The curtain, or should we say the clouds, go up on Prairie's latest musical.

The show must – and finally did – go on.

When the pandemic hit last March, the Wisconsin state mandate to close schools came smack dab in the middle of the Upper School’s performance of Into The Woods. And while the cast and crew were grateful to give theatergoers a pair of unforgettable shows, there was still a sense of sadness that coincided with the cancellation of the final two performances.

Cue the 2020-21 school year.

While students and staff alike were thrilled to be back together, numerous clubs, classes, and departments still found themselves navigating the uncertainty of the pandemic. Perhaps no on more than Prairie’s Theatre Department. Would there be a 20-21 show calendar? Would people be allowed on campus? Would they be allowed in the John Mitchell Theatre?

No one knew. 

So, rather than wait around on mandates and guidelines, the Department took matters into their own hands. Over the course of a semester, students in Ben Wagner’s Technical Theatre class constructed a brand new, outdoor, multi-tiered stage and set. 

Yesterday, the Pat Badger Amphitheater officially opened by welcoming students, faculty, and families of the Middle School performers. Students in Grades 7 and 8 presented a pair riveting Moana Jr. performances. As always, the costumes were beautiful. The crowd was captivated. And in true Wisconsin fashion, the springtime temperatures were crisp, just like the performances of actors who have waited over a year to get back on stage. 

After this week’s performances of Moana Jr., the Upper School will present Monty Python’s Spamalot later this month. Due to COVID-19, tickets will be sold to family members of the cast and crew only.