The Penguin Tango

Apr 27, 2019 at 2:00pm
The Penguin Tango

“The Penguin Tango,” an original play written by Heidelberg University Theatre Director Stephen Svoboda, tackles gay relationships and the meaning of true family in the zany world of the Bremerhaven Zoo. Prior to its international premier at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer, 1850 Productions is bringing the show to Gundlach Theatre for a single preview performance April 27.

Combining French farce with Commedia dell'arte theatre, “The Penguin Tango” is a screwball comedy inspired by actual events at the Bremerhaven, Brooklyn and Central Park zoos. The story takes the audience into a community of penguins that is hilariously turned upside down by sex, stereotypes and soggy sardines. The show is directed by Svoboda, who is also an assistant professor of theatre at Heidelberg. Assistant directors are current students Kyrsten Lilly and Kay Collins, with choreography by Kenzie James.  

For the Heidelberg debut of “The Penguin Tango,” 1850 Productions has cast a mix of current and former Heidelberg students and faculty. The ensemble cast is comprised of Royale (Austin Buckhalter), Wendell (David Cotter), Silo (Gavin Buurma), Cass (Elias Rousculp), Gomez (Paige Hood), Giovanni (Sam Stohlman), Curly (Shane Souders), Dia (Madison Swyers), Phillipe (Gavin Hubbard) and Gus (Rob Stohlman).

This will be the only time local audiences can watch “The Penguin Tango” before the cast and crew take it on the road internationally. In August, they will premiere the production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, the world’s largest theatre festival.

The curtain time is 2 p.m. with a cast feedback session and coffee hour to follow. Tickets range from $5-$10 and can be reserved at or by calling the box office at (419) 448-2305.

  • Department: School of Music & Theatre
  • Event Location: Gundlach Theatre
  • Contact Email:

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