Here’s the latest at Excelsior


Read Through – Monday May 15th

Rehearsal calendar on the Youth Theater page

The show dates for the production are June 28, 29, 30 and July 1.

If you have any questions or have a conflict with auditions, please contact Kent Johnson at or 260-413-3747.

Our next production

It’s time! Tickets are now on sale for Clue, May 11-13th. (May 13th is Dinner Theater.).

Our last production

Show dates were

Feb 23, 24 and 25 all at 7 pm

Thank you to our sponsor

Annual Fundraising Murder Mystery Dinner

January 12th 2023

A Christmas Carol December 2022

A Tale of Two Tails

The Truly Remarkable Puss In Boots and Once Upon a Wolf

Show Dates were September 22, 23 & 24

Summer 2022 Musical

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Members of the Excelsior Arts Academy and Youth Theater rehearse a scene from the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which will be presented at the The DeKalb Outdoor Theater Thursday, Friday and Saturday. From left are Tucker Payne, Grayson Kling, Titus Refner, Mason Foote, Gavin Kling Jacob, Ewan Wells, Silas Refner, Judah Muzik, Theo Rowe and Gage Brzezinski.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” coming to outdoor theater By KATHRYN BASSETT

AUBURN — For the Excelsior Arts Academy and Youth Theater, this week’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the DeKalb Outdoor Theater marks a lot of firsts. “It’s our first in-the-round, musical, outdoors, with a live band. There are so many firsts in the show,” said director Shelley Johnson of Auburn. For the production, which will be staged Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the outdoor theater will be transformed into ancient Egypt for the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Members of the audience will be immersed in the show as they follow Joseph’s journey as he is cast out of his homeland by his brothers, lands in Egypt and becomes the second-in-command. “The audience is involved in the show. It’s immersive theater. There will be stations of actors. Characters will be in and around them,” Johnson said. Stations include a brothers’ camp, Jacob’s house, a saloon, Potiphar’s, and Egypt. The cast is made up of people ages 8 through 22 from all over northeastern Indiana. The cast is made up of people ages 8 through 22 from all over northeastern Indiana. Joseph is played by Evan Dapp, with Gavin Kling as Jacob and Jesse Mann as Pharaoh. Narrators are Alyssa Ropa, Danille Kilgore, Victoria Perkins, Raigyn Dobson and Maya Sells. Jackson Hedrick plays the roles of Potiphar and Levi. Joseph’s brothers are Reuben, played by Ewan Wells; Simeon, played by Silas Refner; Naphtali played by Titus Refner; Issachar, played by Mason Foote; Asher, played by Theo Rowe; Dan, played by Judah Muzik; Zebulon, played by Grayson Kling; Gad and Baker, played by Gage Brzezinski; Benjamin, played by Tucker Payne; and Judah, played by Lennon Cordial. Playing the brothers’ wives are Ella Hathaway as Ruth; Sally-Ann Wiley as Elizabeth; Violet Baughman as Sarah; Myla Scheumann as Mary; Madyson Wilson as Naomi; Aubrey Dunn as Rebekah; Matea Baker as Leah; Mackenzie Schory as Rachel; and Molly Reasoner as Ester. Mrs. Potiphar and Canaan Day Dancer is played by Aurora Miser-Buhite. Playing the daughters are Penelope Reasoner as Judith; Aubrey Willett as Delilah; Cecilia Taylor as Zarah; and Maleigha Kling as Abigail. Playing the daughters are Penelope Reasoner as Judith; Aubrey Willett as Delilah; Cecilia Taylor as Zarah; and Maleigha Kling as Abigail. The show also features puppetry, with puppets built by DeKalb High School graduate and Broadway talent agent Josh Sassanella, who also has choreographed the show and assisted Johnson with directing. Rather than using a musical track, Johnson said, a five-member band will provide the music. Auditions for the show were June 5 and 6 and rehearsals have taken place four nights a week, Monday through Thursday, Johnson said. Rains caused a two-day setback, but things are back on track for opening night.“Something like this is like doing a wedding. You can do so much planning ahead of time and the last 72 hours are just torture,” Johnson quipped. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and donations are accepted. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on. For more information about Excelsior, visit or on Facebook at @ExcelsiorArts

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is the magical retelling of the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors from the book of Genesis. Excelsior Youth Theater is going to build an Egyption market on the ground in front of the Outdoor Theater stage. We’ll surround the audience and transport them to another time and place and immerse them in our telling of the story of Joseph, his interpretations of dreams and of course, his multi-colored coat.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

July 21, 22, 23 @ 7:30 at the DeKalb Outdoor Theater

Joseph’s coat was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve and cream and crimson and silver and rose and azure and lemon and russet and grey and purple and white and pink and orange and blue!

Arsenic and Old Lace

The cast and directors of A Bagful of Fables

A Bagful of Fables featured four of Aesop’s fables – The Tortoise and the Hare, The Fox and the Crow, a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing and The Fox and the Grapes.

Shows were February 10, February 11 and February 12 at the First Christian Church

Christmas Special Excelsior’s YouTube channel –

Here is the link to the Christmas Special – A December to Remember

Our Christmas Special will drop on YouTube December 16th 6 pm.

Bonus feature to A December to Remember featuring Sally Ann.

Excelsior in the James Cultural Plaza

2021 Auburn Christmas Parade

Passion, Pasta and Peril

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater – What Fun!!

