‘I just loved every moment’: Middle school performs ‘School of Rock’


Photo credit: Ella Frey

Archer middle school performed "School of Rock" on March 11 and 12. The play was previously adapted from the Richard Linklater movie released in 2003.

In 2003, “School of Rock” debuted, making approximately 131.3 million dollars in the box office. Following its success, the movie was crafted into a play on Broadway and other production companies. On May 11 and 12, middle schoolers performed their own rendition of “School of Rock” at the American Jewish University [AJU].

According to IMDb, “School of Rock” follows disgruntled guitarist Dewey Finn as he accepts a position as a substitute teacher at a private elementary school. He eventually discovers his pupils are talented musicians and forms a rock band with them to win 10,000 dollars in prize money at a band competition called “Battle of the Bands.”

Mia Ronn, who played principal Rosalie Mullens, “loved every minute” of the play. Ronn said that her role in this musical was larger than years past, which altered her experience.

“I had to be off-book or memorize my lines and have all my songs down and I think that, especially being in eighth grade, I really cared that this performance was meaningful,” Ronn said. “Even though there is more responsibility, it didn’t feel like a task. It didn’t really feel like a responsibility. It felt like a privilege because I just loved every moment of the process and the girls that I shared this show with.”

Mullens, Ronn’s character, struggles with losing her youth. In the movie, Mullens is played by Joan Cusack.

“At first, realizing who she was I was like, ‘Oh my god, I don’t know how I’m going to find levels here because I don’t know how I’m going to relate to her.’ But, as the process went on, I was able to find ways I could connect,” Ronn said. “I’m going into high school now, and there is so much unknown that it is a little terrifying. And, you know, it is easy to miss those moments running around the kindergarten yard, just so carefree. I think I managed to find these small moments and ways that I understood her.”

Ronn, who has been doing theater her whole life, previously performed in Beauty and the Beast at AJU last year. However, she described performing “School of Rock” this year as feeling “different.”

“Something about having this huge theater made it feel like people really wanted to hear us and like it really mattered to people,” she said. “It was a little scary because AJU is such a big space that it felt like the bar was set very high, but I think that “School of Rock” is such a loud, wonderful, fun and creative [play]…You can really let loose on the stage, and it’s about being powerful, taking the stage and focusing on your presence.”

Senior Stella Smyth also thought the play was “fantastic.”

“I think Mr. Farley was able to incorporate a lot of different concepts that I thought would be too mature for middle school,” Smyth said. “They really owned the play, and every single aspect was so well executed.”