Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Port Tobacco Players Schoolhouse Rock Live!

By • Mar 22nd, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Port Tobacco Players: (Info) (Web)
Port Tobacco Players Theatre, La Plata, MD
Through April 14th
1:40, with intermission
$17/$14 Seniors, Youth, Military
Reviewed March 18th, 2013

Schoolhouse Rock Live! brought back the good old days of Saturday morning cartoons, with a slight dose of education, but we didn’t know that then, the cartoons were just fun. We found ourselves remembering “Conjunction Junction,” “Just a Bill,” and “Interplanet Janet” as well as the multiplication tables. Some of the songs may have been new (such as “Do The Circulation” and “A Victim of Gravity”), but the old standbys were all there. The live orchestra also kept things moving throughout the evening.

The basic storyline is a first time teacher is getting ready for his first class. Then different aspects of himself arrive to help build his confidence. The six primary actors (Zach Ball, Brian Merritt, John W. Kirby, AnnaBelle Lowe, Kaitlin Harbin, and Rebecca Raymond) kept the energy up as they danced, created, and explained the great moments in history. All six had strong voices and used big expressions to get their point across. Since there were so many songs, they cleverly kept water bottles to use between songs and their one liners. If not there may have been a new song written about “Dehydration.” The troupe of six used creative choreography by Brooke L. Howells that kept the six actors and ten-member chorus constantly on the move. The Kids Chorus also kept the smiles big and the costumes by the cast and parents colorful as they danced, sang and brought out many of the props used for the show.

Director and Set Designer Amy Wathen Cooksey and John Merritt used the large space of the Port Tobacco stage to create a bedroom set full of colors, pictures, paintings that are just as eye-catching as the action happening on stage. Schoolhouse Rock Live! is a great show, well performed that brings back memories for the kids of the 70’s, and excitement for the next generation of learners that learning can be fun.

Director’s Notes

Schoolhouse Rock Live! is a little campy, a wee bit corny, kinda patriotic, but definitely A LOT of fun! This show takes me back to Saturday mornings – fighting with my brothers and sisters – trying to find something we’d all like on one of the four television channels available (4, 7, 9, 20 – you remember that, I know you do!) One thing we all could agree on was a snippet of Schoolhouse Rock. I’ve enjoyed my trip down memory lane and I hope that our production will entertain and up;ift the spirits of all who come to see it. Feel free to dance in your seat and I apologize in advance because you will not be able to get these songs out of your head!!!

– Amy Wathen Cooksey, Director

Photo Gallery

Photo 1 Photo 2
Photo 3 Photo 4
Photo 5

Photos by Michael Clark


  • Tom: Zach Ball
  • George: Brian Merritt
  • Joe: John W. Kirby
  • Dori: AnnaBelle Lowe
  • Shulie: Kaitlin Harbin
  • Dina: Rebecca Raymond
  • Kids Chorus: Garrett Cooksey, Hayden Edwards, Wyatt Edwards, Emma Lisa Foraci, Chloe Lateulere, Trent McConnell, Isabella Pendleton, Madison V. Smith, Isabella Valasco, Cierra Nichole Wilson

The Orchestra

  • Conductor: David C. Monk
  • Flute/Clarinet/Alto Sax/Train Whistle: Cheri Monk
  • Flute/Clarinet/Alto Sax: Ashley Sweeney
  • Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Baritone Sax: Michelle Bast
  • Trumpet: Bill Brumberg, Nathan Krevey
  • Trombone: Ridge Gilley
  • Keyboard: William V. Derr, Cheryl Reckeweg
  • Bass: Dave Bayles
  • Percussion: Billy Klein

Production Staff

  • Producers: Richard A. Pitonyak, Cheryl M. Reckeweg
  • Director: Amy Wathen Cooksey
  • Assistant Director: Keith Linville
  • Music Director: David C. Monk
  • Choreographer: Brooke L. Howells
  • Stage Manager: Tessa N. Silvestro
  • Stage Crew: Cori Eisele, Hannah Gilley
  • Set Design: Amy Wathen Cooksey, John Merritt
  • Set Construction Lead: John Merritt, Jeff Merritt
  • Set Construction Crew: Randy Davis, Brian Edwards, Rhonda Edwards, Mike Merritt, Ryan Mudd, Tessa N. Silvestro
  • Scenic Painting/Set Painting Lead: Tessa N. Silvestro
  • Set Painting Crew: Brian Edwards, Elora Edwards, Hayden Edwards, Rhonda Edwards, Wyatt Edwards, Mike Merritt
  • Set Decoration: Amy Wathen Cooksey, Tessa N. Silvestro
  • Properties: Erin Hoffman, Joe Stine
  • Light Design: Leslie Wanko
  • Light Operator: Laurie Mudd
  • Sound Design: Dave Bayles
  • Sound Operator: Will Darby
  • Costume Design: Amy Wathen Cooksey
  • Costume Crew: Cast and Parents
  • Makeup Design: AnnaBelle Lowe
  • Hair Design: Deana Gilley
  • Makeup and Hair Crew: Hannah Gilley, Cast
  • Photography/Head Shots: Sandi Foraci
  • House Manager: Sue Lateulere
  • Reservations: Theresa Pickeral, Richard Reckeweg
  • Program: Cheryl M. Reckeweg
  • Program Printing: Quality Printers, White Plains
  • T-Shirts: Positive Graphics, White Plains

Disclaimer: Port Tobacco Players allowed us to come to a tech week rehearsal.

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