Studio 3 Schoolhouse Rock Live!By Laura & Mike Clark • Nov 2nd, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA
Through November 26th
$12/$8 Children under 12
Reviewed October 29th, 2011
Schoolhouse Rock Live! are songs (noun) set to music (noun). The upbeat (adjective) songs (noun) creatively (adverb) teach children (noun) to learn (verb) in a fun (adjective) setting. Wow! (interjection) that’s hard (adjective) work (noun)!
Saturday morning’s performance featured seven performers who through music and dance taught a few basic grammar, math and social studies topics. And they definitely showed that knowledge taught with creativity, lights, sounds, and music can be fun.
We attended the inaugural performance at the theater at the former Lorton Reformatory, a prison originally built for the District of Columbia, in Lorton, Virginia. The facility is now operated as The Workhouse Arts Center, as a project of the Lorton Arts Foundation. The theater itself was small, and the Workhouse Arts Center will continue to tweak and learn how to use the space effectively.
Schoolhouse Rock Live! was an excellent choice for the space, and for the newly formed group, Studio 3 Theatre for Young Audiences. A very simple set, designed by Paul Tompros, was featured, made up of colorful cubes and a blackboard, with the cast carrying props onstage from the narrow wings or getting them out of the cubes. The blocks could be arranged in all kinds of patterns.
The small audience was receptive to the songs, such as “Just a Bill,” “Interplanet Janet,” (Pluto was still mentioned, but the lyrics were updated for Pluto’s new status) and “A Noun Is A Person, Place Or Thing.” The ensemble cast all seemed to really enjoy themselves. A few of the quick-paced songs were a little hard to understand if you weren’t familiar with them. A few songs, such as “Sufferin’ Till Suffrage,” dealt with concepts that were a bit abstract and may have been confusing to the younger audience members. “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” was well performed, with great choreography and strong singing, but without the bright colors and fast cartoon changes may not have been as clear a concept as seeing it on TV. All of the actors were very engaging and upbeat.
Schoolhouse Rock Live! was a family friendly performance for everyone that will make learning fun. We are looking forward to see how the Workhouse Arts Center uses the space in the future. Darn, that’s the end!
Welcome to Studio 3 and our inaugural production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! This production marks a milestone for the Workhouse Arts Center. Finally theatre has a home here after planning for several long years. It is a personal milestone for me as well. As an actor, I have always felt that performing for children is one of the most rewarding and challenging things we do as performers. It is also a genre that does not have a lot of venues dedicated to professional performances just for children. To be able, as a director, to bring the thought and creative exploration for them is more than exciting. Choosing Schoolhouse Rock as our first show was an easy decision. It says all the things about who we are in one show. It is a fun, fast paced show that appeals to all ages, parents included, and you might even learn a little something without even knowing it. So take a ride with us; sing, dance, laugh!
Photos provided by Studio 3
- Teacher: Anna Jackson
- Rebecca Lynn Cznadel
- Julia Sowers
- Anthony Williams
- Calvin Register, Jr.
- Shannon Kingett
- Chris Galindo
- Harrison Lee: Male Swing
- Director: Caren Hearne
- Music Director: Artur Lockamy
- Choreographer: Kevin Laughon
- Set Construction: Paul Tompros
- Lighting Designer: Joseph Wallen
- Sound Board Operator: Alex Aucion
- Stage Manager: Kevin Laughon
- Assistant Stage Manager: Katie Cairns*
- Crew: Molly Kaufman*
- Program Designer: Calvin Register, Jr.
- “Closing Capitol” Painting by Mary Gallagher-Stout
- *Spot-LYTE Apprentice
Disclaimer: Studio 3 provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7309.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.