Cooper Rose, left, and Jayden Wojick, students of School of Rock in Albany, enjoy rehearsing Kassie Parisi/TheSpot518
LOUDONVILLE — Consortium Actors is teaming up with Siena College and School of Rock Albany on an ambitious stage project. The groups will be presenting the Capital District premiere of the “School of Rock Musical” in a week, and nothing was spared while preparing for the show.
“It’s uncharted territory,” Sharon Paluch, the show’s director said to SpotlightNews. “School of Rock” premiered on Broadway in December earlier this year, and it’s almost unheard of to have the rights for a show released to a youth production so soon after a show’s premiere, according to Paluch, which is one of the things that makes the show so unique. Another factor is the fact that every cast member is under 19 years old.
“We’ve pulled together some of the most talented kids in the region,” Paluch said. “This isn’t your school show.”
Jayden Wojcik, an 11-year-old cast member and stage veteran, has enjoyed working on the show because of the element of equality presented to all of the people involved in the play. Wojick said that many characters have big roles and that everyone has a chance to perform.
“That’s why it’s nice. I’m pretty excited to see what goes on.” Wojcik said to SpotlightNews. Wojcik is involved with School of Rock in Albany, an organization that provides kids and teens with musical education and an outlet to perform with a focus on rock and roll music. Wojcik has been in five shows during his time with the school, singing and sometimes playing the bass. In the “School of Rock” musical, Wojcik will play Mason Ward, a tech student.
“At the beginning of the audition, I was nervous as anything because I had no experience with acting or anything, or even auditions. But once I actually sat down at the drum kit and played I was like, ‘Yeah, I can do this,’” Cooper Rose, another School of Rock student who will be in the musical, said. Rose, 11, plays the drums and consequently won the role of Freddie Hamilton, the drummer.
For the young actors though, the original bouts of nerves they experienced while auditioning are gone, and they’re excited to work towards the final product.
“Awhile ago, at the beginning of the show, I was scared. I had crazy stage fright. But then I realized, I just gotta look at [the audience] like it’s a drum concert, and I’m gonna act, and it’s gonna be fine,” Rose said.
“It’s really an exceptional show,” Paluch said of the production, which is being sponsored by Siena College. The show has been in rehearsal for eight weeks at this point, and Paluch said that everything has been going well, despite the fact that it’s a huge show with many moving parts. Her favorite part of working on the show, she said, was the enthusiasm that the young cast members bring to the table.
“These guys are so full of energy. It’s just a really dynamic group,” she said.
“School of Rock” will be shown at Siena College on Aug. 12 and 13 at 8 p.m., Aug. 14 at 3 p.m., Aug. 19 and 20 at 8 p.m., and Aug. 21 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are available now at www.consortiumactors.com.