shrl logo


The original Schoolhouse Rock television series was the brainchild of an advertising executive who noticed his son could remember all the words to popular songs on the radio, but could not remember the multiplication tables. He reasoned that if important educational information was coupled with exciting animation and catchy music, children would be able to learn and remember it.

From this simple idea, Schoolhouse Rock was born and quickly adopted by ABC-TV which broadcast the series on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1985. Twenty years, 41 songs, and four Emmy Awards later, those of us who grew up with Multiplication Rock, America Rock, Science Rock, and Grammar Rock can still sing the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and know that "and," "but," and "or" all belong in Conjunction Junction.

Interest in Schoolhouse Rock is as strong as ever. A student at the University of Connecticut recently collected over 2,000 signatures from her peers, professors, and neighbors in an effort to convince ABC to return Schoolhouse Rock to the morning line up. The series was added as part of the ABC Bugs Bunny Hour in 1992 and many new songs have since been added to the repertoire.

On August 26, 1993, Theatrebam Chicago's musical hit, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, opened at Chicago's Cabaret Voltaire. Schoolhouse Rock Live! played for eight months to sold-out houses in a record breaking run in the basement theatre of this eclectic vegetarian restaurant.

Gay Chicago Magazine praised Schoolhouse Rock Live! as "the must see show of 1994." The Chicago Reader raved, "(Schoolhouse Rock Live! is) a wonderfully engaging show ... literally not a slow micro-second."

A shorter version of Schoolhouse Rock Live!, suitable for school assemblies, hit the road the same year.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! moved to The Body Politic Theatre in June of 1994 and continued to sell out for another seven months. In that time, the show was honored with two 1994 After Dark Awards for "Outstanding Production" and "Outstanding Ensemble." The Chicago Sun-Times gave the production an "A+" and said it was "sheer joy."

Theatrebam Chicago teamed up with Move On Productions and took Schoolhouse Rock Live! to New York City in 1995. Schoolhouse Rock Live! opened first at the Atlantic Theatre and then at the historic Lamb's Theatre for an Off-Broadway run of eleven months.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! triumphantly moved back to Chicago in 1996 and ran for a year at the Victory Gardens Theatre and The Theatre Building. Its final evening performance was March 2, 1997.
original cast
Schoolhouse Rock Live!
and Theatrebam Chicago has been featured in The Chicago Tribune and USA Today as well as on CNN, MTV, Entertainment Tonight, All Things Considered, and many other broadcasts.
Schoolhouse Rock Live!
is now available to other theatre companies and school drama departments through Music Theatre International. Productions include a national tour, the Canadian premiere, and even a production on London's West End.


Theatrebam Chicago continues to produce daytime tours of Schoolhouse Rock Live! to schools and other youth organizations.



©2005 Theatrebam Chicago
terms of use | privacy policy |