madagascar cast

Hundreds of elementary and middle school students in Osseo Area Schools will have the opportunity to showcase their acting, singing and dancing talents in the weeks ahead.

“Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Jr.” at Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts


  • March 10 at 7 p.m.
  • March 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • March 12 at 2 p.m.

Under the direction of Kris Holsen and Ben Pogatshnik, more than 60 students at Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts will perform “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Jr.” This is the ninth consecutive year that Holsen and Pogatshnik will direct the school’s musical.

“‘Madagascar’ just came out this year from Music Theater International, and we were excited about it because it has fun characters,” Holsen said. “We knew our actors and families could connect to it due to the very popular series of ‘Madagascar’ movies. We also loved the positive messages about friendship in this show.”

Holsen said the audition process for this spring’s show began in early December. Since then, students have been rehearsing nearly every day to prepare for opening night on March 10.

“Our audiences can expect to see a cast of very hardworking, talented students sharing their love of theater, dance, art and music,” she added. “They will tell a story of friendship in ‘Madagascar,’ and they will do it working together as a team that has learned to dance, sing, act, get costumes on and off, make entrances and exits, and succeed in the classroom. It is a privilege to work with these kids and it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Tickets can be purchased online beginning Feb. 23 at or by calling 800-967-8167. Reserved seats are $7 plus transaction fees. General admission seating is $4 for adults and $3 for patrons ages 3-13 and 65-plus; these tickets are on sale at Birch Grove starting Feb. 23 and may also be purchased at the door prior to each performance.

PHOTO: Birch Grove students (L to R) Ava Libson, Aniya Hollie, Kaia Carter and Sophia Jermstad rehearse for "Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Jr." on Feb. 21.


“The Lion King Kids” performed by Rice Lake Elementary students


  • March 9 at 7 p.m.
  • March 10 at 7 p.m.
  • March 11 at 2 p.m.
  • All shows at Osseo Senior High (317 Second Ave. NW, Osseo)

After the success of Woodland Elementary’s production last fall, 55 students at Rice Lake Elementary will work with Stages Theatre Company to perform “The Lion King Kids” this spring. Rice Lake students have been rehearsing three hours per week for the past several months. This opportunity is made possible through a partnership with Stages Theatre Company and Osseo Area Schools Community Education.

“We’re excited to offer ‘The Lion King Kids’ as our play this year for students at three of our schools,” said Community Education Program Manager Sarah Heyer last fall. “It’s been a great experience for students across all elementary grades!”

Students at Basswood Elementary will also perform “The Lion King Kids” this spring on the following dates:

  • May 24 at 7 p.m.
  • May 25 at 7 p.m.
  • Performances at Maple Grove Middle School (7000 Hemlock Ln. N, Maple Grove)

Admission to “The Lion King Kids” performances by Rice Lake and Basswood students is free.


“Robin Hood” at Maple Grove Middle School


  • March 9 at 7 p.m.
  • March 10 at 7 p.m.
  • March 11 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Students at Maple Grove Middle School will travel to Sherwood Forest to bring audiences the classic tale “Robin Hood” next month. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Visit to purchase tickets online; tickets are also available at the door before each performance. 


North View Middle School’s Talent Show

The spotlight is sure to shine brightly on North View Middle School students during the school’s talent show on March 23 from 7-9 p.m.