School of Rock

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Ava Briglia

ava-briglia-2017 AVA BRIGLIA (Summer) Thrilled to rock out across the USA with SOR! Broadway: Matilda the Musical (Matilda) Regional: Gypsy (Baby June). Gratitude & LOVE: Ellyn Marsh, Julia Mendelsohn, Jeff Pew, Jared Loss, Donna Ranalli, BBDA, Media Theatre, Nancy Carson, Merri Sugarman – Tara Rubin Casting, Friends, Family, Mama, Daddio, Daniel & Beada! Instagram @ava.briglia

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Olivia Bucknor

OLIVIA BUCKNOR (Shonelle, u/s Tomika) Thrilled to debut the role of Shonelle in the SOR tour. Featured in the Oscar-nominated cartoon “My Life as a Zucchini” as Beatrice. She played young Ranita in the biopic “Roxanne, Roxanne.” Featured in Pharrell Williams’ book “Happy”. Thanks to her parents for their support, L’il Angels and Innovative Artists.

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Rayna Farr

rayna-farr-2017 RAYNA FARR (Swing, u/s Summer, Marcy, Katie, Shonelle) Honored to join the SOR National Tour! Tour: “Grinch”, “A Christmas Carol”. Thanks to Nancy Carson, Tara Rubin Casting, SOR Creative, Mom, Dad, Kaiya and family for their love and support!

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Bella Fraker

bella-fraker BELLA FRAKER (Swing, u/s Summer, Marcy, Katie, Shonelle) Bella is thrilled to rock out with the 1st School of Rock tour. From Atlanta, Ga. giving many thanks to God, family, Nancy, casting, Orbit Arts, Broadway Dreams, Bob and Debbie.

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Chloe Anne Garcia

CHLOE ANNE GARCIA (Marcy) is thrilled to make her debut in the National Tour of School of Rock. This has always been a dream of hers. Many thanks to Parkside, SOR team and Tammy. Much love to Mommy, Daddy, Grammy, Pop-pop, Bella & James for their unconditional support to achieve my dream. Instagram-Chloe.Anne.Garcia.
ChloeAnneGarcia.com

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Gianna Harris

gianna-harris-2016 GIANNA HARRIS (Tomika) Gianna is ecstatic to be joining the new class of rockers for the First National Tour! MEGA thanks to the creative team for this amazing opportunity and to Chris, Debra, Leslie, Natalie, Shana & Sheri. Much love to my family for the constant support! Rock on! Insta: @thegiannaharris
GiannaHarris.com

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Carson Hodges

carson-hodges CARSON HODGES (Mason, u/s Lawrence) Carson is 9 years old and thrilled to make his Broadway debut on the School of Rock Tour. Gratitude and thanks to his entire family, Malko Dance Studios, Skips Music, Bach to Rock Music Academy, and his agent Nancy Carson for their love, support and mentoring.

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Alex Louis

alex-louis ALEX LOUIS (Swing, u/s Freddy, Mason, Billy) Multi-instrumentalist actor’s Broadway tour debut! Regional: Winter’s Tale (HVSF); drummer inspired by Grohl, Peart & Animal. Thanks mom, dad, GenerationTV, casting, Dave Tedeschi! IG/Twitter: @alexlouisrocks. IMDb/FB: Alex Louis.

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Theo Mitchell-Penner

theo-mitchell-palmer THEO MITCHELL-PENNER (Lawrence) Playing the piano since age 5, Theo is over the moon to be making his touring debut in SOR! Thanks to Nancy Carson, his teachers, and the Walnut. Love to his family and friends. Special thanks to Merri Sugarman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the cast and creative team.

Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton

gilberto-moretti-hamilton GILBERTO MORETTI-HAMILTON (Freddy) Gilberto is humbled by the opportunity to tour with SOR. This Native New Yorker comes from a musical family with roots in the Caribbean and Italy. He was honored as “Musician of the Year 2017” by the Boys Club of NYC. This multi-instrumentalist also plays piano, bass, xylophone and percussion. Insta: gilbertomorettihamilton

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John Michael Pitera

JOHN MICHAEL PITERA (Billy, u/s Lawrence) Honored to play Billy in School of Rock! Recent credits include: Mary Poppins (Michael Banks), Paper Mill Playhouse. National tour of Newsies (Les). Thanks to Lisa Calli, Barry Kolker, Merri, Claire, Tara Rubin Casting, Justin Reamy, Amelia DeMayo, and Regina Innocente. Love to Mom, Dad, Julianna, Mimi and Mikie. @john_m_pitera

