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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Two groups set the pace for youth theater in region

Critic At Large

The Peter Quince Performing Company and Next Stage

DE PERE and MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – The future is now for musical theater in Northeastern Wisconsin.

That is partly because of two remarkable companies made up of young people.

Our region has many opportunities for performing by youth, and some are a step above.

In Manitowoc, it’s all youth all the time for The Peter Quince Performing Company.

In De Pere, Next Stage has its own brand of youth power with the expertise of St. Norbert College theater pros behind it.

Next Stage is drawing students from 21 high schools for its production of “The SpongeBob Musical” in Walter Theatre of St. Norbert College.

The show is a fantasy romp with songs from all over the place.

An artistic team of mainly adults has been the guiding force for elaborate productions for six years.

The Peter Quince Performing Company has a cutoff age of 23, and yet its idea has lasted for generations.

Many historical musicals have been taken on.

Everything in show after show has been done by young people for 53 years.

You’d be hard pressed to find another enterprise like it in the nation.

Imagine, 1,887 – one thousand eight hundred eighty-seven! – young people have participated in the company since it started.

It takes a lot of actors and musicians and builders and organizers to put on these shows.

At Capitol Civic Centre this year, the troupe is keeping the legacy of Elvis Presley alive with “All Shook Up,” a show made up entirely of Elvis Presley songs woven through a story.

Final performances of “The SpongeBob Musical” in De Pere (2 p.m.) and “All Shook Up” in Manitowoc (3 p.m.) will be held today.

Information is at snc.edu/tickets/ and cccshows.org, respectively.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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