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The Howitt Players rocked the house with their electrifying rendition of School of Rock! Based on the hit 2003 film, School of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a failed musician who poses as a teacher at a prestigious prep school. He forms a rock band with his students while avoiding the school principal. Dewey discovers his calling and gives the kids a rock 'n' roll crash course.

“There is no doubt that “School of Rock” is a cool show, possibly the coolest a musical could get,” said director Mrs. Jen Klock. “The underlying themes of connection and inclusivity make this show special and relevant to kids. Just as Dewey Finn created a band of students from all walks of life, our Howitt Players family is made up of young people from all backgrounds whose talents and passions deserve to be seen and heard.”

The talented young cast impressed the audience with their performance, highlighting the incredible talent within the Farmingdale School District. Eighth-grade student Lincoln Keena stars as Dewey Finn, a guy with only one passion: rock and roll. He helps students explore music, balancing his passion for rock with newfound responsibilities. Zaria Canizares plays principal Rosalie Mullins of Horace Green Preparatory School. She’s initially portrayed as a strict professional under pressure but learns to relax and enjoy music. Cassie Hill portrays Summer, the band's manager, a role that suits her perfectly. She is energetic and fearless, not hesitating to give instructions to everyone, including Dewey.

George Grigorov portrays Zack, whose electric guitar skills are extraordinary, yet his composition abilities are equally impressive. In the Battle of the Bands, Zack's latest song showcases his unique talent, even if his busy father fails to notice. Natalie Calderon embodies Tomika, a gifted singer who must summon the courage to fully express herself vocally and in class. As the new student, Tomika faces challenges making friends among her high-achieving classmates, but she shines at the forefront with the band's support. Mary Cohen brings Freddie to life, a disciplined youngster with percussion aspirations, proving that even obedient children can march to their beat. Shannon Tower takes on the role of Lauren, who plays the keyboard despite doubts about fitting in with the band. Thanks to Dewey's influence, Lauren discovers that true coolness lies in playing the keys. Ty Rambeau depicts Billy, the group's stylist whose passion for fashion clashes with his family's views. Fortunately, he channels this creativity into the band, defining the perfect School of Rock image: Horace Prep uniform-chic. Tabatha Caputo embodies Katie, the bass guitarist who leverages her classical cello training to enhance the band's sound. Tyler Davies portrays Ned Schneebly, Dewey's former rocker best friend turned elementary school teacher. Devin Shaw plays Patty, Ned's girlfriend, who plays a pivotal role in shaping his new adult life.

The electrifying soundtrack of School of Rock came to our stage with the remarkable Pit Band under the guidance of Mr. Samuel Gelfer. Mr. Eric Hulse oversaw vocals, while Mrs. Amanda Whorlow expertly arranged choreography. Mrs. Alicia Byers and Mr. Daniel Bilello led set design and construction, and Mr. Eric Perles took charge of lighting and sound. Leading the charge as Director for one final time was Mrs. Jen Klock

“School of Rock has been a favorite of mine since I was in middle school. Watching a new generation of kids bring to life a story that meant so much to me when I was their age is quite a full circle moment and an unintentionally perfect way to close out my chapter with this incredible group.”

The story of School of Rock resonates with Dalers of all ages as it highlights the transformative power of music and the arts. The musical serves as a reminder that we are stronger together by showcasing how a group of diverse individuals can come together, overcome challenges, and achieve success through their talents and hard work. It celebrates the idea that each person's contribution is valuable and that incredible things can be accomplished when we work towards a common goal with passion and dedication. Ultimately, School of Rock is a celebration of creativity, friendship, and the boundless potential within each of us.

By The Numbers