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Thank You 5 Productions presents "School of Rock" at Kelsey Theatre

originally published: 07/01/2024

Thank You 5 Productions presents "School of Rock" at Kelsey Theatre

Dan Keyser of East Windsor, N.J., (center) takes the stage as Dewey Finn, a slacker and wannabe rock star who transforms a group of straight-laced prep school students into a rock band in “School of Rock,” July 12-21, 2024 at the Kelsey Theatre on Mercer County Community College’s West Windsor Campus. Pictured from left: Emily Ewig (Lawrence Township, N.J.), Lindsay Martin (Lawrenceville, N.J), Keyser, Kira Smith (Morrisville, Pa.), and Collin Wiggins (Yardley, Pa.).

(WEST WINDSOR, NJ) --  Can a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher transform nerdy fifth graders at an elite prep school into contenders at the Battle of the Bands? The answer will be revealed when Thank You 5 Productions brings "School of Rock" to the stage of Mercer County Community College's (MCCC's) Kelsey Theatre, July 12-21, 2024.

Dewey Finn never quite made it as a rock star, but also never gave up on his rock and roll dreams. So when he manages to impersonate a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school — and becomes enamored with the musical talent of his students — Finn goes to work transforming a class of straight-A fifth graders into a guitar shredding, bass slapping, mind blowing rock band to compete in the Battle of the Bands. But can Dewey and his students keep this special assignment secret from parents and the school’s headmistress as they learn to fully embrace the power of rock?

“School of Rock” is based on the 2003 Jack Black film, opening on Broadway in 2015 with a rocking score by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The production closed in 2019 after 1,309 performances, garnering four Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

Thank You 5 Productions presents “School of Rock” featuring adult actors and a talented group of young actor/musicians, including Dan Keyser of East Windsor, N.J., as Dewey Finn and Maithili Ginde of Basking Ridge, N.J., as Headmistress Rosalie Mullins. Other cast members include Steven Brandt of Lawrenceville, N.J.; Danielle Slaboda of Hamilton Township, N.J.; Riley Smith of Morrisville, Pa.; Lindsay Martin, Jr., of Lawrenceville; Rielle Lewis of Chesterfield, N.J.; Emily Ewig of Lawrence Township, N.J.; Kira Smith of Morrisville; Collin Wiggins of Yardley, Pa.; Charley Benedict of Cherry Hill, N.J.; Kelsey Schreibersdorf of Lawrence Township; grant Berness of Pennington, N.J.; Finn Piparo of Allentown, N.J.; Drew Wiggins of Yardley; Trinity Austin, Hope Ghaffoor, Cole Kaelin, and Cassie Kraft, all of Hamilton Township; Fred Ezell of Mt. Holly, N.J.; Alexandra Haas of Willingboro, N.J.; Lori Howard of Mount Laurel, N.J.; Jessica Knewasser of Bordentown, N.J.; Edward Liu of West Windsor, N.J.; Jeff Rosenthal of Manalapan, N.J.; and Mark Shifton of Lawrence Township.

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Producer is Beverly Kuo-Hamilton, with Assistant Producer Sheilla Kraft and Director/Music Director Laurie Gougher. Technical Director and Sound Designer is Evan Paine; Stage Manager is Fabiola Bien-Aimé and Andrew Devlin is assistant stage manager. Choreography is by Trina Shumsonk, with lighting design by Chris Ghaffoor and costumes by Chrissy Johnson. Mirada Horn is props master, with Sue den Outer as rehearsal accompanist, Peter de Mets as pit conductor, and photography by Rober Gougher. Erica Buchinsky and Simon Hamilton are choreography assistants.

Dates and showtimes for “School of Rock” are Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 at 8:00pm; Saturday, July 20 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm; and Sunday, July 14 and July 21 at 2:00pm at the Kelsey Theatre on MCCC’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. Tickets are $26 for adults and $24 for seniors, children and students, and may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office Monday through Thursday, 9:00am - noon, at (609) 570-3333. 

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.



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