NEPA Scene Staff

Young cast brings ‘Madagascar’ musical to Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville Aug. 9-11

Young cast brings ‘Madagascar’ musical to Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville Aug. 9-11
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

The Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville, in conjunction with Act Out Theatre Group, will present the DreamWorks musical “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr.” for one weekend only.

Running this Friday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 11, the musical is part of the summer youth workshop program at the Music Box. This year, Act Out Theatre Group, which is primarily a children’s workshop-based theater in Dunmore, has directed the youth and teen workshops out of the Swoyersville playhouse.

Based on the hit animated movies, “Madagascar Jr.” follows four friends – Alex the lion (played by Anson Jumper), Marty the zebra (Brady Miller), Melman the giraffe (Annalie Werner), and Gloria the hippo (Isadora Gilroy) – as they leave the Central Park Zoo and head out on an adventure to Madagascar. Along the way, they meet a collection of furry characters and get involved in a variety of mini adventures.

“Madagascar Jr.” has roughly 25 workshop participants ranging in age from 4 to 12 years old, said Dan Pittman, owner and artistic director of the Act Out Theatre Group. The children have been working since June on the production. In addition to learning basic music and theatre terms, the participants also worked on speaking activities and helped to create parts of the set.

A group of lemurs waits for direction
during a recent rehearsal of ‘Madagascar.’

“We’ve tried to make this a complete learning experience,” Pittman said. “For the littlest ones, the fact that they’ve overcome their shyness enough to get up on stage and perform without a parent has been great to see.”

“Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr.” opens at the Music Box Dinner Playhouse (196 Hughes St., Swoyersville) on Friday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. and continues on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets for this show-only event are $13 for adults and $10 for students.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 570-283-2195 or e-mailing Additional information is available at

Act Out Theatre Group focuses on performance and education of the art of musical theatre. Its goal is to not only produce fine art but to facilitate an educational and fun social climate where young students can be free to express themselves without judgment, to learn about music and theatre, and to share a common passion among peers.

In 2017, Pittman took over as Act Out Theatre’s artistic director.The Plymouth resident has a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre from DeSales University and is an accomplished choreographer and director as well as a performer. He has worked at a number of community theatres throughout Luzerne and Lackawanna counties and has served as a substitute teacher in Luzerne, Franklin, and New Cumberland counties.

Gloria the Hippo, played by Isadora Gilroy of
Plymouth, never misses an opportunity to dance.