The cast of "The Lightning Thief" during rehearsal. (Photo by Co-Director Eli Cunningham)

The Springfield Little Theatre is premiering a musical based on the popular children’s book series “Percy Jackson and the Olympian” at The Historic Landers Theatre Friday, April 8 and runs through April 24.

“The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” brings the adventure of the books to life through a rock and roll score and colorful characters. Percy Jackson, a son of Poseidon, has discovered he is a demigod with uncontrollable powers. He journeys on a quest to fight mythical monsters to find Zeus’ lightning bolt to prevent a war between the Greek gods.

The fairly new musical had its run on Broadway in 2019, so the Springfield Little Theatre will be performing this show for the first time. 

“The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” will have 12 showings at The Landers Theatre on Walnut Street.

The cast of “The Lightning Thief” at rehearsal. (Photo by Co-Director Eli Cunningham)

The open auditions for the cast had over 120 attendees. Co-director Zoe Zelonky said they were very lucky to see so much local talent and they’re very proud of the cast that came out of that. There are 81 performers in this cast that range in experience from first-time youth performers to seasoned veterans. Although it’s a puzzle finding a cast that works great together, Zelonky says it’s the most fun one to complete.

Music director Carla Wootton will be leading a five-piece band for this production and the audience will be able to see the orchestra on stage. There isn’t an official run time for the show yet but Zelonky says it should be close to two hours.

In 1909 The Historic Landers Theatre was built in an effort to create an elegant theatre experience for Springfield locals and over 100 years later the theatre is continuing to see remarkable growth in attendance, according to their website.

There are two options when purchasing tickets — the “sword” or “shield” shows. This is because there are a few roles that are double-cast in the show like Percy Jackson, Grover Underwood, Clarisse La Rue and several others — but both the sword and shield casts are equally talented performers. 

Eli Cunningham and Zelonky are co-directing “The Lightning Thief.” Wootton is making her debut as the music director. Gracen Miller is the assistant director, Jenny Brown is the stage manager and Sophia Birmingham is the assistant choreographer.

Tickets are available for purchase online at the Springfield Little Theatre’s website.

Gianna Kelley

Gianna Kelley is an intern for the Springfield Daily Citizen. She is a student at Missouri State University majoring in journalism and minoring in film studies. Kelley has worked for MSU’s student newspaper, The Standard, for two years as a columnist. More by Gianna Kelley