Tuacahn hosts ‘Mutts and Music’ benefit concert, raises funds for Ivins Animal Shelter

Members of the Tuacahn cast pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, August, 2013 | Photo by Connie Butterfield, St. George News

IVINS – Saturday at 1 p.m., cast members from this year’s Tuacahn’s productions, along with the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters, will present “Mutts and Music,” a variety show in Tuacahn’s indoor Hafen Theatre, 1100 Tuacahn Drive, to raise funds for the Ivins Animal Shelter & Adoption Center.

This year marks the fourth installment of the “Mutts and Music” production, which began as a way to help the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters group, or INKAS, raise necessary funds to help operate, maintain and improve the Ivins Animal Shelter facility, INKAS Treasurer Barbara Rusick said.

Members of the Tuacahn cast pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, August, 2013 | Photo by Connie Butterfield, St. George News

INKAS was officially incorporated as a Utah nonprofit organization in 2010, Rusick said, and is a group of women who support the no-kill concept of the Ivins Animal Shelter.

To that end, this group of animal lovers raises money to support the shelter with its various needs, including but not limited to veterinarian care, grooming, socializing, training, facility improvements and supplies, all in an effort to keep the animals adoptable, Rusick said.

The INKAS have committed to donate $25,000 to help with a much-needed addition to the shelter that will expand the cat community and provide additional storage, Rusick said.  Saturday’s benefit concert will help raise funds for that addition and other shelter needs.

The variety show will feature several cast members from the current season of Tuacahn’s productions – “The Little Mermaid,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” – all of whom are animal lovers,“Mutts and Music” founder Camille Rolla said.

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

“They had me housed in Ivins, and I was friends with my neighbors and they worked at the shelter,” Rolla said, “so I started volunteering there.”

Rolla’s relationship with the Ivins Animal Shelter continued during her following season when, after the passing of her own dog, she adopted one from the Ivins shelter.

“I was going through a bit of a doggy withdrawal,” Rolla said, “so I adopted one.”

Members of the Tuacahn cast pose with animals from the Ivins Animal Shelter, Ivins, Utah, August, 2013 | Photo by Connie Butterfield, St. George News

The idea for the benefit show came about when Tuacahn presented “Cats,” and Rolla thought it would be fun for the actors to do a photo shoot with cats from the shelter that resembled their costumes, she said.

Things blossomed from there to become the benefit event it is today, and members of INKAS have expressed gratitude to Rolla for her compassion and commitment to the local shelter community.

“Rolla has been offered a permanent position in her hometown and did not return as music director for the 2014 season,” Kim Rubel, vice president of INKAS, wrote in an email. “However, she feels so strongly about the power of this benefit and our no- kill shelter, she is returning to conduct the benefit.”

Rolla will conduct with the assistance of Melissa Yanchak, who is the music director for this season’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Rubel said.

Performers will break from character and sing songs of their choosing, Rolla said, adding that it gives the actors a chance to do something different and fun in the middle of a long season.

Animals from the shelter will make an appearance or two, and there will be children’s numbers as well as dance performances.

The event takes place right after the Tuacahn Saturday Market, Rolla said. She invited everyone in the community to come spend the day at Tuacahn with their families, browse the market and then see a great show that supports a great cause.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door, and all methods of payment – cash, check and credit card – are accepted.

Event details

  • When: Saturday, August 9, 1 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Tuacahn’s indoor Hafen Theater, 1100 Tuacahn Drive, Ivins
  • Cost: $10 adults, $5 children | Tickets can be purchased at the door or online
  • Additional information: Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. This is a family friendly event

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