‘Great American Trailer Park Musical’ to be presented April 27-30

“The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” a riveting musical comedy with a touch of Jerry Springer drama, will be presented April 27-30 by the departments of theatre and music at Ripon College.

Performances will begin each evening at 7:30 p.m. in Benstead Theatre, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended by calling 920-748-8791 or sending an e-mail to [email protected].

The two-act musical by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso was performed in the first annual New York Music Theater Festival in 2004 and off-Broadway in 2005. In the story, havoc ensues when Pippi, a stripper on the run, seeks refuge from her crazy ex-boyfriend Duke. She hides out in a trailer park called Armadillo Acres located in North Florida where she has an affair with one of the married tenants who live there.

“At its very core this show is about love,” says Visiting Professor of Theatre Lillian Brown, the musical’s director. “Throughout the play we watch the characters evolve
in order to protect their family and community. Ultimately asking the audience to consider how love preserves over time. And I think that’s something that we can all relate to: the larger themes of love, community and self-care.

“The cast and I have had a blast bringing this show together. I think there is something in this show everyone can enjoy.”

The cast includes: Lucie Hodgkins ’25 of McFarland, Wisconsin, as Betty; Alli Slowiak ’22 of Kiel, Wisconsin, as Linoleum “Lin”; Summer Schieckau ’25 of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, as Donna “Pickles”; Evan Jensen ’24 of Janesville, Wisconsin, as Norbert; Abbe Lane ’22 of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, as Pippi; Inesha Wiseman ’22 of Hazel Crest, Illinois; as Jeannie; and Andy Ratayczak ’23 of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, as Duke.

Members of the crew are: Professor of Theatre John Dalziel, technical director; Assistant Professor of Music Erin Bryan, music director; Andrea Williams ’04, costumer; Lindsey Wigand ’22 of West Allis, Wisconsin, stage manager; Lydia Wilson of Ripon, Wisconsin, Kylie Zenz ’23 of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, and Rick Veltstra, assistant stage managers; Karissa Wise, light board operator; William Stiggers ’22 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sound board operator; Ethan Mans ’24 of Ripon, Wisconsin, and Anjelika Dombrowski ’22 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, costume dressers/wig crew; Carmen Dorantes ’25 of Milwaukee Wisconsin, and Dawsyn Friedauer ’23 of Omro, Wisconsin, costume construction.

Members of the band are: Michael Dunphy, keyboard; Malakai Flynn, guitar; Lydia Wiley Deal ’22 of Whitewater, Wisconsin, bass; and Ethan Hansen ’23 of Franksville, Wisconsin, drums.

The musical will run during the Spring Arts Celebration on April 29, which will bring together the visual art, music and theatre of Ripon College. Festivities will run from 4:30 p.m. to about 9 p.m. All are free and open to the public.

Activities will include a reception with complimentary refreshments, the opening of the senior art exhibit, an artist talk for the Caestecker Gallery art exhibit, a senior organ recital, a pre-show discussion of “The Great Trailer Park Musical” and the dedication of the Foyer Gallery.

(Photo: Back row, left to right: Lucie Hodgkins ’25, Summer Shlieckau ’25, Evan Jensen ’24; middle row: Andy Ratayczak ’23, Inesha Wiseman ’22; front row: Abbe Lane ’22.)

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