Local Residents Write Musical Comedy

Secret of the Goat Children to be performed March 28-30
By UW-Washington County

Two West Bend locals, Deanna Gibeau and Kristin Bayer, have pooled their talents to write a musical comedy, "Secret of the Goat Children.”  In spring of last yearwhenGibeau, a local vocal performer and instructor at UW-Washington County, needed a writer to complement her composition and musical skills, she recruited Bayer, a software compliance officer and freelance novelist, to write the script and bring the book to live musical theater.  Rehearsals are already underway for the production, which will be performed at UW-Washington County (UW-WC) in March. 


Secret of the Goat Children will be produced by Homegrown Theater, the same community theater group that last year produced the musical version of The Hobbit.  The group, run through the Continuing Education department of UW-WC, consists of entire families that are involved in every part of the production. Parents and kids from 15 families make up the cast, the pit orchestra, and the production crew, and are responsible for lights, sets, costumes, promotion, etc. "It's for us and by us. It's completely homegrown," said composer Deana Gibeau.

"The actors appreciate the artistic flexibility to swiftly change and adapt the script and musical numbers if needed during rehearsals", said writer Kristin Bayer.  "It's rare for stage actors to be wholly involved in the creative process from the very beginning. The creative feedback has made the entire show more fluid, which will be apparent during the live performances".

Secret of the Goat Children is the story of a teenage princess who has to think fast to save her kingdom when it’s attacked by a band of marauding outlaws. Fortunately, the princess has good sense, plus the help of her bumbling advisers, her besotted suitors, the village busybodies, and some spunky children.  The musical was inspired by a favorite childhood book of Gibeau's daughter, Sophia, Night of the Goat Children, by J. Patrick Lewis. The story is loosely based on an actual event that occurred in the 1600s, Southern Germany during the Thirty Years' War.

Appropriate for all ages, Secret of the Goat Children, is designed to be fun for the whole family.  For the two authors, this is definitely the case.  Paul Price, dean at UW-WC (who happens to be Kristin’s husband) will be onstage, playing a nerdy professor, alongside their daughter, Kyra, who plays one of the goat children.  For the Gibeau family, Peter (a professor of music at the campus) plays King Leopold.  An accomplished woodworker, Gibeau also made some of the set and prop pieces. The Gibeau’s daughter Sophia, created the logo for the production, a block print of the child’s face, and will be on stage, playing the parts of a gypsy and a princess.  Deanna explains that several complete families are involved, including Meer, Komro, Hensler and Jung families.

The production is definitely “made with love” and all proceeds will help support the children of Madhavapatnam, India through a local charity, Joyful Journeys, Inc. 

Four performances of Secret of the Goat Children are planned in the UW-WC theatre: Friday, March 28, 7:00pm; Saturday, March 29 at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, March 30 at 1pm. Tickets are available through UW-WC Continuing Education, and at the door. For more information, contact: Deanna Gibeau at 262-335-0119 (email ladydimusic@hotmail.com ) or Kristin Bayer at 262-306-8605 (email: kkbayer@gmail.com)

Related Web links:

Website for Homegrown Theater: http://homegrowntheaterpresents.com/

Facebook Page for the play: https://www.facebook.com/secretofthegoatchildren

Course Registration info for UW-WC Continuing Education:



Sue Bausch