About the Film

SCHOOL PLAY is a hilarious, coming-of-age documentary film. 

The drama of childhood is magnified through this prototypical 5th-grade production of The Wizard of Oz. You'll recognize the kids: the class clown, the overachiever, the outcast, the stutterer...As curtains-up approaches, magic and mania take over. In the end, this award-winning film is about way more than just a play... it’s about kids discovering who they are inside!

Here you can meet the cast and learn the back story of why we made the film.


THE CAST

ISABEL - “The Princess”

Beautiful Isabelle is a classic perfectionist: she’s crazy competitive. With the voice of an angel, of course she lands the lead in the play. But don’t let her bravado fool you. As expectations mount, and the whole school watches, Isabel is getting really nervous!

JEFFREY - “The Outcast”

Jeffrey is big, loud and pretty out of control. But he also has a sensitive side and a huge heart that most of the other kids don't know. His mom hopes that, this year, the school play will help Jeffrey make friends. But for Jeffrey, this is just another chance to fail!

NICK - “The Stutterer”

Big Nick is the arty kid. He could be a great actor if only he didn’t stutter. But, he’s going for it anyhow. Nick’s landed a huge part – he’s going to be The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz. Now, the pressure is really on: can Nick find the words when it counts?

ELIZABETH - “The Charmer”

Adorable little Elizabeth is still in fourth grade this year, so she’s only in the chorus, but she’s clearly a star in training. Still, if you ever need to know the real scoop about what’s going on, this is who you ask. Precocious Elizabeth always tells it like it is!

JOEY - “The Class Clown”

A natural performer, Joey is the kind of funny, crazy kid who could steal the show. But he’s also a well-known trouble maker who rarely buckles down. Can Joey focus long enough this year to knock it out of the park? Or will he get kicked out of the cast before the curtains rise?


THE BACK STORY

SCHOOL PLAY was kind of our own 'after-school' project.

Tin ManA few years ago, we learned about Laurie Gage's awesome theater program at Mamaroneck Avenue School in suburban New York (one of our kids went to school there).  One day, we called Laurie and asked her if she would let us come film the making of her next play. What she said next cost us about three years of our lives: she said yes! So we brought cameras to the auditions. On the first day, we met Jeffrey. And the rest, as they say, is history.

One thing we get told all the time is that SCHOOL PLAY is an awesome example of the importance of art-education. Cool. We'll take that. But, to be honest, we didn't plan it that way. We really just wanted to make a film about kids like we all know - trying to do their best, getting pushed to the limit, and scared to death to step out on stage in front of everyone they know.

Of course, once we got going, we didn't want to embarrass ourselves either! So, if you like the film, it's not because we had any sort of big plan. It's really because, like Jeffrey, we just showed up. Then our mothers wouldn't let us quit.