalgic twenty something's, young families, and others Theatre 8AM later learned UP with Move On Productions and took Schoolhouse Rock Live! to New York City in 1995. SRL! opened the first Atlantic Theater and then at the historic Lomb's Theatre for an Off-Broadway run of eleven months. The show returned to Chicago in 1996 and ran for a year at the Victory Gardens Theater and the Theatre Building.

Theatre DAM has always been dedicated to teaching out to school audiences Our abbreviated version of SAL! has been on the road of least eight times a month since 1 YYS. The production's diverse audiences have Included students from the Cabrini Green Tutoring Program, The Sonia Shankman Orthopedic School. and 3,000 high school students at the Illinois High School Theatre Festival at the University of Illinois.

Theatre 8AM has always been dedicated to reaching out to school audiences and on abbreviated version of SRL has been on the road at least eight times a month since 1993. The productions diverse audiences have included students from the Cabrint Green Tutoring Program. the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, and 3,000 high school students at the Illinois High School Theatre Festival at the University of Illinois Illinois

ABC has finally begun to realize the potential of their own cartoon and the Schoolhouse Rock phenomenon is in full force: CD-ROMs a cover album with bands like Blind Melon and Pavement, greeting cards, toys, hats and brand new songs on Saturdays along with the release of re-mastered cartoon videos.

Theatre BAM is thrilled that SRL! Is now also available to other theatre companies and school drama departments through Music Theatre International. Productions for 1997 include a national tour, the Canadian premiere, and even a production in London's West End.

We think we can we think we can.





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Last modified: July 27, 2001