The high school campers for Something Rotten! Their performance will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10 each and on sale at wagonwheelcenter.org. Photo provided.
The high school campers for Something Rotten! Their performance will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10 each and on sale at wagonwheelcenter.org. Photo provided.
Last week, Wagon Wheel Conservatory high school students started camp to produce the fantastic Broadway smash “Something Rotten!”

The eighth- through 12th-grade campers will experience the thrill of a Wagon Wheel summer as they mount a full-length Broadway musical in 11 days.

This year, campers will also learn from two special guest educators. Guest Director Matthew Baker performed the lead role William Shakespeare in the 2018 tour of “Something Rotten!”.

Coming back to choreograph is Wagon Wheel alum Ashlyn Maddox who was Dorothy in “Wizard of Oz” at the Wagon Wheel last summer.

Students enrolled in this workshop will get training in acting, singing, and dancing while rehearsing a final production on the Wagon Wheel stage.

“This is truly an exciting opportunity for high school students,” said Kira Lace Hawkins, education director of Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts. “Students will be choreographed and directed by professional actors and our guest director this year performed in this very show on the National Broadway Tour.”

On June 13, the Warsaw Optimist Club approved a grant of $1,000 in support of this program. Funding will help support the expenses of the show and offset scholarship requests for students enrolled in the program. Experiences like those offered at the Wagon Wheel Conservatory are rare for students, especially in a rural community like Kosciusko County, according to a news release from the Wagon Wheel.

“Receiving local funding is vital to the success and growth of the Wagon Wheel Conservatory program,” said Lakesha Green, executive director. “As we seek additional funding for this program from foundations across the state and country, having support from our local community first is vital to receiving a ‘yes’ from these other funding sources.”

The Wagon Wheel is thankful for the local support of the Warsaw Optimist Club.

The Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club is the largest service club in Kosciusko County. Through various fundraising activities during the year, the Warsaw Optimist Club organization raises over $20,000 to donate to youth-oriented activities. Purposes of the Optimist Club include: to develop optimism as a philosophy of life; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to aid and encourage the development of youth.

Through the Wagon Wheel Conservatory program, the Wagon Wheel invests in youth development through creative arts programming, taught by skilled professionals dedicated to investing in students' lives and development. Wagon Wheel Conservatory provides the highest quality training in acting, voice and movement from instructors who are active participants in professional theater in a safe and affirming environment, preparing students of all ages for a lifetime of theater engagement.

Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts was founded in 1956 as a summer stock professional theatre. After becoming a nonprofit in 2010, the Wagon Wheel expanded programming to further strengthen Kosciusko County and the region’s accessibility to professional and educational arts programming. Wagon Wheel’s mission is to provide performing arts experiences that create community unity, educational opportunity, and economic growth.

Donations made to Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts are tax-deductible and individuals, businesses, and foundations interested in investing in the future of the Wagon Wheel or its programs, including the Conservatory, are encouraged to reach out to Lakesha Green, executive director, or Elisa Wise, development director.

More information, including upcoming events, classes, and workshops, can be found online at https://www.wagonwheelcenter.org/.