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 2023 lineup:

Dr. McGhee Learns About the Sea

Dr. McGhee’s waiting room is overflowing with sick sea creatures from the kelp forest. With the help of their nurse and an audience of interns the medical team heads to the ocean where they meet a singing sea otter who explains that ocean acidity is on the rise and without help the creatures of the kelp forest may be left without a home! Can the good doctor write a prescription big enough to heal the entire ocean?

Book by Ernie Nolan
Music and Lyrics by John Tanner

Journey to the Rich Coast

Baltimore orioles, Bernie and Ripkin, have noticed the weather is getting colder and food is getting harder to find; what’s a bird to do? Migrate! Bernie and Ripkin begin the long journey from Wisconsin to Costa Rica where they meet Tomás, a chestnut-mandibled toucan, who welcomes them to their winter home. But will Bernie and Ripkin wear out their welcome? How will they know it’s time to journey back? Take flight with our feathered friends as they travel the Mississippi flyway!

Book by Alvaro Saar Rios
Music and Lyrics by John Tanner

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.

Our current traveling performances are:

Finding Harmony

For K-2nd grade audiences
Jan. 27-Mar. 24, 2024

Hadley the garden gnome and their grumpy pet rock, Thad, are ready to create the perfect backyard. Unfortunately, their definitions of “perfect” don’t exactly align. When they discover a lonely baby bunny, Hadley and Thad must work together to track down its missing parents and learn what it means to live in harmony with the wildlife that shares their outdoor space. Audiences will encounter familiar Wisconsin animals including squirrels, rabbits and migratory birds.

Performance Length: 40 minutes
Performance Cost: $150

By Liz Shipe and Brian Myers

Request a performance

Bullies and Bonobos

For 3rd-5th grade audiences
Feb. 3-Mar. 31, 2024

When Riley is partnered with their bully for a science project, they are unsure what to do. Luckily, they are helped by an amiable ape who shows them the importance of empathy and cooperation. Join Riley and their classmates for this play about friendship and one of the most fascinating primates in the world: the bonobo. Due to dramatic content, this performance may not be suitable for younger than the designated age band.

Performance Length: 40 minutes
Performance Cost: $150

By Neil Haven

Request a performance

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:

KWT Spring Season Auditions

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 – 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023 – 12:30-4:30 p.m.

Sign up here for an audition slot or contact for more information.

Sign up to audition