MOOve Over, Paper Cow Theater Is Returning
local with love of storytelling has created a theater haven for kids in Menomonie
Kris Winter has held a genuine passion for storytelling for decades, so much so that she spent time as a professional storyteller acting in an improv theater troupe and has since created a sanctuary for campers to relish in theater and community: Paper Cow Theater.
Out in Menomonie nestled between rolling gardens and intricate metal sculptures is the Paper Cow Theater barn, where those taking part in the program’s camps and tours spend their days acting and getting creative while working as a team.
“Many of my campers have come year after year after year,” Kris said. “Many families have thanked me for helping their children build self-confidence, learn how to express themselves creatively, work as a team, and other valuable, life-long skills.”
For some who have attended Paper Cow Theater camps – which have been offered for more than a decade – a spark was found that grew to a true passion for acting and writing that has even landed them roles in scripted productions, Kris shared. More than that, though, Paper Cow Theater was created as a safe space for children to come and play, relishing in the creative atmosphere.
The 1916 barn that houses Paper Cow Theater campers and performances was renovated by Kris and her brother, Bruce Radle. The farm also includes a renovated 1905 granary studio where campers write and listen to records, and a 1907 cistern for cooling off and hanging out.
As the Paper Cow Theater farm has evolved over the years, one thing remains steady – Kris’s passion for storytelling, and sharing that magic with young people in hopes they too find joy in discovering, developing and performing stories.
Each camp Paper Cow Theater offers is limited to 15 and those spots fill quickly, Kris said. This summer there are two week-long camps scheduled for June 26-30 and July 17-21, each Monday-Friday from 9am-3pm. At the conclusion of each camp on Friday, campers perform two original stories for any family or friends wishing to watch.
Kris’ large collection of props, costumes, and set pieces allow for families and their children to avoid the responsibility of providing those materials. With a registration fee that covers the week-long camps, kids as young as 6 years old can sign up, with no set age limit.
“My favorite part is the simple beauty of campers working together in small groups to create their wonderful stories,” Kris said. “Stories that have never been told before; stories that include ideas from each camper.”
Families can contact Kris directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a registration form or reach out via Facebook (PaperCowTheater). Registration forms and fees will then be mailed back to Paper Cow Theater.