Williams Co. troupe to show audiences that education rocks


Making the rounds of theaters in the region, School House Rock Live! arrives in Montpelier, Ohio, tomorrow as a production of the Williams County Community Theater.

Based on the Saturday morning cartoon of the 1970s, the show uses music and humor to convey lessons about grammar, math, science, and social studies. In the last year, the popular show has been produced in Toledo, Maumee, and Archbold.

There's a reason for that popularity, according to director Chris Avell.

"Anyone in their late 20s to their 40s will probably remember School House Rock from their childhood," he said. It comprised segments that ran between the regular cartoon shows and featured songs such as "Conjunction Junction" and "The Great American Melting Pot."

Along with the catchy tunes and dances, audiences might even learn something, Avell said.

"Maybe you know the Preamble [to the Constitution] and all about the 19th Amendment, but do you know in what year the Constitution was written? Or who invented the sewing machine? Or who was involved in the Louisiana Purchase? Or what an adverb is?" he asked.

School House Rock Live! will supply the answers, he promised.

Jamy Shaffer portrays Tom, a novice schoolteacher apprehensive about his first day of class. Through the power of imagination, he gets some help from the School House Rockers, who help him understand how to make learning fun.

Portraying the Rockers are Elizabeth Clark, Addee Faulhaber, Maya Gotsatsenko, Courtney Handy, Brittany Myerholtz, Elizabeth Overberg, Mark Pitman, Andrew Raub, Shelley Scantlen, Mary Beth Snider, and Megan Ward.

More than 20 children are also part of the cast.

The Williams County Community Theater presents "School House Rock Live!" tomorrow through Sept. 23 in the playhouse at 501 South East Ave., Montpelier, Ohio. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and

2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $9 for students, and $5 for children 10 and younger. Information: 888-569-9228.

•Fremont Community Theatre opens its 2007-08 season tomorrow with the musical revue A Grand Night for Singing. Originally produced off-Broadway as a nightclub show, the revue features songs from such Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals as Carousel, South Pacific, The Flower Drum Song, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and The King and I.

The Fremont cast comprises Michelle Adams, Mike Amos, Tracy Armentrout, Timothy Bolton, Darla Brown, Tamara Damschroder, Stephen Hayward, Lauren Meyer, and Erin O'Donnell. Mary Jo Foos directs.

"A Grand Night for Singing" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through September in the Fremont Community Theatre, 1551 Dickinson St., Fremont. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Information: 419-332-0695.

•The Country Club, a poignant comedy by Douglas Carter Beane, opens tomorrow in the Encore Theatre in Lima. The play is about Soos, a young woman who returns to her hometown for a visit to heal from her failed marriage.

As one holiday party segues into another, Soos never gets around to moving on with her life. Melissa Wagner plays Soos, Kedryn Carpenter is Pooker, Cindy Lincoln is Froggy, Christopher Butturff plays Bri, Mike Bumbaugh is Zip, Jon Hodges portrays Hutch, and Amber Rowe is Chloe. George Dunster directs.

"The Country Club" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 23 in the Encore Theatre, 991 North Shore Dr. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors. Information: 800-944-1441.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.