Monthly Archives: May 2018

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Father Knows Best

Greetings and welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre!

Father Knows Best is a wonderful show that captivates all ages. It has true-to-life characters, humorous situations, rebellious teenagers, and a sentimental, funny ending. Father Knows Best is a light-hearted and highly entertaining comedy. What a great way to finish off the 61st season for the Waukesha Civic Theatre.

It is hard to believe the season is ending already. The good news is that the Waukesha Civic Theatre 62nd season calendar is now available. Be sure to pick up the calendar during intermission or on your way out and see all the fun performances and offerings in the upcoming season.

My husband and I, and many of our friends, have had season tickets for years. Our subscription package has allowed us to change dates when needed, for any available seats in the house at no charge and now the restaurant partnership discounts are a bonus. It is great! There are many different subscription packages with a lot of flexible choices. Check it out.

One last note, WCT always welcomes new volunteers with a lot of fun opportunities.

Enjoy the show. Be happy and take care.




Mary Dembinski

Board Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Bueller (Pause)…. Bueller (Pause).… stated in a monotone voice. One of the most often used quotes when someone mentions the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Come enjoy watching High School senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) show us how to skip school by faking an illness to enjoy a fun filled, adventurous day in Chicago with his pessimistic best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara). Ferris dances and sings to Twist and Shout fully enjoying his entire day while his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) and the school principal, Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) fail at trying to find proof that Ferris is just playing hooky.

Even the people seen dancing (including the construction worker and the window washer) during the parade scene thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Originally, they had nothing to do with the film as they were simply dancing to the music being played during filming. Director John Hughes found it so humorous, that he told the camera operators to record it.

As quoted by Ferris Bueller on his day off, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!” Don’t miss your chance to join us on June 11th at 6:30 to sit back and enjoy this funny comedy that will leave you wanting to dance your way out of the theater.




Nancy McCaskey

Board Director

Theatre: Bringing The Voice Back

Stuttering was what my childhood was all about. My brain zoomed about like a pinball and my mouth struggled with all its might to keep up. Conversating became an impossibility. I often didn’t speak at all. This hushed lifestyle landed me in special education for a year or two. They couldn’t figure out what was causing my quiet demeanor. I forced myself to speak in order to earn my place in regular classes, but the stutter remained.

In the third grade, I was selected to read aloud from a story. One of the characters was an elderly woman. I put on a weathered voice and changed my body shape to match. There was no hint of a stutter. Intrigued by this phenomenon, the teacher suggested to the director of the school’s Christmas pageant that I be the leading lady. The stutter faded away while I was performing.

I caught the acting bug and started taking classes at Waukesha Civic Theatre. That led to other classes in the community. I had the time of my life and the effects were visible at school. I became a social butterfly. I dressed in elaborate outfits and stopped caring about what people thought. If I could speak in front of people, what was keeping me from bantering with people in real life?

Then middle school arrived. I challenge you to find one person who considers middle school their glory years. I personally was bullied, which led to my first bout of undiagnosed depression. I halted my acting. I didn’t want anybody to make fun of me for something I loved so deeply.

When I got to high school, I came back out of my shell. I put on the character of the clown. That’s what propelled me through the first three years of high school. The year that changed the trajectory of my life was that third year. I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder yet, but the signs were surfacing more than ever. I spent the first few months of that school year manic. I didn’t eat regularly and sometimes didn’t eat altogether. I spent my school days putting forth obscene amounts of energy trying to please and entertain everybody. There was this overwhelming mission to never let anybody feel the pain like the kind I was pushing down inside myself.

I soon ran myself down to the point of falling ill with pneumonia. This sent me into another deep depression. I laid in bed everyday playing solitaire on the computer, lonely and miserable. When I got back to school, I threw myself into the arts, and felt better. It was the only element of my life keeping me afloat. In addition to painting, I acted through the school’s Forensics team and Waukesha Civic Theatre’s A.C.T. Live!

