Summer Theatre camp bringing African savannah to UW
‘The Lion King Jr.’ performances to take place Aug. 18-20
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — The University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County campus will bring the African savannah to life with its Summer Theatre camp rendition of “The Lion King Jr.”
The camp is offered through the UW’s Continuing Education schedule. Preparations began on July 5 with participants meeting four or more nights a week.
“This is a course that they take. They sign up to take the workshop and commit to regular attendance with only minor conflicts,” explained Director Donna Thompson. “This year it was open to anyone from ages 10-17. Sometimes we only go down to 12 depending on the content.”
The idea for the course, now in its 12th year, was hatched by Jeanne Pitsch, who previously worked with the Continuing Education program.
“There was a need for the middle school aged to have a theater program. … It was her idea to develop the program,” Thompson said.
“The Lion King Jr.” production features 39 area students and a cast of Simba, played by Tylan Cokl and Zach Iniguez; Nala, played by Hannah Moin and Olivia Maass; Mufasa, played by Ian Rootellis; Timon, played by Tyler Meyer; Pumbaa, played by Tyler Nanstad; Scar, played by Eli Splude; Rafiki, played by Takiah Bertz; and Zazu, played by Kevin Fischer.
“They come from not just Marshfield. We’ve got (participants) from Spencer, Granton, Chili, Neillsville, Auburndale, Rozellville, Greenwood, and Hewitt,” said Thompson.
“My costume design team — headed up by Beckie Rogers and Jill Hagman — are doing a fabulous job of creating these animals and making them come to life,” she added. “They are designing giraffes, an elephant, lions, a rhino, and more.”
Scheduled for Aug. 18 and Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 20 at 2 p.m., performances will be held in the Helen Connor Laird Theater with a $10 admission. Contact the university box office at 715-389-6534 for more information.