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Tommy Ragen

TOMMY RAGEN (James, u/s Zack) A San Diego surfer at heart, Tommy recently released his first album of original songs “Tommy Ragen 9”. Tommy’s been playing guitar and writing music since age 6. Thanks SOR!
TommyRagen.com

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Phoenix Schuman

PHOENIX SCHUMAN (Zack) A dream come true for Phoenix to debut in the School of Rock national tour. He has had a passion for music, rock and theater his whole life and has been playing guitar since age 8. He was previously in the music video for “Million Miles” by TV on the Radio.

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Theodora Silverman

theodora-silverman-2017 THEODORA SILVERMAN (Katie) “Theo” is thrilled to be playing her dream role of Katie in the National Tour of School of Rock! Recent credits: Once National Tour, ABC’s “What Would You Do?” Thanks & love to Mom, Dad, Hazie, Lisa, Barry, Tara Rubin Casting, Ellyn, Jeff, Dan & Piper! @theosilverman

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Gabriella Uhl

GABRIELLA UHL (Sophie, Tomika) From Cornwall, NY, and is excited and thankful for this national tour debut “in the band!” Thanks to my family, my voice coach Ilene Reid, and everyone who’s supported this adventure.

Aiden Niklas Villa

AIDEN NIKLAS VILLA (Swing, u/s Zack, Freddy, Billy, Mason) Jersey shore native and multi-instrumentalist, shredding the guitar since age 8. Member of 3 rock bands and 2 acoustic duos. Thrilled to make his acting debut! Insta: aidenvillamusic

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Review Quotes

Hyde Park Herald – 11/15/2017

“Then, there are the kids, who not only play their own music—we’re assured by an opening announcement—but also craft distinctive, endearing characters, starting with Briglia’s bossy, resourceful Summer, who is tapped as band manager. Standouts for me were Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as rambunctious Freddy on drums and Theodora Silverman as deadpan bass player Katie (with bobbing pigtails), but kudos also go to Phoenix Schuman as guitarist Zack, who proves to be a musical prodigy, Theo Mitchell-Penner as gluten-intolerant Lawrence, who thinks he’s not cool enough to be in a band, and Gianna Harris as Tomika, who’s too shy to even speak until Dewey encourages her to let loose with the powerhouse voice of a lead singer.”

Times Square Chronicles – 11/15/2017

“The kids in the cast range in age from 9 to 13, each liberating their buttoned up prep school exterior to release their inner rock gods and goddesses. The class includes over a dozen kids that will tickle your funny bone, including the uptight know-it-all, Summer (Ava Briglia), the equally shy singer, Tomika (Gianna Harris), and lead guitarist, Zack (Alex Louis). I challenge anyone to not tap a toe to the infectious fun that includes the originals ‘Stick It To The Man,’ ‘In The End Of Time’ and the title track ‘School of Rock.’…The kids in this cast will warm the hearts of any mid-November chilly Chicagoan for a few hours.”

Chicago Onstage – 11/09/2017

“Aside from the main adults, it is the kids who absolutely steal this show. Briglia is a force as the overachieving Summer. Watching Theodora Silverman make ‘bassist faces’ was such a hoot that it nearly overshadowed the immense talent the young girl has on the instrument. Theo Mitchell-Penner’s Lawrence is clearly a mini-Dewey in his social ineptitude as well as his love of the music (though his keyboard talent may well outpace his leader’s guitar playing). Phoenix Schuman’s Zack, the band’s lead guitarist, shows his loneliness and pain as powerfully as he wields his axe. And Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) can already play his kit twice as well as most rock drummers I know. The fifth of the ‘If Only You Would Listen’ group, Tomika (Gianna Harris) has a powerful talent that I can’t reveal here because it comes as a surprise in the play, but it’s worth waiting for. These kids are honestly so good that, when I saw a couple of them in a restaurant after the show, another member of my party suggested we get autographs. (We didn’t.)”