Although the arts helped me during that year, I couldn’t keep the mania at bay. I was sent to a psychiatric hospital on May 25, 2011. This was the beginning of the most arduous summer of my life. As they experimented with the meds, I crashed into a deep and dark depression. It takes forever to get patients on the right medications. The brain chemistry of people with my condition is unique to each patient, so it takes time to find the right medicine regimen. The highlight of the summer of 2011 was working with Dynamite Comedy, which was comprised of kids that had met in A.C.T. Live! I wrote a skit for the sketch comedy show. Unfortunately, my anxiety kept me from performing with them. I still went to the show and they pulled me onstage. I felt welcomed. I also took an improv class at the end of that hellish summer. It felt rewarding to actually complete something.

Shortly after the showcase, I was put on Prozac and nothing else. My new doctor was considering changing my diagnosis to a mood disorder, which is less extreme than Bipolar Disorder. This medicine change sent me into psychosis. I spent the last week of summer break in the hospital. The school counselor suggested I refrain from coming back to school. She said that maybe I should take online classes. I refused. I didn’t want to be afraid of facing everybody.

Thank God I went back. Yes, the first few weeks were difficult. Then the school’s resident drama king came into my life – Ryan Albrechtson, who now runs Outskirts Theatre Co. One day after school, he pulled me into his car and told me to try out for the school play – The Hobbit. He was student directing and thought it would be beneficial for me. I was cast as Gollum. It wasn’t the limelight that made my senior year the best of my high school experience. It was being part of a group of kids who didn’t see me as being any crazier than them.

When I graduated high school, I didn’t know what to do with myself. After I realized I wasn’t ready for college, I dropped out and wrote my first novel – Hey, Joey Journal. It’s a story about a senior in high school simultaneously dealing with mental illness and high school theatre. The book was released in September 2015. I wrote the first few chapters in Waukesha Civic Theatre’s dressing room while performing Our Town.

Without my experience with mental illness and theatre, my book wouldn’t have happened.

Bipolar Disorder is a lifelong disease. There is no cure for it. As I write this, I am fresh out of another hospital stay, this time for depression. One of the things I had to look forward to when I was in the hospital was my weekly Adult Improv class taught by Doug Jarecki at Waukesha Civic Theatre. I was scared to go the day I was released for obvious reasons, but I’m so glad I went. Being given the chance to act and play with other silly adults was the brightest part of an otherwise taxing week.

My voice has come back because of acting multiple times in my life, and I feel incredibly grateful.

This is why we need to keep the arts alive. There is so much stigma surrounding mental health. Being involved in theatre has taught me that everybody has a little bit of crazy in them, but that’s what makes us so damn entertaining.





Colleen June Glatzel

Green Ribbon Campaign: Lessons From Theatre

Theatre – a culture where emotion, struggle, and connection are the messages that are brought to life from the depths of every wonderful storyteller. Thespians put their heart and soul into delivering raw human experiences in such a pure form uninhibited by society’s standards. Laying these bits of humanity at the audience’s feet allows individuals to connect, empathize, and struggle right along with the characters. Here, emotion and struggle is accepted, but once we step foot out of the theater…

Why is it no longer ok?

Why do we have to hide or water down our experiences?

Why can’t we sit with someone in their struggle as we do with the characters?

When does it become too real?

There are many lessons we can learn from the epic stories that are shared with us in the theater.

Most characters will encounter a great struggle. In the depths of their journey they too may feel there is no end in sight, no rest for the wicked, and no one who truly understands. We don’t see them hiding their emotions and burying their hardships. Instead we see them meeting them head on and doing whatever needs to be done to honor their struggle but never get stuck in it.

If we can learn to take care of ourselves in the midst of struggle, we will build our resilience to cope during these difficult journeys and we are able to better handle the adversity in front of us.

Moments of despair can feel never ending at times, and even though we may enjoy belting out our favorite heartbroken ballads, it somehow doesn’t feel as graceful as that in real life. People speak about perseverance as though it is always driven by strength, passion, and the unwavering drive forward. In reality, it’s not always that bold.

