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Book by Buddy Farmer
Music & Lyrics by Michael Mahler
Lyrics by David H. Bell
Directed by David H. Bell

FREE Reading Presentations:
Saturday, November 19 at 2pm
Josephine Louis Theater
Northwestern University
Sunday, November 20 at 2pm
Decio Theater
DeBartolo PAC | Notre Dame University
Click here for photos of ROCKNE

ROCKNE is a vibrant new musical about one man’s journey to discover what is important in life. Born to Norwegian immigrants, Knute Rockne rose to become the greatest coach in the history of college football, turning Notre Dame into an athletic powerhouse. March with the ROCKNE story down the gridiron of life to come to understand that “there’s something in the game”.​



BUDDY FARMER (Book) has the distinction of being the only playwright to ever play football for Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. His first play Coaches (Off the Bench with Knute, Vince and The Bear) received critical acclaim in Los Angeles and toured to the University of Notre Dame, San Francisco, Milwaukee, The Super Bowl in Phoenix and The Academy of Television of Arts and Sciences. He rewrote the “Knute” section of this play into a TV mini-series which was the basis for the book he wrote for the new musical, Knute Rockne. The show premiered last year just outside Chicago and received rave reviews from the Chicago theatre critics along with several Jefferson Award nominations. His latest play, The Barbeque, received the runner up award in the 2010 New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest in New York. Another of his plays, Alabama Baggage, was given an Honorable Mention in 2008 by the New Works of Merit. Buddy resides in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife Pamela and their two dogs, Rusty and Savannah.

MICHAEL MAHLER (Music and Lyrics) is the Jeff award-winning Chicago-based composer/lyricist of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, October Sky, Hero, The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure, Painted Alice, Rockne, How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back? and others. He contributed additional lyrics to Cameron Mackintosh’s Broadway-bound revival of Miss Saigon and served as the original English lyricist of Boublil and Schönberg’s La Revolution Francaise. Projects in development include Secret of My Success and Gravediggers’ Hamlet. Visit

DAVID H. BELL (Lyrics and Director) as a director, choreographer and writer in Chicago has earned him eleven Jeff Awards and forty-five nominations. He has staged productions in London, Paris, Berlin, Zurich, Vienna and the Barcelona Olympics. He was artistic director for Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre for nine years and artistic director for the historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. He has directed on and off Broadway, at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the Royal National Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and theaters all over the world. His awards and honors include: the Helen Hayes Award (DC); Dramalogue Award; Mac and Bistro Awards (New York); three After Dark Awards (Chicago); five Carbonell Award nominations (Florida); four Atlanta Constitution Best Director Awards; two National Endowment for the Arts Playwrighting Fellowships; and a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Hot Mikado (London). Mr. Bell heads the Music Theatre program at Northwestern University and is the Artistic Director of the Ameircan Music Theatre Project (AMTP).