About 6 months ago I took my son to an audition for School of Rock – The Musical. On the way to auditions, my sister in law tells me that “I have to audition too.”
A few hours later I got a phone call where the director asked if they could speak to my son to which he was offered the principle role of Lawrence Turner (keyboardist in “the band!”) He smiled so big and accepted the part. Then I was handed the phone back and offered the spot of Doug / Mr. Green. I accepted. My brother-in-law was cast as the lead of Dewey Finn. My sister-in-law the assistant principal, my nephew as the lead guitarist and my other nephew as a student in the class.
What started as a fun hobby turned into this very demanding extra-curricular. I don’t think there was a week of less than 10 hours of rehearsals leading up to tech week which only doubled.
I noticed that my smaller parts wouldn’t warrant as much demand or effort as I could offer. So I started bringing my camera to rehearsals and filming behind the scenes when I was waiting for a scene to start and offered to create some videos to help promote the show. But honestly more for my own personal joy of documenting things and being up close to something special as its happening.
I fell more and more in love with the cast and crew and the folks involved became like family.
It’s important to note that throughout this time, my wife sacrificed so much for me to be gone so much during the week for such a long period of time. Nearly 6 months of intense sacrifice.
May 2022 hits and our 4 performances went off amazingly well. Nearly selling out each show.
About a month went by and I was going to grab a cigar and a scotch with another amazing cast member. That day I received a text from some of the leaders of the theater company saying that they had some leads on a potential venue and encore performance of the show. We ended up meeting that night and then again that weekend at the venue in question.
Could we do it one more time? Should we? Will people come? Will the venue be large enough? Will the cast be as excited for a second run?
We proceeded with what I would label as a coin toss.
Last night I left the venue knowing that not only did we make the right decision, that there were what I can only warrant as ‘bigger than just us’ moments. Spiritual moments. Lives changed. Vision refocused. I promise you I am not offering superlative words. If anything, I am underemphasizing the magic that we all experienced. Not just us performing, but the show goers too. We were a part of something bigger than just ourselves.
I can sleep knowing that it was worth the extra hours and the encore.
I know I owe it all to my wife and her support and sacrifice to make it all even accessible. Thank you, love.
And thank you to Cast, Crew and Pit for everything. – I love you so much.
The Cast and Crew:
Dewey Finn – Joel Sprenger
Rosalie Mullins – Debbie Maneke
Ned Schneebly – Vince Ojeda
Patty Di Marco – Christy Luster
Zack Mooneyham – Leland Sprenger
Freddie Hamilton – Zackery Coe
Katie West – Dara Shininger
Lawrence Turner – Cash Pye
Summer Hathaway – Kya Wonders
Tomika Williams – Laila Hutchison
Marcy Sullivan – Maeve Durkee
Shonelle Andrews – Maggie Hertz
Celine Lloyd – Laurel Bleier
Billy Sandford – Evan Totsch
Sophie Weber – Layla Williams
Madison Barber – Penelope (Poppy) Bauer
Mason Ward – Oliver Sprenger
James Drake – Spencer Kimmey
Mrs Sheinkopf – Elise Sprenger
Mr Noble – Justin Brooks
Mr Green – Owen Pye
Gabe Brown – Andrew Totsch
Mr Sanders – Hal Morgan
Ms Gordon – Donna Carli
Ms Wagner – Shameem Coppotelli
Ms Bingham – Megan Rauh
Mr Janes – Paul Durkee
Ms Macapugay – Alie Morgan
Mrs Mooneyham – Alie Morgan
Mrs Hathaway – Jennifer Hitt
Mr Spencer – Paul Durkee
Mr Williams – Carson Robinson
Mr Sandford – Hal Morgan
Mrs Turner – Ali Cummins
Mrs Hamilton – Shameem Coppotelli
Jeff Sanderson – Jeffrey Yapp-Ellis
Theo (No Vacancy) – Owen Pye
Bob (No Vacancy) – Justin Brooks
Tiny (No Vacancy) – Steve Shininger
Snake (No Vacancy) – Steele Clement
Stanley Byers – Johnny Reynolds
Police Officer – Johnny Reynolds
Bartender – Donna Carli
Director – Carol Hodson
Music Director – Steve Shininger
Assistant Director – Jeffrey Yapp-Ellis
Choreographer – Jeffrey Yapp-Ellis
Assistant Director – Vince Ojeda
Asst. Choreographer – Jennifer Hitt
Stage Manager – Jennifer Hitt
Stage Manager – Christy Luster
Costumes – Carol Hodson
Dance Captain – Megan Rauh
Props – Sharon Laswell
Set Design – Christy Luster, Paul Durkee, Leon White
Set Crew – Christy Luster ,
Paul Durkee, Leon White,
Doug Schultz, Andrew Totsch
Lighting – Diane Wingerter
Spotlights – Gretchen Hertz
Sound Engineers – Sam Poirot,
Orch. Director & Keys – Steve Shininger
Guitar – Johnny Reitano
Bass – Aaron Johnson
Drums – Erik Westlund