McLeod Summer Playhouse is set to present the Illinois premiere of "Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical" as part of its 2019 professional summer season at SIU. "Polkadots" opens June 8 and runs select Wednesdays and Saturdays through July 20.
"Polkadots" is inspired by civil rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock Nine. It follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot, who just moved to the "Squares Only" small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot to attend an all-Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers.
From daily bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily's quest seems hopeless until she meets a shy Square boy whose curiosity blooms into an unexpected friendship. Their friendship shows everyone that our individual differences do not make us weird or wrong, they make us cool! This brand new musical features a book by Melvin Tunstall III, lyrics by Douglas Lyons, and music by Greg Borowsky and Douglas Lyons.
The MSP Summer Season is sponsored by SIH Medical Group, and "Polkadots" is sponsored by Carolyn Wagner Snyder. Directing the "Cool Kids Musical" is Danae DeShazer, who returns to MSP after directing last season's "9 to 5, The Musical," and "Once Upon a Mattress."
In addition to DeShazer, the artistic team includes music direction by Jenna Mee Dosch, scenic design by Ronald Naversen, costume design by Kristina Sneshkoff, lighting design by Michael Frohling, and sound design by Jerome Veit.
The cast of "Polkadots" includes MSP newcomers Kalyn Glover (Lily Polkadot) and Brooke Bucher (Penelope Square) and returning MSP actors Bryce Beliveau (Sky Square) and Lyndsay Manson (Ms. Square/Mama Square). The ensemble includes SIU Carbondale students Jakob Sommers, Amanda Talor, Julia Cicero and Mainyia Xiong.
• Performances will take place at SIU's Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theater, located in the Communications Building. Show times are at 10 a.m. June 12, June 26, July 3 and July 17; and at 2 p.m. June 8, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 13 and July 20. General admission prices are $14 for adults and $10 for children and SIU students. Tickets are available online at events.siu.edu.