Tuacahn cast cuddles up to the camera with shelter pets

IVINS — Tuacahn cast members took a break from rehearsals to pose with shelter animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter Friday. The photo shoot was a precursor to the “Mutts and Music” benefit, a cabaret-style musical performance and fundraiser taking place in August.

Tuacahn cast and crew members pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
Tuacahn cast and crew members pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

The benefit will showcase the talents of this season’s crop of actors, actresses and stage staff as they perform their favorite musical numbers, all in hopes of raising money for the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the no-kill philosophy whose mission is to support the Ivins Animal Shelter with all of its needs.

Needs can be as simple as providing kitty litter for the many cats housed at the shelter or as grand as providing grooming and veterinarian care for the animals.

The idea for the benefit show came about when Tuacahn presented “Cats,” said “Mutts and Music” founder Camille Rolla.

Rolla spent five seasons as music director for the Broadway in the Desert shows at Tuacahn Amphitheatre. She got involved with the animal shelter community through neighbors in Ivins, where she was housed during her first season.

Tuacahn cast and crew members pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
Tuacahn cast and crew members pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

Rolla thought it would be fun for the actors to do a photo shoot with cats from the shelter that resembled their “Cats” costumes, she said. The cast loved the photo shoot so much, they decided to host a cabaret.

Though Rolla no longer works with Tuacahn, the benefit continues to be held annually.

“It’s become a tradition,” Rolla said.

Most of the cast and crew are not residents of Southern Utah and many have left their animals at home in the care of other people, Rolla said, and they’re missing their pets. The photo shoot and upcoming benefit provide a way for the actors to play with animals and, she said, hopefully get them involved with volunteering some of their time at the shelter.

The Ivins Animal Shelter is truly a no-kill shelter, said Aggie Smith, Ivins Animal Shelter director. The facility relies heavily on the volunteer and fundraising efforts of the INKAS to help provide for the needs of the animals while they are in the care of the shelter.

Tuacahn cast and crew members pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
Tuacahn cast and crew members pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, July 1, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

Events like “Mutts and Music” raise a lot of money for the shelter as well as provide quality entertainment for those who attend, Smith said.

Though the combination of music and animals might not be immediately obvious, it is precisely that combination that Rolla believes makes the event so successful.

“The arts are so good for people and so are pets,” Rolla said, “so it’s perfect.”

Photos taken Friday will be used as promotional material to help garner support and attract attendance to the “Mutts and Music” event which will take place in the Tuacahn Hafen Theater on an as yet undecided date in August.

For more about the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters including photos of adoptable pets, visit their website.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Resources

  • INKAS: Website | Facebook
  • Tuacahn Amphitheatre: Broadway in the Desert 2016 includes: Peter Pan, May-Oct.; Tarzan, The Stage Musical, June-Oct.; and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aug-Oct. |  Website | Tickets

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1 Comment

  • Henry July 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Great idea for a benefit, for a wonderful cause.

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