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Monday, January 30, 2017


Photo by John Eaton
Rehearsing for their upcoming “Madagascar Junior” performances are the four crack-a-lackin’ friends, including (from left to right) Melman the Giraffe played by Carter Ackley, Alex the Lion by Kael Kilmer, Marty the Zebra by Brooke Smith and Gloria the Hip Hip Hippo by Hannah Butkiewicz.’

Forty-seven third through ninth graders who live in the Northern Tioga School District area are learning about theater arts as they rehearse for public performances of the family friendly musical, “Madagascar Junior.”
Both performances will be at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4 in the auditorium adjacent to the Clark Wood Elementary School at 110 Addison Hill Road in Elkland. The campers will also give a school-time matinee performance in the auditorium on Friday, Feb. 3.

About half of the students have speaking parts in the production and others are involved in the show's ensembles. They are being taught choreography, how to project their voices when speaking and singing and how to create a character - all while having fun. Among the show's many songs are "I Like to Move It," "Best Friends" and "Together Forever."

Alex the Lion is played by Kael Kilmer, Marty the Zebra by Brooke Smith, Gloria the Hip Hip Hippo by Hannah Butkiewicz and Melman the Giraffe by Carter Ackley. Join these four crack-a-lackn' friends on this set-in-the-wild musical adventure as they escape from their home in New York's Central Park Zoo and go on an unexpected journey to the beaches of Madagascar and the madcap world of King Julien played by Gracie Stephens.

Other cast members are: the Zoo Keepers — Zoe - Sydney Carlin, Zelda - Payton Huntington and Zena - Madeline Millard; the Penguins — the Skipper, Bryson Fuhrer; Kowalski, Alexis Poole; Private, Quinn Evans; and Rico, Markenna Burdick. Mason is played by Connor Burdick; Camera Man by Philip Schoonover, Candy Hammernose by Stevia Swimley, and Old Lady by Lydia Howe.

The Zoo Guests, New Yorkers and Lemurs are: Ellie Blackwell, Cynthia Brown, Thomas Brown, Jaylin Butler, Arianna Cary, Ella Churchill, Darby Crance, Madison Dean, Hannah Dodson, Madison Huzey, Madisen Jones, TaylorRae Jones, Brett Meise, Kenra Moises, Coralyn Pritchett, Taylor Ruggles, Treona Seeley, Ruby Sherman, Treonna Seeley, Megan Shutes, Savannah Steadman, Joelanna Stephens, Makenzie Surine, Keyana Thomas, Alonna Valentine, Raegen VanGordon, Paige Volterman, Emma Walter, Gabby Walter, Brooke Whitehill and Andria Wojnarek.

The Hamilton-Gibson after school Winter Theatre Arts Camp at Elkland began on Monday, Jan. 23 and ended on Thursday, Feb. 2. Camp sponsor is the Deerfield Charitable Trust.

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday performances are pay-what-you-can. For tickets or more information, call 570-724-2079 or email

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