In the Schoolyard

In the Schoolyard tells the story of native Brooklynite childhood buddies Larry, Jerry, Dave, Eddie and Manny. They played stoopball and stickball in the streets and basketball in the schoolyard of PS 8. They all worked for or stole from the grocery store owned by Manny’s mother, Mrs. Rivera.
Although they have all married, established careers (more or less) and moved away, they still come back to Brooklyn the last Saturday of September to play basketball in the schoolyard, have a few drinks at O’Leary’s bar and talk about old times and new.
But this time Larry insists he can’t make the reunion for reasons he won’t entirely reveal, Dave has lost his wife and the last of a series of jobs, and Manny is determined to bring his aging mother back to Florida where he lives. As the guys look back to the past, they realize they must figure out how they are going to face the future.
In 1999,  playwright Paulanne Simmons wrote an article for The Brooklyn Papers about a group of men who come back to Brooklyn to play basketball in the P.S. 8 schoolyard in Brooklyn Heights. The article inspired a play called Basketball Lessons which was performed at Theater for the New City in 2001. Six years later, Simmons turned the show into a musical, In the Schoolyard, which also played at Theater for the New City.
After a staged reading of the revised musical (with all new music) at the Dramatists Guild in February of 2010, In the Schoolyard was ready for its next big step – becoming part of The New York International Fringe Festival

Paulanne Simmons (Book/Lyrics) is a playwright and theater reviewer for CurtainUp and NY Theatre Wire. Her work has been produced at Theater for the New City, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Octoberfest and Makor/92 St. Y. She is a member of Dramatists Guild, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle.

Writer & Composer

Rachel Kaufman  (Composer/Music Supervisor) is a multi-instrumentalist who has music directed and/or played for well over 200 musicals and cabaret shows world-wide. Credits include: Off-B'way: Schoolhouse Rock Live!, CYCLE (Composer), and The Ambition Bird (w/Victoria Clark); Tours: Rent, Phantom of the Opera, Ain't Misbehavin', Smokey Joe's Café, and Golf: The Musical; Regional: Tom Jones (North Shore) and Hallelujah, Baby! (Arthur Laurents, dir.). Rachel can also be seen playing for auditions, classes, improv comedy groups, at restaurants, piano bars, and on cruise ships. She holds a B.A. in Music (and Russian) from the University of Chicago. Contact:

Piano: Rachel Kaufman

Vocalists: Tom Gamblin, Jay Paranda, Ben Prayz, Eddie Schnecker,  Curtis Wiley 

Fringe Photos