[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        April 11, 2008
Leisure

U.S. Army Soldier Show to 
stop at Fort McCoy June 15

      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.

Photo: 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)
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," Higdon said.

      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 available."

      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.)

 

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