Sometimes it’s just quietly refusing to give up, or ensuring that you have the support needed to help you through this difficult journey.

Great stories expand our horizons and show us that support, love, and acceptance can be found in some of the most unlikely of places. It is simple to look right in front of us for what we feel is right and comfortable, but that’s not always where we find our best supporters. Sometimes our biggest support can be a loyal animal, an inspiring stranger, or a misunderstood enemy.

It is when we reach deep into our souls that we can start to see what and who we really need in our lives to help us become the best versions of ourselves.

Along with struggle, theater also celebrates strength. A human experience that doesn’t always come easily and takes some effort, passion, and hope. Think back on some of your favorite plays and musicals. When thinking about the character’s struggles, can you place your finger on at least one thing that kept them hopeful? Touchstones they come back to in times of need, giving them strength to continue moving forward in their journey.

Our feelings of hope have so much connection to our strength. Whether it be an item, a place, or a person, just the thought, sight, or touch of them can center you and remind you of the immense strength you hold inside of you. Keep these touchstones close.

So many struggles come about from not feeling “normal,” accepted, and like “them”, but as the characters find out at some pivotal point along their journey, isn’t our individuality what makes us all interesting and original? We all celebrate with them at the end of the story as they stop hiding who they are and start using their uniqueness and individuality to help others and enjoy life to the fullest. We see them thriving, loving, happy, and connected. It gives us a sense of calm and contentedness so we can feel good letting that chapter close.

What if we didn’t have to wait until “the end” to realize that we have something special to offer the world and we will do it in our own time and with our own flare? It would not end all of our struggles, but it has the opportunity to make it a much more enjoyable journey.

Don’t ignore or be afraid of your individual signs of struggle. Instead, choose to stare them in the face and …

  • Connect with your support system, they are the rocks we need to learn to lean on during difficult journeys and someday, they may need our help too.
  • Don’t be ashamed to seek help when you need it. It’s not always easy to ask for help, so actively seeking it is actually a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • Be mindful of any self-medication (alcohol, drugs, excessive or lack of eating, excessive exercising, risky behaviors, gambling, excessive spending, etc.)
  • Remember that you can’t pour from an empty glass. As much as we may feel drawn to helping others, we need to care for ourselves first so we are rejuvenated enough to care for others responsibly. Find your self care outlet(s) and stick to them!
  • Know that you are the only one who can make the changes necessary to become the best version of you. Don’t let this fact be a burden but rather a badge of strength as you slowly gain control of your actions, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Seek supports who will help you wear your badge proudly!


Kiri Meyer MS, LPC, NCC

Director’s Note: Wait Until Dark

Stillness. Darkness. Quiet.

Take a moment to close your eyes. Allow your other senses to take over. What do you hear? What do you smell? What are you touching? Imagine for a moment how it would feel if your sight were suddenly taken from you. How does it make you feel?

One of the things I love about directing theatre is how the process allows us as a cast/crew to step outside our lives and for a moment step into the lives of the characters in the show. This is done through sounds, lighting, set design, props, and character development. When Frederick Knott wrote Wait Until Dark, he certainly wrote it in a way that is designed to engage all of these senses.

The smell of something burning, the sounds of doors and footsteps, the warmth of the lights, the coolness of the dark. These are all things the characters experience, but they don’t all experience them the same.

Susy Hendrix is living in a world of dark. She recently lost her sight in an accident and is learning how to live without it. At first, it might seem that her blindness would be a disadvantage against Roat, Carlino, and Mike; however, as the story progresses, it turns out that might not be the case. Enjoy the characters, for each is unique and have different motivations. Each character is experiencing the days that the play takes place in different ways.

The process of bringing Wait Until Dark began with a cast sitting around a table, reading a script… but is ending with a show that engages all of the senses and will leave you wondering what happens next. Thank you to my amazing production staff and cast for bringing this show to life!

Enjoy the Show!