Talkin’ Broadway – 11/09/2017

“Colletti also has some winning co-stars in the remarkable young actors who play Dewey’s students. Yes, they impress by being able to play their instruments as well as sing, but even more impressive is their skill as comic actors. They’re musical, they can move, and they’re funny. There’s Ava Briglia as the no-it-all Summer who becomes ‘manager’ of the band Dewey forms called School of Rock. She’s snotty without being grating and smoothly makes the transition from gold-star-grubbing nemesis to ally. Theo Mitchell-Penner is the pianist turned keyboardist Lawrence, who thinks he’s not cool enough for the band, but proves to be a rock virtuoso on the electronic ivories. Equally virtuosic is Zack on guitar, played by a very cool Phoenix Schuman. Gianna Harris is sweetly heartbreaking as Tomika…No vocal slouches either are Olivia Bucknor and Chloe Anne Garcia as the backup singers Shonelle and Marcy. Katie (Theodora Silverman) plays a mean bass and Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) is a big-league drummer. In charge of the fabulous costumes is the equally fab Billy (John Michael Pitera, who shows stylish gusto in the role).”

Chicago on the Aisle – 11/08/2017

“The 12 kids who play the fifth-graders…are a diverse lot of terrifically gifted performers who do an adorable job of seeming awkward and gangly at first…Guitarist Zack (Phoenix Schuman) gets an awesome axe, skinny cellist Katie (Theodora Silverman) becomes a phenom on the bass guitar, Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) and Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) are lions let loose on the drums and keyboard, respectively.” ”

Chicago Tribune – 11/08/2017

“The young cast includes Ava Briglia, who is letter-perfect as class know-it-all Summer; Theo Mitchell-Penner in the role of Lawrence, young master of the keyboards (who in real life has been playing the piano since age 5); Phoenix Schuman, who handles the guitar like a pro, plays Zack (and has been playing guitar since age 8); and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, who plays drummer Freddy (and also can play piano, bass and xylophone). The musical proteges also include Theodora Silverman as bass-playing Katie.”

Chicago Theatre & Concert Reviews – 11/07/2017

“The students who become members of the School of Rock Band are all excellent, and this is where the heart of this production dwells. Perfectionist and brown-nosing Summer is magnificent, as portrayed by young Broadway veteran, Ava Briglia; as Tomika, the shy little girl with the great big voice, Gianna Harris is wonderful and heartbreaking. Little Theodora Silverman is perfect as the deadpan bass player, Katie; backup vocalists/dancers Shonelle and Marcy are played with moxie and musical talent by Olivia Bucknor and, especially, Chloe Anne Garcia. Little Zack, the talented guitar-playing, music-composing son of an uptight father, is sweetly played by Phoenix Schuman. Master keyboardist and social underdog Lawrence is portrayed with shy sensibility by Theo Mitchell-Penner. Freddy, the little boy who once only played the cymbals, transforms into the Band’s gifted drummer. Here, he’s created by brilliant young percussionist Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton. Played with flair, attitude and festive confidence, John Michael Pitera is delightful as fashionista Billy. As Mason, James and Sophie young Thespians Carson Hodges, Tommy Ragen, Gabriella Uhl, who are also the understudies for other roles, are first-rate.”

BroadwayWorld Chicago – 11/06/2017

“Still, it’s the kids (who actually play their instruments) that steal the show. These include Phoenix Schuman as Zack (lead guitar), Theodora Silverman as Katie (bass), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy (drums). Ava Briglia also deserves a shout out as Summer, the over-achieving know-it-all and the band’s manager.”

Chicago Theater Beat – 11/06/2017

“Both Phoenix Schuman and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton are wondrous on electric guitar and drums, respectively, and bassist Theodora Silverman has both musical chops and an adorable pout. Gianna Harris shines as Tomika, a quiet outcast who reveals a remarkable singing voice, and Briglia’s Summer perfectly portrays a take-charge Type-A personality.”

The Fourth Walsh – 11/06/2017

“…these kids are amazing. They sing. They dance. They rock. And some of them are even jamming down on instruments. An animated Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy) hitting the sticks with zest. An adorably unassuming Phoenix Schuman (Zack) and subtly badass Theodora Silverman (Katie) amp up the volume on guitar. All the kids lend voice and attitude to the musical numbers. … It’s the kids vs the adults. And these kids are clearly the winners! Two other notable standouts are the hilariously, self assured Ava Briglia (Summer) and the powerhouse songstress Gianna Harris (Tomika).”

