From Ice Rinks to the Stage


Xanadu Jr. is a magical musical filled with Greek gods, muses, and the joy of the 80s.  The lead character, Kira (a muse), decides to descend from the heavens to Los Angeles, California to help Sonny Malone achieve artistic greatness. She suits up with only the best disguise imaginable: an Australian accent, leg warmers, and roller skates!

One of the most difficult aspects of Xanadu, for performers, is roller skating. Especially because of all the obstacles they encounter while skating on the stage.  But even so, the director, Robert Lee has decided to keep the iconic roller skates for the onstage performance in the Family Theatre’s rendition of Xanadu.

“Roller skating was such a big part of the original, I felt it was important to include it in our show.  I am also so proud of the kids, many of them have never done this before but are still working so hard,” commented Robert.

Now, although many of the actors are new to skating, we have a few figure skaters in the show. Grace Schiltz and Daisy Thralow both skate through the Duluth Figure Skating Club.  Daisy has been figure skating with them for the past eight years and Grace for the past eleven.  Both have also competed in many skating competitions in their years with the club.

“Roller skating is so much fun and it’s pretty similar to my favorite sport (figure skating).  It was a weird transition but once you figure out what you can and can’t do, it gets a lot easier” said Grace Schiltz. Daisy Thralow added, “Turning and stopping are definitely different.  It takes a lot more effort, especially to turn on roller skates.”

In fact, in order to get better at roller skating and learn all the cool tricks we want for the show, both the Xanadu and Much Ado About Nothing cast spent an entire day at the World of Wheels roller rink in Superior, Wisconsin. We worked on skating both forward and backward, and some of the more advanced teens were even able to do arabesques by the end.

So if you want to see for yourself all the cool tricks the cast of Xanadu JR has been working on, go to the Duluth Playhouses website and buy your tickets for the Teen Intensives today.

Because, in the words of director Robert Lee, “It’s gonna be amazing!”




  • Much Ado About Nothing: August 15 & 17
  • Xanadu JR: August 16 & 18
  • Where: The Playhouse Family Theatre at the Depot (506 W. Michigan St., Duluth MN 55802)
  • Showtimes: Thursday – Saturday @ 7:00pm, Sundays @ 2pm
  • Tickets:
    • Standard: $17
    • Youth: $15
  • Purchase: // 218.733.7555 // In-person at the NorShor Theatre Box Office (211 E. Superior St., Duluth MN 55802)