Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — At 8 a.m. Thursday, the Carrie Kozody’s chorus room was filled with excitement, nervousness and relief, all for good reason — it was showtime for the students in the Albion Middle School production of “Schoolhouse Rock Live!”
Students ran through the musical, which is being performed this weekend, for their classmates and members of the Albion Rotary Club in a rapid-fire series of previews Thursday.
The show, based on the Saturday morning cartoons that taught a generation about civics, grammar, science and history, follows a teacher preparing for her first day of class with the help of five facets of her personality.
“Ms. Morton is nervous and her personality traits take on characters of their own,” said Kozody, the musical’s director. “Fun, cool, caring ... they teach her that learning is fun.”
Ms. Morton, played by Michayla Kovaleski, gains confidence in her abilities through a 18-song story that includes famous Schoolhouse Rock! songs like “Just a Bill,” “Three is a Magic Number,” and “Conjunction Junction.”
“It’s a really good show for this level,” Assistant Director Kevin Feder said. “There are songs they heard in elementary school, but now they can hear and see them in a different way.”
The highly-choreographed show has several standout opportunities for Albion’s seventh- and eight-grade performers.
Katie Rustay, who plays one of Ms. Morton’s personality traits, said she recited the tongue-twisting “Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla” a dozen times Wednesday night to make sure she had the pronoun-promoting poem down pat.
“It took a lot of time to learn,” Rustay said during warmups before the first of six preview shows Thursday. “It’s hard to do without music.”
While many of the songs were new to her students, Kozody remembers the original series well. She said learning the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution in Mrs. Thompson’s fifth-grade class was helped by an assist from Schoolhouse Rock!
“I remember sitting, watching them on Saturday mornings,” Kozody said. “it’s so much fun to hear them again.”
The production was a quick, eight-week process that matches the fast-paced musical. Feder said more than 200 props were created by students in the crew, with numbers, signs and costumes each shining in their individual songs.
“It’s so fast paced, the props had to be light,” Feder noted.
Albion Middle School’s “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” will be performed at 7 p.m. tonight and at noon and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Middle School Auditorium. Tickets for the show are $3 for students and seniors, and $4 for adults.