Kelly Goeller


Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Wait Until Dark

On behalf of the Waukesha Civic Theatre and the Board of Directors, I’d like to welcome you to Wait Until Dark, the sixth Mainstage show of our historic 61st season. This thriller outlines the activities of a sinister con man and his two ex-convict partners who are on the hunt for a mysterious, valuable doll. They trace the doll to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam and Susy Hendrix. Sam, who was persuaded by a mysterious woman to transport the doll across the Canadian border, has left it in the care of his blind wife.

Background/Interesting note…

Wait Until Dark is a play by Frederick Knott, first performed on Broadway in 1966. A film version was released in 1967, and starred Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Jack Weston. Audrey Hepburn was actually nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress, and Zimbalist was nominated for a Golden Globe in the supporting category.

The Waukesha Civic Theatre offers an assortment of opportunities to engage in the creative arts which include the Mainstage show, Random Acts Of Entertainment, Academy at Civic Theatre, Friday Night Live, Special Events, and our community partnerships with ACAP.

So please come out and join us as we continue our marvelous 61st season…tell a friend that “happening is happening” at our downtown Waukesha gem!

Now sit back and enjoy the show as you try to guess what’s the fuss about this elusive doll!


Anthony Ventress

Board Of Directors

Cramer’s Corner: May At WCT Is Full Of Great Days!

Spring is here! Yay!

Our next Random Act Of Entertainment, Miscast, performs TONIGHT, May 3 at 7:30 pm. Come see Waukesha’s stars mix it up in this topsy turvy musical revue.

Our current Mainstage show is the classic Frederick Knott mystery Wait Until Dark, performing two more weekends, May 4 through May 13.

Our eleventh PIX Flix film of the season is Rear Window on Monday, May 14 at 6:30 pm. Join us for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic mystery starring Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr, and more! All PIX Flix tickets are $5.00, or groups of ten or more for $4.00 each. And of course we have concessions available, including soda, water, beer, wine, cookies, beef sticks, and POPCORN from Pop’s Kettle Corn!

Registration is open for our A.C.T. Summer Sessions, including our summer A.C.T. production The Music Man JR.

Our current featured artists in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery is a photograph display from the Consulate of Mexico in Milwaukee featuring photos of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Nicolas Murray, and Edward Weston from April 17 through May 21. A reception will be held on Saturday, May 5, from 3 pm to 5 pm. Starting May 22 we will feature The League Of Milwaukee Artists.

Our next and final Mainstage show of the 61st season is Father Knows Best performing June 1 through June 17.

We have two Theatre Tours coming up next season. Our New York City Theatre Adventure will be October 11-14, 2018. Our current list of shows include Anastasia, Come From Away, and Mean Girls. The deadline to register for the trip is June 1st. And we will be traveling to Chicago on Febrary 27, 2019 to see Dear Evan Hansen at the Oriental Theatre. We still have tickets available so it’s not too late to join us. If you are interested in either trip, please contact me for more information.

Are you interested in helping WCT make decisions about everything we do? Join A Committee and get involved. We have lots of great committees to choose from: Education and Outreach, Finance and Facility, Fund Development, Fundraising Events (Gala), Governance, and Marketing.

And our Play Advisory Committee will be starting the process of choosing our 2019-2020 season. If you are interested in participating on this exciting and important committee please contact me as soon as possible. Our deadline for submitting titles for consideration is May 10, 2018, and our review committee will meet May 24, July 19, and August 23.

We are already ten months into our 61st Season, with Fabulous Flex Passes and individual tickets on sale now, so please join us for some great entertainment!
Wait Until Dark
Father Knows Best

Individual tickets for our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale now!
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film series is also on sale now, including our new group rate!
Rear Window
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

And the artists that will be featured in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby will be:
Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Nicolas Murray, and Edward Weston
The League Of Milwaukee Artists

And don’t forget about all the ways to save on quality, live entertainment. WCT’s Ticket Promotions can’t be beat!
Fabulous Flex Pass – Save 22%
Subscriber Rate – Save 22 to 31%
Group Rate (Ten Or More Tickets) – Save 22 to 31%
Educational Group Rate (Ten Or More Tickets) – Save 31 to 63%
Student / Senior (60+) / Military Rate – Save 11%
Student Rush – Save 50%
Terrific Tickets – Save 50%
Pay What You Can (PWYC) – You Name Your Savings

All subscribers also receive the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 18 downtown Waukesha restaurants. And your ticket stub can save you money at Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace and People’s Park, too!

