Superior students bring youthful energy to Disney classic

"101 Dalmatians" will be performed at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at the Superior High School Performing Arts Center.
The cast of 101 Dalmatians march through the rain during the Fourth of July Parade. (Jed Carlson /

Packs of students roamed the fine arts area of Superior High School on Wednesday, July 10. They practiced dance steps, painted spots on white T-shirts and mixed up batches of dog treats in preparation for two public performances of “101 Dalmatians” next week.

A cast and crew of 65 students, many in elementary school, will bring the kids version of the Disney classic to life at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18, in the SHS Performing Arts Center.

“It’s a great show for younger kids,” director Cheri Tesarek said.

The annual musical is an opportunity for students to develop talents as well as entertain.

“They use their skills and sing and dance and project their voices and work as a team,” said Melissa Hepokoski, who is co-directing with Tesarek.


This year, they’ll also be giving back to the community. Students cooked up batch after batch of dog treats made from pumpkin, flour, peanut butter and eggs Wednesday, July 10, with the help of volunteers. Their “Kanine Krunchies” will be sold at intermission. Proceeds will be earmarked for the Humane Society of Douglas County, which runs the animal shelter in Superior.

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Sixth grader Cora Conley, left, and fifth grader Hadley Christmas customize their Dalmation costumes by adding black spots Wednesday, July 10 at Superior High School. Conley plays Sgt. Tibbs the cat and Christmas is Scruffy the Chihuahua in the Superior Summer School Musical "101 Dalmations." (Maria Lockwood /

“Where I got my cat from,” said fifth-grader Hadley Christmas, who plays Scruffy the Chihuahua.

To help channel the show’s youthful energy, Superior Middle School students have been tasked with guiding groups of younger actors.

“Someday they’re going to be the leads, so they need to really step up and learn how to be leaders,” Tesarek said. “It’s really fun to watch them.”

Eighth-grader Emily Smeby plays Angel, the leader of the Chihuahuas, and seventh-grader Railee Meade leads the boxer group as her character, Colby. Each did a quick head count of their packs as they mixed and molded dog treats Wednesday.

“You try to keep them in line,” Emily said of her Chihuahuas.


This is the first time she’s been involved in the summer musical. Emily said she has enjoyed the activity and hopes to do it again next year.

“101 Dalmatians” is the third summer musical for Railee, who’s in charge of seven boxers.

“I think it’s fun,” she said.

“The kids are having a ball,” said Denise Winterscheidt, a grandparent volunteer.

Next week, they'll share that joy with the public. The musical is geared for audience members of all ages.

“It should be fun,” Hepokoski said.

Tickets are $5 each at the door.


Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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