Review Fix Midtown International Theatre Festival Coverage: Judi Lewis Ockler Talks ‘Rock N’ Roll Mother Goose’

Review Fix chats with playwright Judi Lewis Ockler who discusses the revival of her production “Rock N Roll Mother Goose” at this year’s Midtown International Theatre Festival.

About: Rock and Roll Mother Goose:

Rock and Roll Mother Goose is based on the fabulous story “The Ballad of the Pirate Queens”  by Jane Yolen.  It’s about the lives of two real-life pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Reade, gorgeously illustrated by David Shannon. There’s one picture in the book of the women, standing back to back, boldly defending their tiny ship against a much larger naval frigate, and all you can see are these small silhouettes of them against the looming, open gun ports.  I thought, “how cool would that be as a backdrop!?”  And I took it from there.

Performance Schedule: Sat 3/19, 11:45am; Sun 3/20, 12:45pm; Sat 3/26, 12:15pm

Review Fix: What makes this different or special?

Judi Lewis Ockler: The magical imagination storybook is an engineering marvel. It truly is the star of the show– you’ve never seen a book like this before, I can guarantee you that.  It is way cooler than I am. Rock n’ Roll Mother Goose gets the BEST toys, thanks to my design team– my brilliant husband Chris Ockler and my dearest friend and fellow artist and pirate, David Engel.  Without them, this show would not be cool in the slightest.

Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?

Ockler: I never considered myself a very good multi-tasker, or a very organized person.  But with this project I’m realizing how much I’ve accomplished as a producer, a creator, and a performer.  I’m actually good with wrangling chaos.

Review Fix: How does it feel to be a part of something like this?

Ockler: I feel like all the work I’ve put into my career as an artist over the last 20 years gets utilized with this project- and that is extremely satisfying and ROCKIN’ AWESOME.

Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?

Ockler: My goals for this production are moving along well; since its premiere last summer at the Midtown International theater festival, I’ve been touring the NYC area and out of town;  Rock n’ Roll Mother Goose!  was invited to Columbus, GA last fall for the Southern Pirate Festival. As a clown piece, it’s ever-evolving, so I’d like to perform this show as much as I can over the next year, to really get to know it. My ultimate goal is to have Rock n’ Roll Mother Goose!  The hostess of her own variety show–think Ellen or Stephen Colbert- for the 5-10 year old set.

Review Fix: What do you think your audiences will enjoy the most?

Ockler: Everybody loves the cannon. And watching the magical imagination storybook come to life. The audience air-band rock session comes in a close third.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Ockler: There’s a NJ library tour in the works this summer. Also a trip back to Georgia. Then I feel like I’m ready to start working on new stories. I’m really jazzed about an obscure Chinese folk tale about a young lady who saves her village from a girl-eating dragon. I’ve got a holiday show I’m really interested in creating- one that literally brings to light all the similarities in all the cultures of the world that celebrate between November and February;  I think its high time the children of the world see how much alike we all are, and encourage them to recognize what’s the same in all of us, rather than focus on what’s different.

For more information on the production and the MITF, click here.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 12822 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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