Bio : The Rock and Roll Playhouse
The Rock and Roll Playhouse is a weekly children's-music-workshop series that allows kids to “move, play and sing while listening to works from the classic-rock canon” (NY Times). Created by entrepreneur and owner of The Capitol Theatre and co-owner of the Brooklyn Bowl, Peter Shapiro, and Amy Striem, a certified Early Childhood and Elementary teacher, The Rock and Roll Playhouse uses music to educate children and explore their creativity. Founded in 2013 in New York City at its flagship venue, Brooklyn Bowl, the Playhouse has now expanded to seventeen cities — Austin, Asheville, Boston, Boulder, Burlington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Mill Valley, Nashville, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, South Florida, and Westchester — and eighteen venues.
The idea for The Playhouse came to Shapiro, a parent of two young children, after he discovered first-hand a lack of regular programming in New York City that combined his passion for live music and his family. He collaborated with Striem, then an administrator at his daughter’s nursery school, to help fill this void that they felt many other parents also shared. Using the music of the most iconic musicians in rock history, from The Grateful Dead to Prince to David Bowie to Aretha Franklin to The Beatles and more. The Rock and Roll Playhouse offers its core audience of children under 10 with games, movement, and stories and an opportunity to rock out.
Amy Striem Bio:
After 15 years as an elementary school teacher and administrator in New York City independent schools, Amy partnered with Peter Shapiro to create The Rock and Roll Playhouse. As Executive Director of RRPH, Amy developed curriculum and curated programming that brought rock-based music education to young children and their families in the form of an interactive live concert experience.
The Rock and Roll Playhouse’s first show was at Brooklyn Bowl in 2015 with a special appearance by Phil Lesh, and has since put on more than 500 family concerts with regularly scheduled shows at Brooklyn Bowl and Garcia’s at the Capitol Theatre. Last summer, the Rock and Roll Playhouse expanded to include a family concert series at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, making it the largest family concert series in New York City. Since then, RRPH has expanded to sold-out shows in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago, with plans to expand to Nashville and the West Coast this spring and additional cities in the fall.
The Rock and Roll Playhouse organization is a national collective of teaching artists and talented local musicians in addition to frequent guest musicians including JRAD, The Funky Meters, Anders Osborne, Jackie Green, The North Mississippi Allstars, and Questlove, who has teamed up with RRPH to adapt his long-standing Bowl Train DJ residency into a recurring family dance party.
Amy is a certified NYC teacher and holds a master’s degree In Early Childhood and Elementary Education from NYU, and a BA in magazine journalism and political science from Syracuse University. She lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband Rob, a film producer, daughter Marley, 14, an enthusiastic electric bass player, and son Parker, 5.
Peter Shapiro bio:
Independent music entrepreneur Peter Shapiro’s eclectic career path has encompassed a range of celebrated projects. His experience operating the iconic rock club, Wetlands in New York City inspired his recent venue projects: opening multiple Brooklyn Bowls and the restoration of The Capitol Theatre.
In 2014, Shapiro entered into an exclusive deal with Phil Lesh, by which the Grateful Dead co-founder performed at Shapiro’s venues and events. In July 2015, Shapiro created Fare Thee Well, Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead. The heralded event took place over five nights at Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area and Soldier Field in Chicago, earning acclaim as “the biggest concert by one band in America. (Rolling Stone)”
Shapiro is the founder of Lockn’, an annual four-day music festival defined by its creative, collaborative programming, which has drawn over 30,000 fans to a farm in rural Arrington, VA. He also created Jazz & Colors, an experiential music event held in such iconic locations as New York City’s Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, along with Chicago’s Field Museum.
He serves as publisher of Relix Media Group overseeing the iconic print publication Relix Magazine, the highly trafficked music website Jambands.com and digital ad agency, Hear & There. Billboard acknowledged the collective success of his endeavors by naming him to their Power 100 lists of 2015 and 2016.
Some of his other projects include the Jammy Awards, America’s largest Earth Day event and the IMAX concert films U23D and All Access. He also co-founded the retail / online brand, Stone Fox Bride. In 2017, Shapiro oversaw the live steam broadcast of the Women’s March, and served as Executive Producer of the March for Science on Washington’s National Mall.
Shapiro sits on the board of a number of civic and charitable organizations, including: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where he is a voting member), New York Public Radio, New York City Parks’ Arts Committee, Central Park Summerstage, HeadCount and The Lowline. He also co-founded the environmental consulting firm Green Order.