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How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?

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Michael Mahler and Alan Schmulcker are the duo behind the new kids show running this summer at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

It's an original musical called How Can You Run with A Shell on Your Back?

In the show, a group of middle school kids from different backgrounds meet in the library for after school detention and re-imagine themselves in stories like the Tortoise and the Hair or the Ant and the Grasshopper. 

Think “The Breakfast Club" meets Aesop's Fables.

The show is getting rave reviews from big time critics.

And the names Mahler and Schmuckler do sound like a classic Broadway songwriting duo.

Yet the two graduated from college just a couple of years ago.

They met at Northwestern University while working on the school's annual WaMu theatrical extravaganza.

But they'd never written a show together until this one.

Michael Mahler says their collaboration started when Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Rick Boynton invited the two of them to work on a new musical for kids.

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