Wisconsin School Begins Building Musical Theater Program

By KBJR News 1

October 18, 2012 Updated Oct 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM CDT

Ashland, WI (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- A TV show is helping one northland school develop a musical theater that can stand the test of time.

This Wisconsin middle school competed with thousands across the county, and landed the grand prize.

"Ashland Middle School was one of the ten schools in the county that won the America's Votes campaign, for the Smash Make a Musical program," said Marty Johnson, Director of Education with iTheatrics.

Now, thanks to a little hard work, and the TV show Smash, the Ashland Middle School is receiving some advice to create a self–sustaining musical theater program.

"I'm back here to teach workshops to the teachers and work with the students to help them build a sustainable musical theater program in their school."

Superior born and University of Minnesota–Duluth graduate Marty Johnson flew from New York to coach this school.

"I've come to start them off. I'll come back half way through to give them some more guidance and help them and the students out," said Johnson at the Ashland Middle School.

The students are thrilled.

"It's really fun and I'm really exited for it and I'm just glad we got the opportunity," said Porter Beilfuss, 7th grader at the Ashland Middle School.

The end result will be a community play, and the skills to carry more musical theater into the future.

The Ashland Middle School was the only school picked for the grand prize from Minnesota and Wisconsin.