And our 62nd Season is going to be spectacular! Season tickets for our Mainstage series go on sale on Friday, May 4th and individual tickets and group sales will go on sale on July 1st. Individual tickets for all of our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education & Outreach shows, PIX Flix Films, and Fundraising Events all go on sale May 4th as well. May the fourth be with you! (I couldn’t help myself!)

We are looking for production staff to fill out the full season, including Stage Managers, Music Directors, Choreographers, Scenic Designers, Costume Designers, Lighting Designers, Sound Designers, Properties Designers, and more, so if you are interested please send me a letter of interest and your resume.

Our 62nd Mainstage Season includes:
The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940
(Directed By Carol Dolphin)
Billy Elliot: The Musical
(Directed By Mark E. Schuster)
Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols
(Directed By John Cramer and Kelly Goeller)
The Underpants
(Directed By Phil Stepanski)
Thoroughly Modern Millie
(Directed By Jim Padovano)
The Giver
(Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger)
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?
(Directed By David Kaye)

Individual tickets and group sales for our Random Acts Of EntertainmentEducation And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale May 4th!
The ACAP PlayMakers’ Show Of Shows V
Broadway Bound
The Music Man JR.
Br!NK New Play Festival
A.C.T. August Summer Showcase
DISABILITY: The Evolution
Waukesha Reads
You’ve Got A Friend
An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern
Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe
A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp
Waukesha STEM Academy’s Fame JR.
A.C.T. Live!
My Funny Valentine
The Wizard Of Oz Unplugged
The Shamrock Shindig (A Gaelic Gala)
Our Favorite Things
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film Series individual tickets and group sales will also be available starting May 4th!
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Mary Poppins
Singin’ In The Rain
North By Northwest
Muppet Christmas Carol
To Kill A Mockingbird
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
The Sting
Field Of Dreams

Thank you to all of the generous donors that have supported us so far this season. If you would like to donate, you can choose from any number of ways you could help us not only maintain, but thrive, as Waukesha’s Cultural Cornerstone.

Please Consider Giving …
* A gift to our Operating Fund
* A matching gift through local sponsoring business employers
* A gift that will last a lifetime through your Will or Estate Planning
* A gift by donation to CARS
* A gift by shopping through Amazon Smile
* A gift by purchasing something on our Amazon Wish List
 * Choose WCT as your Thrivent Choice charitable organization
* Become a Sponsor of outstanding performances and educational programs

On a personal note, my son Jude will be performing in Love, Death And The Prom at Waukesha South High School May 11-12.

Happy Mother’s Day and Best Wishes For A Memorial Day Filled With Pride, Warmth, And Togetherness!

I’ll see you at the Theatre!


John Cramer
Managing Artistic Director

WCT Joins The Green Ribbon Campaign

To recognize May as Mental Health Month, NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is running an awareness campaign. The Green Ribbon Campaign piloted in 2013, in New York, as an anti-stigma initiative designed to facilitate open and honest dialogue about the topic of mental health in our communities. NAMI | Waukesha has many resources and events for those struggling with mental illness and those who wish to know more and support friends and family with mental illness. It is a nonprofit organization that provides free education, support, and advocacy to community members affected by mental health conditions.

WCT is partnering with NAMI | Waukesha by putting up green ribbons, and posting flyers about mental health for the month. We will also be running a series of articles on our blog about mental health and the arts, as well as using the hashtag #mentalhealthmatters in our social media posts. Stay tuned!

We are involved in this campaign as a way to be active in our community and to promote the well-being of all our community members. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of the prevalence of mental illness, work to erase the stigma associated with mental illness, and start conversations that could, ultimately, save lives.



Katie Danner

Marketing Director