Northwest Herald – 11/06/2017

“And the kids are excellent across the board. Standouts include Phoenix Schuman as talented guitarist and budding composer Zack; Theodora Silverman as cello/bass player (with an attitude) Katie; Ava Briglia as star student, band manager and maybe future president Summer; and Gianna Harris as Tomika, the shyest student whose talent eventually stuns her classmates and the audience”

Splash Magazine – 11/05/2017

“The show has seventeen youngsters in the cast, some of the understudying another role as well, and the depth of talent is stunning. A few of the actors stood out to me, each for shining in their own unique ways. The singing and dancing of Gianna Harris was ebullient yet controlled; I only wish she had been able to strut her stuff earlier on in the show. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton’s drum playing was amazing, especially when he took it from the drumset and onto the floor, or whatever surface was around. Phoenix Schuman wasn’t much bigger than his guitar, but he displayed an incredible amount of skill and stage presence. Each of the actors had a specific character that they embodied with ease; they all have a bright future in theater, and I look forward to watching them grow as performers.”

Chicago Theater and Arts – 11/04/2017

“However, it wouldn’t work if not for the show’s very talented youngsters. They beautifully portray kids whose parents don’t listen to them or consider what they want and need. And yes, the kids really do play the instruments they use in the show”

Chicagoland Musical Theatre – 11/04/2017

“When the stage becomes littered with diminutive rock stars singing ‘Stick It to the Man’ with such unbridled gusto, one has to think it would make Libertyville native and ‘Rage Against the Machine’ founder Tom Morello proud…and as Tomika (‘I’m not a backup singer’), whose rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ might just be this production’s greatest musical highlight, Gianna Harris.”

Dadapalooza! – 11/04/2017

“The performers are great, the kid musicians are ASTONISHING…The kids in the show (who are on stage a good portion of the time) were great and seemed like real pros, and watching the kids play the music…is mindblowing. They are 13 and 14, some as young as 9, and they really do rock”

Around the Town Chicago – 11/03/2017

“These kids, by the way, are the most energetic and talented I have seen assembled on one stage in a long time. Each and every one is a character that represents kids who are smart but unhappy with the lives they lead. … it is the kids that make this show a brilliant addition to the Broadway In Chicago season. Each and everyone is brilliant and they all play their own musical instruments….The kids are: Ava Briglia, Olivia Bucknor, Bella Fraker, Chloe Anne Garcia, Gianna Harris, Alex Louis, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, John Michael Pitera, Tommy Ragen, Phoenix Schuman, Theodora Silverman, Gabriella Uhl and Aiden Niklas Villa. These kids are amazing!”

Chicago Sun Times – 11/03/2017

“Watching the show’s 12 kids, who perform with fabulous energy, and shape their distinctive characters with aplomb, is unquestionably immense fun, and can be alternately touching and very funny….No doubt about it, the kids are the reason to see this show…tank-size talent in pint-size bodies, including master drummer Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton; guitar player Theodora Silverman; bass player Phoenix Schuman (a mini David Bowie); star singer Gianna Harris; over-achiever (and ‘band manager’) Ava Briglia, and seven others….the kids here earn 10 gold stars on every count. Little rockets who can rock it.”

Stage and Cinema – 11/03/2017

“Most wondrous are the dynamically diverse kids in the cast…”

Playlist HQ – 11/02/2017

“Gianna Harris shows off her great vocals as Tomika. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton is very impressive as Freddy on the drums”

Journal Inquirer – 10/26/2017

“The children, though, are superb, maintaining energy in their characters’ discovery of their identities throughout. It is of note that the kids who play instruments are actually playing them on stage and they are good. Real good. Phoenix Schuman as Zack on guitar, Theodora Silverman as Katie on bass, Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence on keyboard, and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy on drums are all impressive. Gianna Harris’s vocals are stellar for a girl her age as Tomika, and Ava Briglia gives a sassy self-assuredness as the indomitable Summer.”

In the Spotlight – 10/26/2017

“But the real stars of the show are the kids who form the rock band under Mr. Schneebly’s (aka Dewey’s) tutelage. They play their own instruments, sing their hearts out, and dance up a storm. Special kudos to Gianna Harris in the role of Tomika, the shy girl, and her amazingly soulful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace,’ and Phoenix Schuman in the role of Zack—the meanest elementary-school aged guitar player ever!”

