The Fort McCoy Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation
(DMWR) has confirmed a U.S. Army Soldier Show performance at 2 p.m.
Sunday, June 15, at the Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122.
U.S. Army Soldier Show cast
members (from left) Cpl. Amber Jones, Pfc. Casey Long, Sgt.
Kevin Lynum and Spc. Katherine Schaefer bring energy to
rehearsals for the Soldier Show. (Photo
by Tim Hipps)
The free performance is open to members of the Fort McCoy
community and public, with doors opening an hour before the event.
The U.S. Army Soldier Show cast and crew will emphasize their
working motto of "entertainment for the Soldier, by the
Soldier" in a simulated deployed setting to celebrate the 25th
anniversary of the modern U.S. Army Soldier Show, said Tim Higdon,
Soldier Show director.
Higdon, a 1988 Soldier Show performer, replaces longtime
director Victor Hurtado.
"The impression we want the audience to get is that
they've been transported to the Middle East to a combat area,"
The tan stage floor will simulate sand, and the facade covered
with desert camouflage nets and faux sandbags will simulate a field
environment in Iraq or Afghanistan. Army Combat Uniform seatback
covers will extend the setting throughout the entire auditorium.
A louvered wall stage backdrop that features a desert sunset
with signs bearing the names of Army camps and Forward Operating Base
locations will help make the set seem surreal, along with the sounds
of a field environment: trucks bypassing, helicopters taking off and
buzzing overhead, off-duty Soldiers at play, cadence calling, etc.
"The printed program has a smart book or field manual
layout, which goes back to the Soldier aspect of the show's
mission," Higdon said. "The goal is to give the sense that
we are watching the Soldiers return from a mission, who then take the
time to put on a show for the audience."
In the end, troops will be donning their battle gear as they
exit the stage.
Nearly half of the cast and crew already have deployed during
the Global War on Terror, so they know the drill, Higdon said. Just
getting an opportunity to perform on a seven-month tour of
entertaining Soldiers and military families will fulfill a lifelong
dream for most of them.
During the show, the video screens will add visual elements to
the performances. For example, the cast will honor the 25-year history
of the show's modern era with a World War II tune: "This is the
Army, Mr. Jones," which was written in 1942 by Soldier Show
founder Irving Berlin for "This is the Army."
"We will have a well-balanced mix of everything,"
Higdon said. "There will definitely be something for everybody --
presented as if Soldiers had to do it themselves with what they had
From the opening montage to the finale, visual and musical
elements will focus on the strength of U.S. Soldiers, tying into the
"Army Strong" theme.
For more information about the Soldier Show at Fort McCoy,
visit the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Web site at http://www.mccoymwr.com
or call the MWR Events Line at (877) 864-4969.
The sponsors of the 2008 U.S. Army Soldier Show are: the Army
National Guard, which is the lead sponsor and partner; the Freedom
Team Salute, a first-time partner; and AT&T, the corporate sponsor
for the fifth consecutive year. No federal endorsement is implied.
(Some information in this story is from the
U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.)