Hot on the heels of a wildly successful production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Farmers Alley Theatre is raising the roof off the Festival Playhouse with the high-spirited and exuberant School of Rock. 


Based on the hit movie, the Tony-nominated School of Rock follows down on his luck, failed rocker Dewey Finn as he tries to earn a bit of extra cash by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of awkward straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out?


Starring David B. Friedman as Dewey and Farmers Alley Theatre favorite and Broadway veteran Hannah Elless as Headmistress Rosalie Mullins, the show features an amazing lineup of talented young performers who rock live on stage every night. With 14 new songs by musical theatre icon Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera, Cats) plus all the beloved original songs from the film, School of Rock is a loving testimony to the transformative power of music, perfect for the entire family.


If the rebellious Dewey is the rocking heart of the show, his students, all played by young West Michigan performers, are its soul. Farmers Alley Theatre is thrilled to welcome Daniel Schubkegel (Freddy), Asrael Lila McCarthy (Zack), Maggie Martin (Laurie), Ella Sabuda (Katie), Lila Teall (Summer) and Paris Thomas (Tomika) as School of Rock’s core band members and manager. Rounding out the adult cast are Jeff Meyer (just seen in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Ned Schneebly and Sydney Harrison as Patty Di Marco. 


This inspirational musical is directed by Richard Roland, a New York theatre veteran known for productions like The Secret Garden, Brigadoon, Forever Plaid, and Chicago. 


Richard says, "School of Rock is about people finding their individual voices and claiming their true selves. Children and adults alike, through the unconventional interventions of Dewey Finn, are coaxed out of their various confinements of silence and self-doubt, stepping forth into new confident identities no longer held back by fears, insecurities, or social pressures. Everyone has the potential of being a rock star, literally and figuratively, and Dewey is the unwitting Pied Piper who unlocks the potential of those whom he encounters and encourages them to pursue those dreams."


Managing Artistic Director Jeremy Koch echoes Richard’s sentiments. "We chose School of Rock because its message aligns with our mission as theatre educators: fostering young performers to develop their creativity and expressivity in an environment that allows them to reach into themselves and bring out their excitement to a ready audience.”

Rob Weiner, Farmers Alley Theatre Founder and Executive Director, agrees as well. “Not only is School of Rock fun and fully engaging, it’s the perfect vehicle for promoting the power the arts have to touch lives at any age. The energy the young actors bring to the stage is so vibrant, so alive, that it’s truly a must-see. What a spectacular way to end our season in our home away from home, Festival Playhouse, and to thank our Farmers Alley team and our show and season sponsors, who’ve made this and every 2023-2024 show possible.”


Winner of the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, School of Rock rolls with rocking, feel-good energy and sweetly subversive charm. Based on the Paramount movie by Mike White, School of Rock features a book by Julian Fellowes with lyrics by Glenn Slater and new music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. School of Rock is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of the Really Useful Group.


Simultaneously rambunctious and heart-warming, with new rollicking new music as well as favorites from the film, this is one summer school you’ll be excited to attend! School of Rock runs for only two weeks, from July 17 to July 28, 2024. Tickets start at $45. $10 rush tickets are offered for all performances starting one hour prior to curtain (subject to availability, theatergoers must be present at the box office). Student ticket pricing is $15 for all shows. Preview performance tickets on Wednesday, July 17 are $25. ASL Interpreted Performance on Sunday, July 21 at 2:00pm. Tickets are available for purchase at or by calling the Box Office at (269) 343-2727. 


The show contains some adult language, rock-associated themes, and tweenage rebellion. Recommended for audiences 10 and up.


School of Rock: The Musical is generously supported by Acrisure, Adam and Allison Weiner, Jack and Andy Hopkins, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Corey Wietfeldt of CWS Financial Advisors,  The Kalamazoo Promise, Santreece Foundation, and Schupan as well as by our Season Sponsor the First National Bank of Michigan, and our Season Equity Sponsor The Tyler Little Family Foundation.