Creative Theater with a Purpose

Kohl’s Wild Theater is made possible by a partnership between Kohl’s, the Milwaukee County Zoo, and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. This educational and fun-filled program offers conservation-themed theater performances using drama, songs and puppetry to engage and delight audiences young and old. Kohl’s Wild Theater performs for children and their families at the Milwaukee County Zoo and also travels to schools, festivals and community events.

Kohls Wild Theater Intro

See Kohl’s Wild Theater at the Zoo

Kohl’s Wild Theater offers family-friendly, 15-minute performances at the Zoo every Tuesday through Sunday between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, right inside the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm. Don’t forget to look for our interactive, at-habitat performances around the Zoo.

Our summer 2024 lineup:

Rear Hippo

Jimmy and Grace, a nesting pair of hamerkop birds, lived a quiet life until Thorwald moved in down the river. He’s large, only comes out at night, and can fling poop up to 32 feet in any direction! The neighbors might be fooled, but Jimmy won’t rest until he exposes Thorwald for the troublemaker he is! Developed in celebration of the Milwaukee County Zoo’s new Hippo Haven habitat, this Alfred Hitchcock parody will highlight the hippopotamus as a keystone species and teach audiences about the many benefits they provide to the other animals in their habitat.

Book and Lyrics by Kelly Doherty
Music by Jonathon Gideon

The Time Traveler’s Chicken

Dr. Thinker has just completed a time machine with the aim of helping conservationists study extinction. With an accident-prone chicken, Clucky, in tow the audience will travel through time encountering several extinct avian species such as dinosaurs, dodos, and passenger pigeons. Audiences will also be introduced to the critically endangered siheks and will learn about conservation efforts being made across the world to help many animals avoid extinction.

Book by Neil Haven
Music and Lyrics by Brian Myers

Bring Kohl’s Wild Theater to You

Throughout the year, Kohl’s Wild Theater brings live, educational, family-friendly shows to schools, libraries and various community events within 60 miles of the Zoo.

Questions? Contact us at or call 414-258-5058.

Upcoming Traveling Performances

The Silly Scary Stories Club

For K-2nd grade audiences
Oct. 8-Dec. 14, 2024

Join the Silly Scary Stories Club as they tell their silliest and scariest stories around the campfire! Meet Bruno and Juno, a pair of picky eaters preparing for the Black Bear Strong Man Competition, and King Minus, a greedy and wasteful King with a fondness for badgers. And the silliest, scariest story of all … the legend of the trash monster! Join our scouts as we learn the importance of reducing waste, recycling, and how to be good neighbors to our furry friends who call the forest their home.

Performance Length: 40 minutes
Performance Cost: $150

Book by Christopher Orth, music and lyrics by John Tanner. “The Silly Scary Stories Club” is an original adaptation based on Kohl’s Wild Theater shows written by Doug Jarecki, Kelly Doherty, and Melanie Wehrmacher.

Welcome to the Zoo!

For 3rd-5th grade audiences
Jan. 28-Mar. 22, 2025

It’s a great day at the Zoo — for everyone except Skylar, that is. Shy and hesitant, Skylar is sent on a journey by the wise river turtle where they meet zoo ambassador animals like Humboldt penguins, zebras and river otters. Join Skylar as they discover animal adaptations and how we, as humans, can adapt and grow when faced with new challenges. Welcome to the Zoo reminds us that trying new things — even when it’s scary — can be the key to interacting with the world around us.

Performance Length: 40 minutes
Performance Cost: $150

Book by Erica Berman, music and lyrics by John Tanner.

Registration opening soon!

Upcoming Kohl’s Wild Theater Shows

No Events

Kohl’s Wild Theater also performs at many festivals and other venues open to the public. See what’s going on in our community:


Our Cast & Crew

Kohl’s Wild Theater employs professional actors, screenwriters, composers, and designers. This team of dedicated performers and educators are passionate about spreading the message of conservation and animal science through interactive, engaging, and entertaining plays for children and their families.

Meet the Kohl’s Wild Theater Cast & Crew

Interested in joining our team?

To be considered for a future contract, send your resume to Writers and composers should send two writing/music samples. Writing samples should be under 10 pages and should be from a play or musical intended for young audiences.


Tall Border

Upcoming auditions:

Kohl’s Wild Theater (KWT) is holding auditions for their Fall Outreach Show, “The Silly Scary Stories Club,” at the Milwaukee County Zoo!

Important Dates:

  • Auditions: Friday, July 12, from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Rehearsals: Sept. 10-Oct. 4, Tuesdays-Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tech rehearsal Oct. 2-4 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Outreach Tour: Oct. 8-Dec. 14. Sundays and Mondays are observed as dark days and no performances will be scheduled (with the exception of Nov. 25.)

Audition Information:

Auditioners are asked to prepare:

  1. One brief song that suits your vocal range (16 bars long.) An accompanist will be provided.
  2. Readings from the script (sent after confirmation of audition time) and work with a puppet from the show.

KWT is a traveling children’s theatre program that serves the schools and youth throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. All of our shows feature lessons and messaging about earth and wildlife conservation and give kids of all ages actionable items that they can do to get involved. KWT is a program of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee in partnership with Kohl’s.

Please reach out to us at with any questions.

Sign up here