Naugatuck Patch – 10/26/2017

“The young performers had an appealing realness in their performances and I was relieved that vocally they sounded like kids that can sing. Ava Briglia, who was a Matilda on Broadway, was, well, quite strong as the bossy Summer who easily takes on the role of band manager. Olivia Bucknor was a strong backup singer, as was Chloe Anne Garcia as Marcy. Gianna Harris belted as Tomika, Carson Hodges was the lighting guy Mason, John Michael Pitera tried to spruce up the band as the stylist Billy, Tommy Ragen was James, Gabriella Uhl was Sophie…And those featured musician/actors who hear ‘You’re In the Band?’ Theo Mitchell-Penner covered the keyboards as Lawrence, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton was a fabulous drummer Freddy, Phoenix Schuman rocked his guitar as Zack, Theodora Silverman played the bass perfectly as Katie”

The Bristol Observer – 10/25/2017

“The kids who fill the stage are immensely—and frighteningly—talented. … The kids in the cast are key to the show’s charm. Theodora Silverman, Tommy Ragen, Chloe Anne Garcia, Carson Hodges, Gianna Harris, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, Phoenix Schuman, John Michael Pitera, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Ava Briglia, and Gabriella Uhl—are the heart of the show. All of them are talented and are immensely watchable. In particular, Briglia, as Summer, is great as the precocious bossy kid in the class—the one mature voice in a roomful of kids (and this includes Finn). She’s kind of the Jiminy Cricket of ‘The School of Rock’—the voice of reason. The musical skills of Moretti-Hamilton on drums, Silverman on bass, Schuman on guitar, and Mitchell-Penner on keyboards—also are jaw-dropping fabulous. They would put many adults to shame with their musical chops.”

Empty Nest – 10/21/2017

“The young cast in this show have a powerhouse of musical talent. I got goose bumps when Zack (Phoenix Schuman) played a riff on the guitar, Katie (Theodora Silverman) plucked the bass, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) played a run on the key boards and Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) pounded the drums”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 10/18/2017

“Yet it is still eye-popping…when the quartet of Phoenix Schuman (Zack), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy), Theodora Silverman (Katie) and Theo Mitchell-Penner (Lawrence) grab their instruments and rev up to rock hard. There are a dozen kids on the Benedum Center stage pulling off a screwball rock comedy…Among them is overachiever Summer (Ava Briglia, a star of ‘Matilda’ on Broadway) and wallflower Tomika (Gianna Harris), who each blossom unexpectedly when subjected to Dewey’s unwavering belief in them.”

Broadway World Columbus – 10/12/2017

“One of the funniest lines comes when Summer (Ava Briglia) warbles her way through Webber’s signature song ‘Memories’ from CATS, Dewey deadpans, ‘Please don’t ever sing that song again.’ The pint-sized performers in SCHOOL OF ROCK are not the latest incarnation of the Partridge Family or the Monkees. These kids not only play their own instruments, but the band of Zack (Phoenix Schuman) on guitar, Katie (Theodora Silverman) on bass, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) on keyboards and Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) on drums can really jam. Add into the mix the vocals of Shonelle (Olivia Bucknor) and Marcy (Chloe Anne Garcia) as backup singers and the reluctant star Tomika (Gianna Harris) as a second vocalist and you have a powerhouse band….and Briglia delivers a stand out performance as the band’s manager.”

The Columbus Dispatch – 10/11/2017

“All 12 child actor-singers are wonderful. The kids really do play their instruments and play them well – such as Phoenix Schuman, a strutting stand-out on guitar as Zack. Gianna Harris reveals a lovely voice as shy Tomika, but Olivia Bucknor’s Shonelle and Chloe Anne Garcia’s Marcy also shine on backup vocals. Ava Briglia is amusing as by-the-rules Summer, while Theo Mitchell-Penner is endearing as ‘uncool’ Lawrence, who finds his inner Elton John on keyboards.”

Rochester City Newspaper – 10/05/2017

“The production wisely knows that the kids are the real stars, playing their own instruments, and completely stealing the show, much to the delight of Tuesday night’s audience. They’re all wonderful, though the standouts for me were Ava Briglia as the class resident type-A personality, Summer (who becomes the band’s manager, naturally), and Theodora Silverman as the too-cool-for-school bassist.”

Radio 95.1 Rochester – 10/04/2017

“Every performance rocked. But there were 2 in particular that I’d like to give a special shout out to….2) The Kids. All of them. There are about a dozen kids who play the class at The School of Rock and they all play vital roles. All of them fully committed to their roles whether it be security guard or lead electric guitar shredder. My favorite was Theodora Silverman, she plays the bass player, and makes the cutest and funniest rock star faces during each performance.”

Tour Schedule


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