Rock & roll all night

All-abilities Jewish theatre group Stars and the Moon provides artistic outlets for those with and without disabilities. Jessica Abelsohn spoke to the team about their latest production, School of Rock.

According to Eitan Meyerowitz, director of Stars and the Moon, a theatrical space providing opportunities for actors of all abilities to perform together on stage, School of Rock is about showcasing individuality. The story is grounded in two fundamental concepts – school and rock. And both relate directly to Stars and the Moon.

“‘School’ signifies the inclusivity at the core of our show,” Meyerowitz told The AJN. “It embodies the mantra ‘you’re in the band,’ a message of unity and empowerment where everyone has an equal chance to shine and contribute their unique talents.”

“Rock” represents a counter-cultural ethos that encourages expressing raw emotions, defying the system and using fury for the common good.

“We aim to portray this principle in all its raw, powerful glory, demonstrating its destructive capacity but also its extraordinary unifying and transformative potential.”

Following their hugely successful debut stage show The SpongeBob Inclusical last year, the cast and creatives are exceptionally excited to perform School of Rock.

“After much consideration, we nearly settled on another production but realised it didn’t quite fit what we were looking for. That’s when we circled back to School of Rock, a choice we had initially overlooked,” Meyerowitz explained.

“We suddenly realised how amazing it would be, the fun and energy it would bring, and its potential to create an unforgettable experience for the audience.”

The story is about Dewey, a guitarist down on his luck who pretends to be a substitute teacher to make a few bucks. Meyerowitz described a scene in the musical when Dewey turns to each kid individually and sings ‘you’re in the band’. Meyerowitz said it was this energy that they wanted to bring to their production.

“That’s the moment we chose the show. We want our cast to feel like they’re part of something special, like they’re in the band because they deserve to be. It speaks to those who have felt unheard, and we believed our community would resonate with that.”

Meyerowitz has always been passionate about inclusivity and the way theatre unites individuals into one cast, one family. It was the inspiration behind Stars and the Moon, which alludes to the beauty of the night sky – both the stars and the moon work together to create something magical.

He has two passions – working with and including people with disabilities, and theatre. “One of my favourite theatrical experiences is performing in the Purim Spiel with my cousin, Zac Chester, who lives with Down syndrome,” Meyerowitz explained. “We both love the stage, yet there are markedly fewer opportunities for him to participate in serious theatre than those afforded to me. My dream was to create a theatrical experience that allows performers like Zac and myself to share the spotlight, shining on stage equally brightly.”

The production company uses what they refer to as a “castmate system” in which two actors cover one role. Each character is split differently, according to the strengths and weaknesses of the two actors.


“Our company is all about integrating the lives of people with and without disabilities, and having two actors go through the intimate experience of sharing a role, they are forced to learn about one another, how to support one another and inevitably form deep bonds,” Meyerowitz told The AJN ahead of last year’s production.

“These individual connections have allowed our cast to become one large family that blurs the lines of who has a disability and who doesn’t.”

As for this year, Meyerowitz said the process has been a dream.

“Our crew and cast have worked passionately, fostering an environment where everyone grew close. Our rehearsals often contained more laughter than actual rehearsing, which became part of the overall fun,” he said. “One memorable thing is the repeated chanting of ‘School of Rock’ throughout the show. Because it was easy to remember, our participants would chant it in celebration of successful rehearsals, which really bolstered the energy in the room.”

For the performers, the excitement is palpable, especially around bringing such a beloved storyline to life. Meyerowitz said that the cast are most excited about infusing such great characters with their own individual interpretations.

Stars and the Moon’s ultimate aim is to create outstanding theatre through diversity, dedication and the unique theatrical experience that they can provide.

Meyerowitz said the whole cast and crew cannot wait for audiences to experience the show.

“We hope the audience leaves more than just inspired. We want them to feel the passion, the fury, the spirit of rock and roll that our cast brings to the stage. Our objective is to give them an amazing experience, move them with the story, and provide them with lots of laughter.”

School of Rock is playing at The National Theatre, August 3-6. For tickets, visit

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