Author Archives: Waukesha Civic Theatre

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Artists From The Springs Pump House Art Gallery

The Springs originally was the site of three springs in the era, hence the name and three colors in the logo. The Springs’ location at 521 Wisconsin Ave., was formerly the Spring City Pattern Works (wood pattern factory) in early 1900’s. This founding company was later paired with Leitner’s Auto Body Shop on the 519 side. Most Waukesha residents today recall the Springs as a cooperative Antique Store for 25 years until 2008 when purchased by the current owners and transitioned into The Springs: Gallery, Studio, and Creativity Pumphouse.

 

Cathryn Ruvalcaba

The true origin of my artistic journey was a visually rich childhood spent in a small town on a high farming plateau in Washington State. I was especially drawn to the animals on those picturesque farms.  To me, they all had very distinct personalities and a quiet dignity.  And, though my adult life took me into big cities, my heart has always been happiest roaming the pasturelands and barnyards.

In midlife, I was drawn to oil painting and sought out classes and workshops.  I have been very fortunate to train with several excellent painters.  My artistic education began with classical training in oil painting and portraiture finally settling into Russian Impressionism. The hallmark of this Russian Impressionistic style is the impact of the rich, glowing light found in the early morning and late evening hours – that luscious low-slung light that electrifies the edges of everything it touches.  This is what moves me and this is what I love to paint.

 

Rose Lange

Rose Lange is a professional artist and educator living  and working in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Rose enjoys the challenge, and loves surprising viewers, by up-cycling  found materials like old jewelry, beads, small toys and chip bags in creating mixed-media mosaics and small, whimsical figurative sculptures.

Rose creates in her private studio at  The Springs Gallery and Studios, and also exhibits and sells her work at The Almont Gallery in downtown Waukesha.

Rose has been the Art Specialist for Waukesha Catholic School System since 2001.

 

Cyndy Baran

Cyndy had a near death encounter with a city bus soon after relocating to Nashville for her business career, which brought home the message, ”If you want to make art…you’d better get to making it!” Soon after, she quit her day job, enrolled in Art School and she’s been making art ever since.

She has worked in a variety of mediums and genres including figure, landscape, and most recently abstraction. Her work has been juried into competitions both regionally and nationally

“Bold colors and composition draw me into the creative process. The body intuitively knows what it needs, and if you listen to that voice, it will guide you to the place you need to be at that moment. By creating calm among the chaos of life, I am able to hear my own voice, and thus, better hear the voices of those around me.”

 

Thomas Buchs – Oil Painting

I attended Layton School of Art and became an Illustrator, creating artwork for advertising, and children’s books for many local and national companies during the last 46 years. Much of my current work is Plein Air Painting (painting from life outdoors). I try to capture the light and atmosphere of a scene within a few hours. I believe that a painting is not just a two dimensional illusion, but also that of a moment in life, captured by an artist on canvas. I have received many awards from local advertising associations, and nationally from The Society of Illustrators, as well as dozens of awards in Plein Air painting competitions around the country. My studio can now be found at Atelier/Plein Air at The Springs Gallery and Studios.

 

Nancy Wilson

I am a landscape architect who has a passion for fiber arts. I learned to weave and hand spin yarn 32 years ago at a community art center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I enjoy sharing my love of fiber arts with the people who visit the markets and fairs I attend through spinning and weaving demonstration.  In 2016, I realized my dream of having a studio. Lost Art Fiber and Textile Studio at The Springs Gallery and Studios is open for workshops. In addition to teaching adults, I’ve enjoyed working with schools and students in discovering the creative possibilities in fiber arts. I am inspired by color and texture, especially those found in nature. In addition to the thrill of working with the elements of color and texture, I have found that fiber art activities can provide a meditative experience. I am currently a member of the Wisconsin Handweavers Guild and Madison Weaving Guild. In 2014, I started Common Threads Fiber Group that meets at the Waukesha Public Library. I do volunteer work at Donna Lexa Art Center in Waukesha and Angel’s Grace Hospice program where we create a commemorative weaving during their annual remembrance ceremony.

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The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: La Casa de Esperanza Charter School

The Casa de Esperanza Charter School is pleased to present to you this beautiful display of Christmas art projects made by our students with my collaboration as an art teacher at our school. Our students are children between grades K4 to third grade. In addition, they participate in our arts class every day for a period of 45 minutes where, using a variety of manipulative materials, they are exposed to experiment and develop their skills, creative abilities, and imagination in the composition of different projects.

