‘Kilroy Was Here’ offers tribute to 1940s


Austin Redding, Tara Kremer, Madisen Pfahl and Cole Gassman all rehearse for the upcoming production of “Kilroy Was Here”, to be performed by the young actors taking part in this summer’s Parks and Recreation Theater Camp.

Austin Redding, Tara Kremer, Madisen Pfahl and Cole Gassman all rehearse for the upcoming production of “Kilroy Was Here”, to be performed by the young actors taking part in this summer’s Parks and Recreation Theater Camp. Photo by Julie Smith.

Children from Jefferson City and the surrounding areas will show their talents Friday in a production of ‘Kilroy Was Here.’

Troy Donehue, director of the Jefferson City Fine Arts Theater Camp, said more than 60 area children from third through 12th grade will be part of this year’s production, which offers a look into the World War II atmosphere of 1944.

Donehue said the story is fictitious, but based on historical facts, including the main character Kilroy, who is based on a popular cartoon of the time.

“It created a person called Kilroy would draw (the cartoons) and it kind of gave this character meaning,” Donehue said. “It was interesting to me how historically correct it is, but it’s all fiction.”

The character of Kilroy is a cryptographer who is hypnotized and kidnapped by spies trying to get the locations of ships and rendezvous points in order to broadcast them. Donehue said there is an extensive network of spies throughout the play, but only a few can be identified by audience members before the last scene.

“It’s going to be one of those ‘Oh!’ moments,” Donehue said.

He said the show takes place primarily in a 1944 US and features many historical references, such as the invention of the jukebox and the new musical sensation of Frank Sinatra.

Abby Lueckenotte, 15, plays one of the female leads, a riveter with a budding romance. Luekenotte said she has been involved in the fine arts camp for seven years and has enjoyed each production.

“I like my boyfriend, he’s pretty cool,” Luekenotte said when asked what her favorite part of the show is this year.

Adam Sullens, 14, said this his first year in the camp, but 11th play he’s been involved in overall. Sullens said his favorite part of this year’s production is the dance numbers.

“I’ve never really danced in a show,” Sullens said. “I get to do a cool tango.”

Donehue said the camp spent more time on costumes this year, trying to remain as historically accurate as possible, with several cast members wearing their father’s or grandfather’s old military uniforms.

“They were so factual that I wanted to keep it by doing the costumes of the time,” Donehue said. “I have authentic haircuts and authentic uniforms.”

The play opens at 7 p.m. Friday at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Richardson Fine Arts Center. The play is free and Donehue said he hopes to see military members and veterans come out and see the show.

“This is a tribute to the USO and the service people,” Donehue said. “I want it packed (Friday) of flag-waving, patriotic, ready-for-a-good-show people.”

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - comments