Traveling interactive theater duo puts on play for Eagle River youngstersSubmitted: 06/28/2017

Play Video
EAGLE RIVER - When your entire theater production fits in the back of your SUV, you need to know how to do -- and be -- just about everything.

"You kind of have to be the jack of all trades," actor Chris Cummings said.

Cummings is a stagehand, a set designer, and this summer a bug.  He and fellow actor Jennifer Schreiner travel the Midwest out of their Chicago-area homes for the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company, which is based in Portland, Oregon.

The pair puts on interactive shows for kids. Wednesday, the duo performed for library groups in Land O' Lakes and Eagle River as a pair of bugs looking to build a house.

Their show, "The Ribbles Build a Residence", is based on library's summer theme of "Build a better world." It helps celebrate architect Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th birthday.

"You never know what kind of impact you could have on a kid, which is why this is so important," Cummings said.

Cummings and Schreiner pull kids up on stage to have them act out bit parts and get involved with the show.

"Hey, you can get up here, you can do this, it's not as hard as you think and it's just having fun," Cummings said.

Eagle River's Olson Memorial Library Children's Resource Director Pat Lamon brought the traveling team back to the Northwoods for the first time in a few years.

"We try to foster [creativity] as much as we can," Lamon said. "[The kids are] interacting with other kids and that's better than just sitting in your room."

The library's summer programs don't cost people anything, nor does Lamon set an age limit.

"A lot of us are kids at heart so this kind of program resonates and they come," Lamon said.

Wednesday's show didn't draw a huge crowd. The site was moved from outside in Riverside Park to inside the Christ Lutheran School gym due to bad weather. But Cummings knows if he reaches just one person, his job -- of many jobs -- is complete.

"People who maybe think they don't belong anywhere, they can find that home in theater," Lamon said. "Because there is literally something for everyone."

The Traveling Lantern team headed south to the Madison area after Wednesday's shows.

Lamon hopes adults show up to her summer mystery game "Roswell That Ends Well" on Thursday night. It's set from 6 - 9 p.m. You can call the library for more info at 715-479-8070.

For more info about the Traveling Lantern group visit their website via the link below.

Related Weblinks:
Traveling Lantern Theatre Company

Story By: Lane Kimble

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story


Play Video

HAZELHURST - A week and a half ago, the Marathon County Dive Team pulled the body of 41-year-old Dominic Flaminio from the Wisconsin River. He drowned while trying to save his girlfriend's eight-year-old son, who was struggling in the current.

When Greg Bohn saw the story at his home in Hazelhurst, he felt like his heart was ripped out.

"This was so preventable," he remembers thinking.

It also motivated him to keep working on a water safety goal he's been chasing for years.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Every two years, high school athletes in Wisconsin get the signature of a physician, saying they're healthy to play sports. That signature comes after a physical exam.

Chiropractors can't give that sign-off, but they soon might be allowed to do so. The state Assembly passed a bill which would give chiropractors that privilege.

"The pre-participation exam is certainly extremely important. It is the best way to catch underlying illness and risk factors before athletes participate in sports," said Marshfield Clinic Regional Medical Director Dr. William Melms, who works out of Minocqua.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most people don't use an orthodontic office as a mail room.

However, one Rhinelander orthodontist is doing just that.

Dr. Joshua Bruce is helping to organize the "Hope and Healing" thank you card program for wounded veterans. It's run through his newly shared practice with Dr. Darrell Schmidt.

Schmidt first collected and sent cards to injured service members around Christmas last year.

Now, they are doing the same thing for Independence Day.

"[We want to] express our thanks for all they do for us, for the freedoms we enjoy that they sacrificed so much for," said Bruce.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Managing weeds can be a challenge for many cranberry growers across the state.

James Lake Farms in Three Lakes has been certified organic since 2007.

As organic growers, they are not allowed to use synthetic materials or herbicides to control their weeds.
This spring, they purchased weed eating geese from a nursery to help get rid of the weeds.

"We came across an article from 1954 in a trade magazine that showed that one of our marshes had used weeder geese back then in order to reduce the weed pressure, and we thought, well, this might be a novel approach," said owner John Stauner. 

+ Read More
+ More Local News


CHETEK, WI - A preliminary report from federal aviation investigators says witnesses described hearing an engine backfire before a small plane crashed in Wisconsin last month, killing the teenage pilot and seriously injuring a passenger.

The Leader-Telegram reports that the National Transportation Safety Board interviewed several witnesses who were fishing in a pond near the Red Cedar River at the time of crash on May 24.

+ Read More

CLEVELAND, OH - Authorities say human remains found along the Lake Erie shoreline last week are from one of the six victims of a plane crash off Cleveland in December.

The Cuyahoga County medical examiner's office on Wednesday says it used DNA comparisons to identify the remains as those of 15-year-old Jack Fleming. He was previously identified from other remains found after the crash.

+ Read More

MADISON - Democratic state Senator Kathleen Vinehout has registered to run for governor, the first step in officially launching a campaign.

Vinehout, of Alma, filed the paperwork on June 14 to register a campaign committee.

+ Read More

MADISON - Republican legislative leaders and Governor Scott Walker are once again set to meet as a deal to pass the state's $76 billion budget remains elusive.

Walker was to meet privately Wednesday with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

+ Read More
+ More Regional News

Click Here