For this exhibition, we decided to select various Christmas cultural elements that represent the nationalities of our students. For example: our K4 students make ornaments using wooden sticks to create elves, reindeer, snowmen, and Santa Claus. The students of K5 made paintings with fingerprints, hands, and feet. The students of first grade made sculptures of wool yearn creating snowmen. The second grade students painted flags representing the nationalities of our students, embodying Christmas elements such as: Puerto Rico (The Three Kings); USA (Santa Claus); Mexico (La Flor the Noche Buena); Venezuela (El Nacimiento); and Nicaragua (El Arbol de Navidad). To finish, the third grade students made mosaics representing The Three Kings, Christmas Wreaths, the Flower of Christmas Eve, The Bells, and The Candlestick.

We greatly appreciate the Waukesha Civic Theatre for the opportunity they have given us to present our Christmas artwork in this fabulous exhibition for the enjoyment of all families.

 

¡Merry Christmas!

 

Ms. Diana Mercado

Art Teacher

La Casa de Esperanza Charter School

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird could easily borrow a line from Dickens that said… “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This cinematic classic is based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel about innocence, strength and conviction. Experience one of the most significant milestones in film history…nominated for 8 Academy Awards and starring screen legend Gregory Peck as courageous Southern lawyer Atticus Finch. Peck’s Academy Award winning performance was hailed by the American Film Institute as the greatest movie hero of all time.

There are so many life lessons to be taken from this classic story…from Scout’s perspectives on growing up as seen through adult eyes as Jean Louise narrates the story.  It truly is “the best of times” as we witness the adventures of Scout, Jem and Dill and they dare to discover the legend of Boo Radley. Through Atticus’ wisdom the children learn that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”

As the story develops “the worst of times” is portrayed when an angry mob attempts to take Tom Robinson from the safety of the jail…only to be stood down by Atticus and Scout in the end. The angry hatred and racism incited by Bob Ewell toward Tom Robinson leading up to and throughout the trial provide some intensely dramatic moments.

The highlight of my 40 plus year community theatre acting career has to be delivering Atticus’ closing argument monologue in defense of Tom Robinson. Very powerful and emotional even now as I reflect on that scene.

This is one of my personal all time favorite movies. However, my affection for the movie begins with the classic novel and stage play. As I pen this blog I am drinking coffee from a mug that says…

What would Atticus do?

A present from the young actress who played Scout onstage at WCT in November 2016. It was truly a blessing and honor to portray Atticus finch with an amazing ensemble cast. I will always remember the final scene of the stage play when looking across the stage to see young Scout returning home from escorting Boo Radley and making brief eye contact with the adult Jean Louise as it becomes clear to her that Atticus knew that she was “already beginning to stand in other peoples’ shoes!”

Please join us on Monday, January 7 at 6:30 pm, sit back and enjoy every classic minute of this cinematic treasure as we present…

To Kill A Mockingbird

 

Kelly Vance

President

Board Of Directors

 

MAD Corner: Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols

This is a bittersweet moment. Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols will be my last show at WCT as Managing Artistic Director.

I care deeply about the Waukesha Civic Theatre, and have put my blood, sweat, and tears into my work here for more than 15 years! It has been my honor and my privilege to be part of this amazing organization and to work hand in hand with the people that are the theatre’s life source.

Thank you for the support you have given me, the WCT staff, board of directors, volunteers, and the entire WCT Community.

It’s no secret that I love the holiday season. Starting with Halloween, continuing with Thanksgiving, thriving through Christmas, and culminating in New Year’s Eve, these three months are truly “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.” I love the lights, the themed decorations, the family gatherings, the parties, and of course, the music and the stories.

The Cramers are more than a little crazy when it comes to celebrating the holidays. First, we decorate like we’ve been possessed by Buddy the Elf. We have seven 30 gallon bins full of decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s that we lovingly haul out of storage and display every year. But it is Christmas that really gets our attention. We have more than twenty 30 gallon bins full of holiday delights. A Santa collection, an elf collection, a village, garlands, wreaths, lights and more take over our home in a festive explosion of color. We have Christmas trees in our family room and all three bedrooms. Some years we add a fifth, or even sixth tree just because. I did say we were a little crazy, didn’t I?

This love of the holidays is where Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols came from. The show started out in 2005 as a musical revue performed at the Waukesha State Bank holiday party by me and my wife Kelli, and accompanied by Abby Lorenz. I put the show together featuring our favorite music and stories, with a little bit of history thrown in, and entertained the WSB employees for an hour.

