In Kids & Family

Kohl's Wild Theater is set to open its sixth season of show for children at the zoo. (PHOTO: Richard Taylor)

Kohl's Wild Theater for kids set to open sixth season at the Zoo

Kohl's Wild Theater (KWT), a partnership between Kohl's Cares and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, will start its sixth season at the Milwaukee County Zoo on May 28, 2016. The staged plays and other theatrical offerings are made possible by a $1.5 million multi-year grant from Kohl's Cares, the philanthropic program of Kohl's.

The four Kohl's Wild Theater professionally staged plays include:

  • The Wonderful Lizard of ooZ, a performance that highlights the importance of keeping pet frogs in their terrariums
  • The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Bees, an interactive play that uncovers clues about a yellow-banded bumblebee
  • The Treasure of the Sea, an ocean adventure that educates families about the importance of eating sustainable seafood
  • Journey to the Rich Coast, a musical migration that follows the path of two Wisconsin birds

"This summer's season offers returning favorites on our main stage," says Dave McLellan, KWT program coordinator. "Zoo guests will also enjoy brand new at-exhibit skits being performed around the Zoo, including two new locations. KWT actors will be interacting with guests of all ages near the Humboldt penguin, gorilla and bug exhibits."

Recognized as one of the country's finest zoological attractions, the Milwaukee County Zoo serves about 1.3 million people annually. Kohl's Wild Theater performances are free with admission to all Zoo attendees. Kids that attend each show – as well as interactive skits performed at various exhibits – can get a KWT "passport" stamped and receive a prize. To make programs like this possible, Kohl's Cares sells children's books and soft toys and donates 100 percent of the net profit to benefit children's initiatives.

The Society's Conservation Education staff, professional playwrights, performers, set and costume designers, musicians and puppet makers have created these theatrical performances. Audience members share in the fun and become part of the action by singing songs and helping the onstage characters.

Kohl's Wild Theater performances run Saturday, May 28, through Monday, Sept. 5, with four different 15-minute shows daily. Throughout the day zoogoers can also interact with actor-operated puppets and watch short skits at some animal exhibits around the Zoo. Kohl's Wild Theater also travels to festivals, schools and community events within a one-hour radius of the Zoo – free of charge – to perform 30- to 45-minute outreach shows throughout the year. A public performance calendar of community events can be found at wildtheater.org.

To learn more about the KWT program or to book an outreach program, go to wildtheater.org or call (414) 258- 2333.


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