School of Rock musical inspires local kids to take the stage

By Allison Walker Torres, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 4:15 PM EST

Starting Tuesday night, you can rock out at Andrew Lloyd Webber's newest musical based on the film "School of Rock."

  • "School of Rock" runs at Dr. Phillips Center from Dec. 26-31
  • Kids can take music classes at performing arts center
  • For details on individual classes, click here.

But while you're fist-pumping, the kids on stage could be inspiring your children to take the spotlight.

School of Rock is touted as musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments on stage.

"They are playing their rock instruments live, which a lot of people are shocked to hear," said Lexie Dorsett Sharp ("Rosalie") backstage before opening night. "They think surely there's some doubling in the orchestra. It's not happening."

Sharp plays leading lady Rosalie, a get-down-to-business principal whose inner rock-chick eventually comes out. The actress is on tour with 16 kids, ages 8-13.

"They have taught me so much," she said. "Kids are in the moment, you know, and so much of your acting training is teaching yourself how to be in the moment. Kids don't know any other way ... These are the cream-of-the-crop that are true quadruple threats -- singers, actors, dancers and proficient musicians."

If all of that interests your child, the performing arts center is just now rolling into the spring semester at its Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts. The classes teach your kids piano, voice, dance and acting.

At the end of the semester, they get to perform on stage at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater.

"So that just amps up the energy [and] amps up the focus for them!" said creative manager Alice Smetheram.

That "focus" she's referring to can actually start this week, but from the audience.

"They're seeing themselves," Sharp said. "They're saying, 'This person on stage is only a few years older than me, maybe, and look what they're able to do!'"

Registration for regular classes (acting, theater arts, vocal performances) wraps Jan. 2, 2018. Registration for Yamaha classes (instumental and dance) ends this Friday, Dec. 29.

For details on class start dates and a breakdown of individual classes, visit

For tickets to watch School of Rock at the Dr. Phillips Center Dec. 26-31, head to