Then I started thinking about how it might translate to a full production. Good holiday shows are hard to find. There are a handful of traditional classics like A Christmas Carol, Miracle On 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but every theatre produces them, so the holiday entertainment market is saturated with these old standbys. I wanted to create something that could be WCT’s unique holiday tradition so I took that WSB show and expanded it to a full two hour show, with opportunities for community members of all ages to participate. We produced it for the first time in 2009 with a cast of 65 actors ages 6 to 80, and a new tradition was begun. We followed that production with six more versions of the show through 2015. Each year the show changed a little bit, replacing some of the songs and stories with other fantastic songs and stories.

We took a break from the show for two seasons, but are now bringing it back with a brand new story line. This year’s adaptation is near and dear to my heart, with the Bickford family and friends based on my own life and circle of family and friends. I’ve loved working on this show again, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Not only that, the holiday season at WCT is full of amazing entertainment options, including An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern, I Got Yule, Babe, our PIX Flix feature film The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Comicality.

And remember, if you’re looking for a good gift to give this season, consider our Festive Flex Four For $64 or a gift card … wonderful gifts of theatre to share with anyone, or to treat yourself! Happy Holidays!

In the words of Blues Traveler: “If it’s Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, Solstice Harvest, or December 25th, peace on earth to everyone, and abundance to everyone you’re with.”

 

 

Happy Holidays!

John Cramer

Co-Director / Choreographer

Director’s Note: Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols

Growing up, Christmas Eve was a night I couldn’t wait for. Not only because I knew Santa would be coming, but because it was always a night I got to see all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. We would drive to my grandparents and the kids would march upstairs to play together with the old toys that were still there from the generation prior to us. We’d rehearse and put on a concert for our parents (complete with ripped up paper snow) and we knew if we listened closely, we would hear Santa’s sleigh. We always knew we were too loud and rowdy when one of our parents yelled up the stairs because the dining room chandelier was shaking (which happened to be right under the room we were in and right above the table where they were playing sheepshead). Opening presents was always exciting, but not nearly as exciting as the quality time spent with family. It was a night filled with love.

After my grandparents all passed, the family rotated who hosted Christmas Eve for a couple of years and some family members stopped coming. Eventually, my husband and I decided we wanted to pick up the tradition. This year will be our 6th year hosting Christmas Eve and it’s now become one of the days of the year my daughter counts down until. The night is filled with family, friends, singing, laughing and, most importantly, love.

When John Cramer approached me about co-directing and shared the concept for the show, I knew I had to hop on board. I think just about every cast member has commented at some point how much the love the holiday season. It’s been fun hearing the stories from the cast on their favorite holiday memories. Thank you to our cast, crew and production staff for making this story come to life. Every time I work on a show, I’m reminded why community theatre is so amazing.

As you sit back and enjoy the show, you might find a scene reminds you of something, a character may remind you of someone, you might hear your favorite holiday tune, but what I hope the most is that you feel is just how much dedication and love went into this production. Happy Holidays and thank you for coming to the show! Enjoy!

 

 

Kelly Goeller

Director

Meet The Cast: Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols

Introducing some members of the cast of Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols! The show runs November 30-December 16, 2018. Tickets are available online 24/7 or at the box office, two hours before any performance and Tuesday-Friday from noon to 5 pm. See you at the Theatre!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight On The Board: Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols

Happy Holidays and welcome to the 62nd season and return of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s production of Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols. This production started from the creative mind of our very own Managing Artistic Director, John Cramer. John will reprise his role directing and updating his original WCT classic. I still remember the early variety show in which my oldest son had the pleasure of playing Charlie Brown back in 2011. Also, my youngest daughter elated the audience singing “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” in 2015. While the show has changed throughout the years, it is still one of the best ways to enjoy the Holiday season. I hope you, like me, are looking forward to seeing what surprise John may have in store for us in the return of this beloved Holiday adventure. This family-friendly show never fails to captivate the essence of the Holiday spirit.

Thank you for supporting our theatre with your patronage. Please also remember there are many ways to support the theatre while providing you discounted ticket prices with our Festive Flex Four For Sixty-Four membership available throughout the Holiday season. You can also take advantage of our Terrific Tickets by utilizing your ticket stub for you or a friend to see this show again for half price.

The theatre also welcomes many different volunteer opportunities to help support everything that goes into shows and keeping the theater immaculate. Volunteer opportunities include ushering, maintenance, set development, and serving on a committee or on the Board. These are just a few of the opportunities to help the theatre.

