Birdie Started String of Musicals for Sherri Culloton


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Sherri Culloton, another member of the 1987 Bye Bye Birdie cast, currently enjoys spending time with her family and dogs.

Culloton’s role in Bye Bye Birdie was Mrs. MacAfee.

“I really enjoyed having professional hairdressers do my ‘mom hairdo’ for every show. So much hairspray,” she said.

“My freshman year I tried out for cheerleading at Premontre High School.  When I was not very good at that, I thought ‘why not try out for the musical?’” Culloton said.

Culloton also participated in No No Nanette, Hello Dolly, Peace Child, Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell.

“I was surprised when I made Birdie and enjoyed the experience so much that I auditioned every year after that,” she said. “From the musicals I participated in I found courage and a great group of friends.”

One friend she met during the musical became her best friend and served as her Maid of Honor, while another friend played piano at her wedding.

She said, “I am still in contact with many members of my musical family.”

Culloton’s dad helped build sets for the musical, and one day they found a stove on the side of the road. They picked it up and it became part of her kitchen set.

“My brother was also on the stage crew, so it was fun having them both involved,” she said.

After living a few years in Maryland, she now lives outside of Chicago in Illinois.

“I still have family and friends in Green Bay, but I do not get to visit them nearly as much as I would like to,” she said.

She is married with two children. Her son, a sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, is majoring in music education. Her daughter is a senior in high school and plans to study environmental engineering.

Culloton loves cheering on her children as a proud band mom when they march at football games, play at concerts or contribute to musicals in the pit orchestra.

“I am so happy that my kids have also found a family in school music programs,” she said.

For five years Culloton has been assisting in preschool classrooms. She also loves to cuddle with her big furry dogs.  

“In life I most look forward to watching my children follow their passions, visits home from college and vacations in warm places,” she said.