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School of Rock?

  • 1.  School of Rock?

    Posted 02-10-2020 20:13
    I'm wondering if any high schools have done School of Rock? If so, did it go well with cast high school students as both the kids and the adults? I know we've all done it in other shows, but does the closeness in age still work with the band/teachers in this show?


    Paul Hill
    Drama Director/Teacher
    Puyallup WA

  • 2.  RE: School of Rock?

    Posted 02-11-2020 07:18
    Edited by Josh Ruben 02-11-2020 07:21
    It works! We did it two years ago.  Kids loved it.  We had two full rock bands: One on stage (the students) and a group in the pit made up of a 2nd group of my high schoolers that also doubled as the "rival" rock band for the finale. Using wireless pickups, mics, and ear monitors, we were able to make it work.  Cost my entire budget, but we were able to make it back in ticket sales. Oh, some of the "grownups" in the audience took umbrage with the line "Let us pray to the Rock Gods.", but that's another rant.

    The whole "closeness in age" issue can be a challenge.  But there are several old adages that apply, including: "beggars can't be choosers," and "you can only cast what auditions." So don't sweat it. Cast who sings/acts/looks the most appropriate for the role(s) and you'll be fine.  The audience will either choose to go along with you or they won't.  And if they won't - does it really even matter who you cast?  We're in high school!  We got what we got.

    So much of these issues can be handled by (a) casting older, taller, more mature student-actors in the adult roles and (b) costuming/hair.  In my show, just having some of the female "teachers" put their hair in a professional-looking "up do" immediately made them look older than the "students."  We also dressed the adults in blacks and dark colors and the kids in brighter reds, whites (their school uniforms), and pastels.  This helped with the illusion (for most, anyway).

    Regardless, here is a tip to use in rehearsals when dealing with the "adult" characters: Focus early on coaching/directing them to work physically; to carry themselves and move with the attitude of an older person.  Improv can be a great training ground for this.  Encourage them to be over-the-top (cartoon-like stereotypes) in early rehearsals.  As you progress, tone down the hyperbole as necessary (it is a comedy, after all).  By working physically, it is possible for a 15 year-old actor to come across as the "adult" in a scene with an actor who is 18 years-old.

    Again, you just have to trust yourself and the process. Will there be some in the audience that won't play along? Of course.  Just make sure you get their ticket money.  Rock on!!!

    Josh Ruben, M. Ed.
    Fine Arts Head
    Northwest Whitfield HS (dba, The Northwest Theatre Co.)
    Tunnel Hill, GA

  • 3.  RE: School of Rock?

    Posted 02-11-2020 12:06
    Loved it! 
    You have to have kids who can play instruments live...but it's so worth it. 
    It was a blast! 

    Ms. Hillman
    Director of the CAPA Program/Acting Teacher
    Churchill High School
    Livonia, MI