State Arts Teams

10 Things You Need to Know about Wisconsin 4-H State Teams

Two State 4-H Arts Groups are formed every year to give 4-H youth the opportunity to develop their artistic and leadership skills. They then have the opportunity for real-world applications of these skills at the Summer Academy and Fall Forum.

4-H Drama Company creates a stage performance involving acting, song and dance in the five days leading up to the Summer Academy. Show content is a collaborative effort between company members and their director. Each Drama Company member contributes ideas for the show and works with the group to problem solve issues on the set and in the script. 

Drama Company Adult Leadership Team Bios

Jay Johnson

Jay has been the Drama Company Director for the last 15 years. He states, “This is some of the most important and meaningful work that I have done in my career as a teacher and artist. Helping to create youth/adult partnerships and a vibrant community of creators has been inspiring”. Jay has taught social studies and theater at Sheboygan North High school for the last 32 years. He credits being a Drama Company member in the early 80’s as being a formative experience that led him to teaching. He lives is Sheboygan with his wife Julie and has three adult children, two of whom are Drama Company alumni. When he isn’t in the theater, you can find him running or tending to his garden.

Shirley Miller-Frey

Shirley has been a part of the Drama Company adult advisor team since 2012. Of that she has been Drama Company’s Assistant Director since 2017. Shirley dabbled a bit with theater in junior high as she and her classmates wrote and performed skits for her English class. Theater really got into her blood when she participated in the Summer Theater program of Hudson High her freshman year. From then on, she was hooked. She built, created scenery, created costumes, and applied theater makeup for each of the high school productions. Theater set and costume construction was her minor while U.W Stevens Point. Shirley has also helped the middle school theater productions with set and costume design and construction for several years in her current community of St. Croix Falls. When Shirley takes a break, she enjoys downhill skiing, scrapbooking with friends and traveling with family.

Barb Satnik

Barb has been an adult advisor for Drama Company since 2011. Her interest in theater and arts was sparked as a 4-H parent and expands each year serving Drama Company. Barb brings to the team her passion for youth development in experiential learning, growth mindset and life skills. In her free time, apart from her career as a Nurse, she enjoys walking, shelling, board games, and volunteering at a park train ride & switch tower museum. 

Chad Luerssen

Chad started with Drama company in 2020. He has helped with a number of theatre productions with three different community theatres. He helps with props, set construction, and  backstage management, however his favorite activity is acting. He has performed in anywhere from 35 to 40 shows in the past 12 years. Some of his favorite shows have been Joseph the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jekyll and Hyde, and Almost Maine. In his free time Chad enjoys reading, particularly comic books, collecting baseball cards, singing in choir and performing plays and musicals.

Allison Olson

Allison has been an adult advisor for Drama Company since 2023 and was a dedicated youth member during her high school years. Her passion for theater and arts began in middle & high school, where she participated in drama and music programs. Notably, Allison was an active member in the percussion department at her school and continued her musical journey as a proud member of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band Drumline. In her free time, Allison enjoys spending time with her Beagle, creating films for weddings, & savoring an iced latte at her favorite local coffee shops.

4-H Art Team creates artwork around the theme of the Summer Academy as well as designing and organizing the Summer Academy Art Exhibit, reception and guided exhibit tours. The team members also teach seminars and train to be peer leaders for county and regional events including Fall Forum. The 4-H Art Team is led by a professional artist who teaches team members artistic techniques using a variety of mediums.

Click here to view the 2023 Wisconsin 4-H Drama Company Show from Summer Academy!


Applications are live NOW!

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State Scholarships

The 2024 Scholarship application is still in progress. We will share information with applicants as we know more.

This program is supported by the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.  For more information please go to

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