By Maddie Yerant
Zionsville schools might be out for summer, but Schoolhouse Rock is about to be in session.
The Off Main Street Players will be performing Schoolhouse Rock Live! at Zionsville Town Hall, with the show opening at 7:30 p.m. June 12. It will run until June 20.
Spurned on by nostalgia and a desire to put on a kids’ show after their last, more dramatic endeavor, director Marcus Waye said the Players thought Schoolhouse Rock Live! would be a perfect production for families.
“I grew up with it, and I’ve always loved the songs, and whenever I talked to anybody about the possibility about doing it, they all thought it was a great idea because they grew up with the songs as well,” Waye said. “We all just decided that it was a great piece of nostalgia to do, and it’s also a fun show.”
The family focus is something new for cast member Patrick Slattery, who said he’s excited to have a different kind of audience – one he hopes will learn to love the songs of his own childhood.
“I think it’ll be really fun having kids here, just because all of the shows that I’ve ever done have not been kid-friendly, I realized upon doing this,” Slattery said. “It’ll be fun to see them and how engaged they are, especially because I remember them from when I was a kid, but they didn’t necessarily grow up with them.”
The Players have even changed show times and prices to ensure families can enjoy the show, according to Ray Cortopassi, managing director and co-founder of the Off Main Street Players.
“We’re always on at 8 p.m., but we brought it to 7:30 so more families could attend, and we lowered the price to $10 a ticket,” said Cortopassi.
This isn’t the Players’ debut as a group. Founded in 2005 by Cortopassi and co-founder and artistic director Brett Brewer, the Players have gained traction throughout the past ten years. Cortopassi and Brewer, both theater veterans in their own right, met in the ’90s and decided to fill the gap in local theater, according to Cortopassi. After some initial research, the two came across a Zionsville company from the 1960s that performed in an old barn.
They, too, were called the Off Main Street Players.
“We reached out and found a few members who were in the group years earlier, and asked if we could take on the tradition and use their name, and they were delighted,” Cortopassi said. “So we adopted their name, and we’ve been performing ever since.”
According to Waye, a cast member in the Players’ very first show, the company has grown substantially.
“The first show we did, we didn’t know if it would take off,” Waye said. “We never knew if there would be another show. But we managed to do a second one, and a third one, and a fourth one and so on and so on and so on.”