See Excelsior Etcetera page for more information including how we can help you with a murder mystery for you or your organization.

November 17 – Astral of Auburn


Adrift in New York or Her First False Step was Friday November 12th through Sunday November 14th .

Excelsior 2021-2022 Season

2021-2022 Season Reveal

Excelsior production celebrates ‘Christmas in July’

Excelsior Arts Academy and Youth Theater will stage “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the DeKalb Outdoor Theater. The show originally was scheduled to be presented last December but was canceled due to COVID-19. The show has been revived as a “Christmas in July” celebration. Pictured are members of the cast.


AUBURN — With just a few weeks until actors were set to take to the stage in performances of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” last December, Excelsior Arts Academy and Youth Theater Executive Director Kent Johnson was forced to cancel the show.

Cases of COVID-19 were on the rise, and while the First Christian Church in Auburn was the perfect setting to tell the Christmas story, there was not the room needed for the cast to socially distance backstage, Johnson explained.

“This was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make. As you might guess, many people were disappointed due to the amount of work that had already occurred,” Johnson said.

“Mary Kay Clark, the director of ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,’ was heartbroken, but certainly understood the situation.”

After the initial disappointment, someone came up with the idea of having “Christmas in July.” With that in mind, the show will be revived at the DeKalb Outdoor Theater Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Overwhelmingly, people thought it would be a cool idea,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the Outdoor Theater stage is a perfect spot to resume production due to the large stage and seating area, addressing any lingering COVID-19 concerns.

Eighteen youth join with nine adults to make up the cast. The play tells the story of a church preparing for its annual Christmas pageant about the birth of Jesus. When a replacement director is overrun at auditions and the cast is taken over by the rowdy Herdman kids, everyone is sure that the pageant will be a disaster. No one is prepared for the delightful outcome involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds and six kids and their outrageous shenanigans.

“Rehearsals have been wonderful,” Johnson said.

Johnson said staging the production at the outdoor theater involved a lot of adjustment, but everyone was flexible.

“We went from one of the smallest spaces where we ever were going to put a show on, which was the front of the sanctuary at First Christian, to one of the largest performance spaces in DeKalb County at the outdoor theater, so there was a lot of adjustment, but everybody was very flexible. Everybody was very understanding and eager and willing to do whatever, because they were excited to let this thing finally be seen,” Johnson said.

“At First Christian, because the church was the background, we had a few set pieces but were able to incorporate everything in the church. At the outdoor theater, we just have a big stage. We’ve done some building and moving and trying to be creative.”

Founded in 2018, Excelsior Arts Academy and Youth Theater offers classes to youth age 8-22 in acting, singing and stage movement. The academy also stages youth theater productions as well as community-wide productions. The academy’s students hail from as far as Fremont to the north, Fort Wayne to the South, Hicksville, Ohio, to the east, and Albion to the west, Johnson said.

Its shows have included “A Christmas Carol,” “Cinderella,” “Pied Piped,” “The Nutcracker” and “Little Red Riding Hood Unplugged.”

The academy switched from a live performance to a taped version of its “Fractured Fairy Tales” production due to COVID-19, which is posted on its YouTube channel.

Cast members of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” are Tucker Payne, Gavin Kling, Maya Sells, Owen Wright, Titus Refner, Grayson Kling, Aubrey Dunn, Aurora Miser-Buhite, Mackenzie Schory, Emma Wolfe, Sally Ann Wiley, Maya Kling, Brooke Culler, Myla Scheumann, Madyson Wilson, Maleigha Kling, Silas Refner, Lennon Cordial, Jama Smith, Becky Wright, David Seiy, Courtney Myers, Cynthia DeCook, Shari Hook, Gail Norton, Thompson Smith and Andrew Hathaway.

“It’s great to be back in action again. I’m really excited about what’s to come yet,” Johnson said.

Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Audience members are encouraged to wear Christmas apparel and help get the community in the Christmas spirit. The gate opens at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted.

Those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. The grounds are professionally sprayed for mosquitoes. The event will occur rain or shine.

For more information, visit or on Facebook at ExcelsiorArts. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is partially sponsored by Specialty Services Security and the Auburn Arts Commission Inc.

Cast photo from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

EExcelsior to present Christmas in July on July 23, 24 & 25 at the DeKalb Outdoor Theater

Excelsior performed July 2nd for First Friday’s

Performing was – Mackenzie, Tucker, Maya, Owen & Brooke. Pictures show group activity with audience members and Mackenzie performing a monologue.


Excelsior will be holding auditions on Monday, June 7, from 6-7pm at First Christian Church, 910 North Indiana Ave, Auburn. We are looking to fill specific roles for the summer show (Christmas in July), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Cuts from the script are available below. Rehearsals are weekdays, 6-8:30pm, July 6 until the shows on July 23-25, at the DeKalb Outdoor Theater.

Roles to fill: 3 boys age 8-122-3 adult women or teenage girls. If you have any questions or need more information, message us through our Facebook page!

Excelsior sings at Memorial Day event

Excelsior gathers with hundreds of others on the courthouse square to honor those who served, are serving or who lost their lives serving our country in the armed forces. Excelsior sang the National Anthem and a medley of armed forces songs. This was a special day for me. My father passed this February and he was one of those whos passing was honored today. He was in the Merchant Marine (a part of the Coast Guard) in WWII from 1944 – 1947.