As part of their ongoing Under Construction series while the theater itself undergoes a major, year-long renovation the Curran is putting on the first ever amateur production of School Of Rock - The Musical, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-scored Broadway hit which remains, currently, on Broadway.
As the Curran announces today, it was an unprecedented move in which Webber teamed up with R&H Theatricals to solicit applications and grant youth performance rights to schools all over the country, and Oakland's School For the Arts charter school will be the first to bring a production to the stage, which will happen this March at the Curran. They actually started getting applications before School of Rock even opened on Broadway last fall it will be eligible for Tony Awards this season, which won't even happen until June.
Producer Carole Shorenstein Hays, who is taking over control of the Curran from the organization she helped found, SHN, says she sees the Curran's role as something bigger than just hosting big-name acts. "I've always felt my role at the Curran comes with both the responsibility and the opportunity to use this magnificent building to enrich the community in which it stands,” she says. “It is equally important to me that we serve existing theater goers and theater makers while nurturing the next generation."
Even governor Jerry Brown has chimed in about the charter school he played a role in starting while serving as Oakland's mayor in 2002, saying, "The Oakland School for the Arts is a hub of creativity and talent and I can think of no better place to take on this production.”
The kids, ranging in age from 11 to 17, will bring their musical version of the 2003 film of the same name to the Curran for eight performances from March 3 to March 12.
And composer Andrew Llloyd Webber sounds excited too, and he'll actually be coming to SF to see it. "What initially drew me to School of Rock is that it is entirely about empowering students with music. This initiative is a natural extension of that message, and as such is near and dear to my heart. I look forward to visiting the Curran to see these students take on our show."
Big pressure for those kids!