Columbia elementary to present ‘Finding Nemo Jr.’ on Jan. 26-27

MADISON – Columbia Elementary School Drama Club will relate the exploits of a lovable fish who just keeps on swimming when they present their 2024 musical, “Finding Nemo Jr.”

Directors Britney Deutschendorf and Dana Herwig “have loved the story of Marlin, Nemo and Dory since 2003 when ‘Finding Nemo’ was first released. The characters and story in ‘Finding Nemo Jr.’ bring happiness to the stage. We’re so excited to share it with our community.”

“The couple who wrote ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen 2’ adapted the original movie into a 30-minute stage production that has been performed in Animal Kingdom for 21 years, so you know the music is fantastic,” Deutschendorf and Herwig said.

Notable songs in “Finding Nemo Jr.” include “Big Blue World,” a traditional Broadway big opener; “Fish Are Friends, Not Food,” humorous tune in Bob-Fosse style; “We Swim Together,” a conga party; and “Go With the Flow” in laidback, island groove.

Cast leads are Colton Brooks (Nemo), Camilla Shurtz (Marlin) and Logan Deutschendorf (Dory). “These three students each brought something unique to their auditions, whether it be energy, amazing vocals, intuitive acting or wit. What’s most magical to watch is their onstage chemistry together,” Deutschendorf said.

“The students have learned a lot of patience this year and how to support their fellow actors,” Herwig said. “It warms our hearts to see them clapping for their friends and providing encouragement and support during rehearsals.”

Producers are Kayla Herwig and Rachel Schrandt. Britney Deutschendorf and Dana Herwig are choreographers.

“We’ve had so much fun with choreography and watching the students really make it their own,” Deutschendorf and Herwig said.

Jessica Krefting and Bonnie Winstel are costume leads. “They and all of the parent volunteers creating costumes have done an incredible job, helping us bring our costuming vision to life,” Deutschendorf and Herwig said.

“We took a different approach, using Disney bounding and color themes for our named characters and stuck to more traditional sea creature costumes for our sea chorus. Our costume team took our vision and created even better costume designs than we could have imagined,” Deutschendorf and Herwig said.

Show sponsors include Cintel Inc., Chick-fil-A, Society Salon and JbeeH Photography. “We’ve also had an outpouring of support from Columbia elementary administrators, faculty and staff, as well as our fantastic parent volunteers, who we could not do this without,” Deutschendorf and Herwig said.

“This show is wonderful for the whole family . . . a story of friendship, inclusion, support and love. There’s something for everyone to enjoy — from witty one-liners to dad jokes and introspective moments . . . such a fun show,” Deutschendorf and Herwig said.

“The students amaze us with their talent each year. We’ve had so much fun seeing them learn and grow throughout rehearsals,” they said.

Show times are Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 27 at 2 and 7 p.m. “Finding Nemo Jr.” will be presented in James Clemens High School Auditorium.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students. To buy tickets, visit https://www.showtix4u.com/events/findingnemojr. Guests also can buy tickets (with cash) at the event.

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