From back, Eric Boudreau, Alexandr Ncube, and Colin Ross rehearse for the Childsplay musical "ROCK THE PRESIDENT" on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Just in time for election season, the popular and locally written “Rock the Presidents” play kicks off its national and state-wide tour next month.

The national cast from Childsplay Theater will start off the tour on opening night, Sept. 8, and continue through Sept. 15. From there the state-travelling cast will finish off the Tempe shows ending Sept. 23.

“The show is really like a rock concert about presidents,” said Director Anthony Runfola.

The play’s 24 songs manages to include bits about all 44 presidents at some point or another. For Runfola and the show’s creator, Dwayne Hartford, the interest in history and the nation’s top executive office has proven successful.

The national tour will perform in 35 cities, ending in next February.

Colin Ross, 25, was one of the original actors in the play last year and said he is excited to get back on stage.

“I’m also excited they gave me the chance to do it again,” said Ross, who has performed and taught at the theater since 2009.

The three-character play integrates audience interaction along with high-energy music and multi-media stage props.

Characters, “Ted,” who Ross is playing, “Harry” and “Amy,” also interact with the set’s video screen in scenes that depict a video game battle, which also plays real, historical footage throughout the show.

“There are so many stories to tell,” Runfola said about the music and the production.

Pending another good season with the play, Runfola said it could be brought back again next year. But the director mentioned another goal of the theater’s.

“We’re always holding out for that invitation to the White House,” Runfola added.

“Rock the Presidents” will open on Sept. 8 at the Tempe Center for the Arts Theatre, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. Tickets start at $12 and are on sale at

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4902 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.