Storybook Theater rocks with Battle of the Bandz

March 10 - Lincoln Middle School looked like School of Rock over the weekend when Storybook Theater put on an original play, Battle of the Bandz, a rousing musical riot, written by Maya Burton and Lexi Chipman.

Burton and Chipman who have previously collaborated since 2016 on a one act play, Raisins in a Glass of Milk which has since toured across the country, are co-directors of the Storybook Theater since Jan. 2022.

If you’re familiar with movies like The Breakfast Club, John Hughes 1980’s teenage detention classic, and mixed it with School of Rock, Jack Black’s early 2000 comedy and added a touch of Runaway Ralph, we get Battle of the Bandz, the latest play from Storybook Theater of Cottage Grove.

The cast included “bands” such as a Top 40 group called “FrogPop”, the punk rock throwback “The Blood of Emos”, a rock revival in the “Beatles (Part 2)”, and country crooners, “The Wild Stallions”, all who performed a song in their genres. The “setlist” included songs by Dua Lipa, The Runaways, The Chicks, and Bon Jovi. It's a rare treat for a parent of any age to enter a middle school auditorium and see a play like Battle of the Bandz, where kids break into a rendition of the glam rock anthem “Cherry Bomb” and the electro hybrid of “Levitating”.

The play also included “Wide Open Spaces”, a number one hit in the country charts back in 1998, which also crossed over into the pop charts. It’s the calm before the storm during the show, with vocal highlights featuring Orin McCoy, which was followed by a karaoke inspired version of Living on a Prayer. A battle royale ensues with the cast which included: Jesse Briggs, Josilyn Daniles, Matthew Rowlett, and Lily Whitlock as The Blood of Emos. Isabella Evans, Ava Jones, Jayda Lancaster, Aurora Stacy, and Porter Wood as FrogPop, Isabella Boyd, Sam Burns, Tayonna Cunningham, and Quin Green as (The Beatles Part 2). And Mason Grove, Mira HUme, Mira Johnson, Orin McCoy, and Hayden Raymon as The Wild Stallions.

Noah Tredwell was the Stage Manager and played a radio controlled rodent named Ronnie during the production. Ceo Caturegli Kent was the Assistant Director. 

Co-director Maya Burton told the Sentinel, "Battle of the Bandz was a silly, wonderful show that made a serious impact. Although this is only Storybook Theatre's second year at Lincoln, everyday I am blown away at the progress of our students. Of course they're becoming stronger performers but, watching them become more confident, responsible, brave and emotionally connected offstage, is an amazing thing. I'm so happy to be a witness to the wonder of those middle schoolers."

"I'm proud of LMS's young artists, I'm proud of the work we do at SBT, and I'm proud of what's to come! SBT's next show will be our debut at Dorena School; April 21st at 6pm and 22nd at 2pm. I hope to see you there!" Burton said.

Storybook Theater’s vision is to “provide a safe and nurturing space for young people to build confidence, cultivate creativity and discover their unique voice through the magic of theater made deeper by classical literature.”

Bring them to your school today by booking a mobile theater after school program. They also offer summer camps, mini musical theaters, voice lessons, and more. You can find them online at https://www.storybooktheatreofcg.org/