Summer Musical Theatre Festival Returns with ‘A Year with Frog and Toad’

frogandtoadCOOKSBURG, Pa. (EYT) – After a two-year reorganizational hiatus, Clarion University Department of Visual and Performing Arts is bringing back the Summer Musical Theatre Festival.

Sam Atwell of St. Marys will portray Frog, and Zachery Hoffman of Erie will portray Toad in “A Year with Frog and Toad,” presented July 2-4 at Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre at Clarion University and July 9-11 and 15-18 at Verna Leith Sawmill Theatre in Cook Forest. All shows begin at 8 p.m.

“When we went on hiatus, there was a general disappointment in both the Clarion and Cook Forest communities,” said Robert Levy, chair of the department of visual and performing arts. “We learned how much the community and the university value it, and how it had been a tradition for local families.”

Levy said the Summer Musical Theatre Festival approximates a summer stock theatre company.

“Students are engaged in rehearsing one production while performing another, a situation that actors and technicians are consistently dealing with in the professional world,” he said.

Based on Arnold Lobel’s beloved children’s books, “A Year with Frog and Toad” is a whimsical musical that tells the story of two best friends – the cheerful Frog and curmudgeonly Toad. The musical follows Frog and Toad through four colorful seasons, from hibernation to hibernation. Frog and Toad, along with their playful, quirky friends Snail, Turtle, the Birds and more, enact many adventures, from rushing down a hill in a runaway sled in the winter, to taking a picnic and a quiet moment in the summer. Children and adults alike with relish in the joyful vignettes of “A Year With Frog and Toad,” which feature catchy tunes, funny dialogue and bright, memorable characters.

Additional cast members are: Andrew Stalder, Warren, as Man 1 (bird, snail, lizard, father frog, mole); Kiah Harrington-Wymer, Brookville, as Woman 1 (lady bird 1, mouse, squirrel mole); Tori Heckert, Red Lion, as Woman 2 (lady bird 2, turtle, squirrel, mother frog, mole); and Kiera Vinson, Clarion, as Woman 3 (young frog, squirrel, mole, snake).

Band members include: Brooke Maxwell, Clarion, conductor and keyboard; Leon Aristeguieta, Clarion, guitar; Melissa Kelso, Brookville, trumpet; Katie Kohlenburg, Clarion, clarinet; Andrew Ortega, Clarion, trombone; and Marshall Powers, drums.

Crew members are: Karl E. Jacobson, Clarion, scenic design; Paige Crock, Lake City, costume design; Robert D. Hoover, Butler, lighting design; Caitlin Webster, Plum, properties design; Maggie Mae McWade, Clarion, production stage manager; and Marilouise Michel, stage and director.

Clarion tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for children 12 and younger. For tickets to the Clarion performances, visit or call 814-393-2787. Sawmill tickets are $15. For tickets to the Cook forest performances, visit or call 814-927-5275.

Summer Musical Theatre Festival’s second performance of the summer will be “The Wedding Singer,” set for July 23-25 in Clarion and July 30-31 and Aug. 1 and 5-8 in Cook Forest.

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