The Theatre School > On Stage > Production Details

The Day John Henry Came to School

by Eric Pfeffinger
directed by Ernie Nolan​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

John Henry loves technology, but doesn’t love doing his homework. If buttons and gadgets are not involved, he’s not interested. When his teacher, Mr. Gellert, is replaced by a mega-computer, Johnny couldn’t be happier. Then his steel-driving great-great-great-great-grandfather arrives for show-and-tell, and Johnny must take on the challenge of his life! The contemporary tall tale focuses on the value of hard work and the strength of the human spirit.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

April 07, 2015 - May 16, 2015
TUE, THU & FRI at 10 AM
SAT & SUN at 2 PM​
DePaul's Merle Reskin Theatre
(312) 922-1999

Themes: Ancestry; Confidence; Diligence; Folklore and Tall Tales; Motivation; Technology and Humanity

Maddie Baird (Chorus), Trevor Bates (Chorus), Michael Buono (Chorus), Aida Delaz (Chorus), Tyler Esselman (Mr. Gellert), Maya Malan-Gonzales (Jeanie), Denzel Irby (Johnny Henry), Christopher Jones (John Henry), Juwan Lockett (Chorus), Asia Martin, (Chorus), and Jessica Maynard (Ms. Huntington).

The production team includes scenic design by Elyse Balogh, costume design by Meg Burke, lighting design by Daniel Friedman, sound design by Morgan Lake, dramaturgy by Gen Zoufal, and stage management by Mario E. Wolfe.

Special Events:

​4/18: USO of Illinois Day—US Armed Forces personnel & their families can reserve up to four free tickets. Visit

4/18: Opening Day Autograph Session with the cast following the performance 

4/12: Special Sunday performance (2 PM) 

4/30 & 5/9: Post-Show Discussion  ​​

Accessibility Services and Interpreted Performances:

If you or your child require wheelchair accessible and/or companion seating, or have any other hearing or vision needs, please let us know when you reserve your tickets so that we can make sure you visit to our theatre is an excellent one. Discounted tickets are available for patrons with disabilities, and their guests.

Performances Interpreted in American Sign Language & Assisted Listening Devices:

Performances Interpreted in American Sign Language & Assisted Listening Devices:The performances of The Day John Henry Came to School on 5/1 (10 AM) and 5/2 (2 PM) will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY (773) 325-7975. We also offer Sennheiser Infra-red personal listening devices for each performance at DePaul's Merle Reskin Theatre. These assisted listening devices are available to patrons upon request.​