Des Moines Playhouse
FOR IMMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kill Date: Oct. 15, 2023
Subject: The Des Moines Playhouse Penguin Project Presents Disney’s High School Musical Jr.
Contact: Lee Ann Bakros, Playhouse Marketing & Public Relations Director, 515-974-5358
The Des Moines Playhouse Penguin Project presents Disney’s High School Musical Jr., Oct. 13-15, 2023. Tickets may be purchased online at dmplayhouse.com and by phone at 515-277-261. Disney’s High School Musical Jr. is sponsored by Fareway, Lincoln Savings Bank, and Workspace with additional grassroots funding raised by Johnston High School Dragons Drama Booster Club.
East High basketball star Troy and brainy Gabriella cause an uproar in the school when they audition for the spring musical. The thespians resent the threat posed, but a jock and a braniac might be exactly what is needed to bring the school together and let everyone shine. Disney Channel’s smash hit movie comes to the stage in Disney’s High School Musical Jr.
Penguin Project productions are unique because all the roles are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. These artists are joined on stage by their peer mentors, youths of similar age without disabilities who have worked side-by-side with the artists through four months of rehearsals. The Penguin Project is a national program with 56 chapters in 24 states.
The Playhouse cast includes artists Elias Andersson, Joshua Baldwin, Max Bird, Whitman Birk, DJ Brown, Leighton Buckley, Lani Dirks, Eli Dixon, Amara Dunham, Indigo Ekhardt, Mattias Fiser, Kamilla Freeman, Shea Hunt, Owen Jacob, Elizabeth Janni, Alex Noah, McKenna O’Meara, Sabina Shelton, Robert Thacker, Stephen “Francis” Togba, and Eli Zimmerman. The mentors are Kyleigh Barlean, Corley Blackford, Emery Blackford, Maddie Deyen, Brecken Dirks, Cambria Dirks, Liz Francis, Emme Gustafon, Silas Gustafson, Sophia Gustafson, Aya Haidar, Kylie Halstead, Jackson Hamilton, Ainsley Jenkins, Porter Kimble, Lily Krizer, Julia Neighbors, Paige Neighbors, Anna Nelson, Ingrid Oakley, Julia Richer, Ridge Rutherford, Maddie Sanders, Jayne Stieler, Anabelle Weis, Gennie Weis, Ellie Wharff, and Annie White. Disney’s High School Musical Jr. is directed by Kim Van Haecke with music direction by Derek Phelps, choreography by Natalie Thomas, scenic design by Nicholas Amundson, costume design by Joy Barlean, and lighting design by Virgil Kleinhesselink.
The Playhouse mission is to create extraordinary, shared experiences through live theatre. The Playhouse vision is to be the home for artistic collaboration where any story can be told. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.
For more information about The Playhouse, Penguin Project, and Disney’s High School Musical Jr, visit dmplayhouse.com or call 515-277-6261.
Penguin Project: Disney’s High School Musical Jr.
Performances: 7:00 PM Friday & Saturday, 2:00 PM Sunday, Oct. 13-15, 2023
Tickets: $13 all ages
Purchase at dmplayhouse.com or 515-277-6261