Hi Fletch,

As you might recall, Kohl’s Wild Theater (KWT) is having another round of auditions on November 19th.  The current KWT actors have been promoting the auditions to their peers in Milwaukee, and in the process have noticed a handful of frequently asked questions about our program.  In an attempt to better introduce our new program to the Milwaukee theater community, would you mind posting this information on your blog?  If you or anyone else has questions about what we do, or how we do it, please feel free to email me at davem@zoosociety.org or call me at 414-258-5058 x429.  Thank you for your help!

Kohl’s Wild Theater (KWT) FAQs:

1)      Question: What exactly do the actors do?

Answer: We perform original plays and musicals that are written for young audiences and their families.  During the school year, we perform 45-minute plays and musicals.  During the summer we perform 15-minute plays and musicals at the Zoo.  In addition to the 15-minute shows, actors spend some time performing short 2-minute skits in front of Zoo exhibits.

2)      Question: When are the rehearsals and when are the shows?

Answer: Year round and mostly during the daytime.  When an actor is hired, they become part-time staff of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee.  We function as a repertory company where all actors learn numerous shows and various roles in each show.  Performances are scheduled in a similar way to any other day job.  A work schedule is distributed to the acting staff approximately three weeks in advance.  Summer Zoo shifts are 6 hours long and include 3-4 shows and some time spent at exhibits.  The touring shifts can vary from day to day.  A touring shift typically occurs in the daytime and can range from 4 to 7 hours in length.  On occasion we have evening performances.

3)      Question: What is the pay?

Answer:  Starting pay is $11/hour.  If an actor is a full company member, then they typically work 15-25 hours per week.  An understudy position (we call them swings) will work once a week, and have the opportunity to pick up shifts when full company members need coverage.

4)      Question: What if I book another show, or my agent calls me with an audition?  Can I get out of a scheduled performance?

Answer: Usually the answer is yes.  This job is designed to accommodate professional actors.  We encourage our actors to work as actors as much as possible.  If an unexpected audition arises, we work together as a team to get your shift covered.  This is why everyone knows numerous roles.    If you book an outside show that demands full availability then we can work together to figure out a plan of action.  We have almost always been able to work with other theater’s performance and rehearsal schedules.

5)      Question:  Are there live animals in the shows?

Answer: No.  Just a bunch of wild actors.

6)      Question:  Do I need to drive my own car to the touring performances?

Answer: No, all work shifts start at the Zoo.  If you are performing a touring show then you will join your fellow actors in our tour van.  All travel time is part of your paid shift.

7)      Question:  Is singing required?

Answer: Yes, a majority of our shows incorporate musical theater elements.  However, one does not need to be technically trained singer to audition for this program.  All of our music is composed for “actors who sing.”  We have many company members who are fantastic actors with little to no singing experience.  The audition notice asks actors to prepare a 16-32 bar cut of up-tempo musical theater.  If you don’t have a song prepared, you may still audition with two contrasting monologues.  You will likely be asked to sing something a capella.

8)      Question: What should I do if I want to audition?

Answer: Please see our audition information at http://www.zoosociety.org/Education/WildTheater/Work.php.  The auditions are this Monday.  Appointment requests received after Friday afternoon might not be received in time for the audition.  If you are interested in this audition, it is preferred that you send your headshot and resume as soon as possible.

For more information on Kohl’s Wild Theater, you can see our website at www.wildtheater.org.



Dave McLellan

Theater Coordinator

Zoological Society of Milwaukee

10005 West Blue Mound Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Phone: 414-258-5058 x429

Cell: 414-254-9936

Fax: 414-258-4004