Show History



Schoolhouse Rock Live! is based on the original "Schoolhouse Rock" television series. This series was the brainchild of an advertising executive who noticed his son could remember all the words to popular songs on the radio, but could not remember the multiplication tables. He reasoned that, if important educational information was coupled with exciting animation and catchy music, children would be able to learn and remember it. From this simple idea, :Schoolhouse Rock" was born and quickly adopted by ABC-TV, which broadcast the series on Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1985. It returned due to popular demand in 1992 as a part of "The ABC Bugs Bunny Hour," and many new songs were added to the repertoire.


On August 26, 1993, Theatrebam Chicago's musical hit, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, opened at Chicago's Cabaret Voltaire. The show was originally conceived by writer/director, Scott Ferguson. Schoolhouse Rock Live! played for eight months to sold-out houses in a record breaking run.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! moved to The Body Politic Theatre in June of 1994 and continued to sell out for another seven months.

Theatrebam Chicago teamed up with Move On Productions and took Schoolhouse Rock Live! to New York City in 1995. The show opened first at the AtlanticTheatre and then at the historic Lamb's Theatre for an Off-Broadway run of eleven months. It then moved triumphantly back to Chicago in 1996 and ran for a year at the Victory Gardens Theatre and The Theatre Building. Its final performance was March 2, 1997.

Cultural Influence

  • Forty years, 41 songs and four Emmy Awards later, those of us who grew up with "Multiplication Rock," "America Rock," "Science Rock" and "GrammarRock" can still sing the "Preamble to the U.S. Constitution" and know that "and," "but," and "or" all belong in "Conjunction Junction."
  • In 1991, a student at the University of Connecticut collected over 2,000 signatures from her peers, professors and neighbors in an effort to convince ABC to return "Schoolhouse Rock" to the morning lineup. The effort was successful, and it returned in 1992.


  • Tony-winning lyricist, Lynn Ahrens, is a mainstay songwriter and singer for the "Schoolhouse Rock" TV show and contributed material to Schoolhouse Rock Live!, as well.
  • Due to the success of Schoolhouse Rock Live!, additional "Schoolhouse Rock" stage shows have been created, including Schoolhouse Rock Live, Too! and Schoolhouse Rock! JR.
  • The original production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! premiered in the basement theatre of an eclectic vegetarian restaurant.
  • Lynn Ahrens not only wrote music and lyrics for several of the original Schoolhouse Rock songs, but sang them, too, including "The Preamble."