Enjoy the show and please have a safe and Happy Holiday!

 

 

Rich Johnson

Treasurer

Board of Directors

A Crazy Cramer Christmas

It’s no secret that I love the holiday season.  Starting with Halloween, continuing with Thanksgiving, thriving through Christmas, and culminating in New Year’s Eve, these three months are truly “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.”  I love the lights, the themed decorations, the family gatherings, the parties, and of course, the music and the stories.

The Cramers are more than a little crazy when it comes to celebrating the holidays.  First, we decorate like we’ve been possessed by Buddy the Elf.  We have seven 30 gallon bins full of decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s that we lovingly haul out of storage and display every year.   But it is Christmas that really gets our attention.  We have more than twenty 30 gallon bins full of holiday delights.  A Santa collection, an elf collection, a village, garlands, wreaths, lights and more take over our home in a festive explosion of color.  We have Christmas trees in our family room and all three bedrooms.  Some years we add a fifth, or even sixth tree just because.  I did say we were a little crazy, didn’t I?

This love of the holidays is where Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols came from.  The show started out in 2005 as a musical revue performed at the Waukesha State Bank holiday party by me and my wife Kelli, and accompanied by Abby Lorenz.  I put the show together featuring our favorite music and stories, with a little bit of history thrown in, and entertained the WSB employees for an hour.

Then I started thinking about how it might translate to a full production.  Good holiday shows are hard to find.  There are a handful of traditional classics like A Christmas Carol, Miracle On 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but every theatre produces them, so the holiday entertainment market is saturated with these old standbys.  I wanted to create something that could be WCT’s unique holiday tradition so I took that WSB show and expanded it to a full two hour show, with opportunities for community members of all ages to participate.   We produced it for the first time in 2009 with a cast of 65 actors ages 6 to 80, and a new tradition was begun.  We followed that production with six more versions of the show through 2015.  Each year the show changed a little bit, replacing some of the songs and stories with other fantastic songs and stories.

We took a break from the show for two seasons, but are now bringing it back with a brand new story line.  I am very excited about this season’s version of the show, and can’t wait to share it with the Waukesha community.  Happy Holidays!

 

John Cramer

Co-Director, Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols

Spotlight On The Board: Billy Elliot The Musical

Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre and this performance of Billy Elliot The Musical. In my tenure as a board member, I have heard repeatedly from our patrons their desire for WCT to bring modern and challenging shows to the community. What show better fits that bill then Billy Elliot, an award winning show that has thrilled audiences around the world while promoting acceptance and open mindedness and positively challenging notions of traditional gender roles. Scored by Elton John, this show is a great showcase for local talent of all ages to sing, dance and perform.

Waukesha Civic Theatre counts on your support to be able to continue to bring great performances and opportunities to our community. Let your friends, family and neighbors know how much you enjoyed this show and spread the word on social media.

The board, cast, crew and volunteers, not just of Billy Elliot but from the dozens of events each season, sincerely thank you for coming out and being a part of the Waukesha Civic Theatre.

 

 

Thank you and enjoy!

Brian Goeller

Board Of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: North By Northwest

Hitchcock’s classic thriller North By Northwest was written by Ernest Lehman, who wanted to write “the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures.” In my estimation, he far exceeded his goal.

After over 40 years, this action packed thriller still keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. North By Northwest is the best expression of one of Hitchcock’s favorite themes: the wrong man. The wrong man theme puts an everyman into an impossible situation. Cary Grant plays Roger O. Thornhill, an ad executive from New York who is mistaken for secret agent George Kaplan. Thornhill gets kidnapped by Phillip Vandamm (James Mason), who tries to kill him. Through the many twist and turns that the movie takes Cary Grant, as usual, is very debonair, sophisticated and believable in his approach to this character. I believe that North By Northwest is Grant’s most celebrated performance. This role lets him play many different character types: hero, clown, victim, drunkard, and – the part that he always plays best – the romantic lead. Grant is in almost every scene and he owns the screen, whether he is being seduced by Eve Kendall or chased by Phillip Vandamm or the CIA.

Eva Marie Saint as Eve Kendall is also very believable in her part. She is sexy, mysterious and dangerous. She keeps us guessing in each different scene, who her character really is. James Mason is also brilliant in his role as the villain. Mason also has a very sophisticated, charming air about him that even competes with Grant. Jessie Royce Landis is very funny as Cary Grant’s mother. Truly, Grant is the star of this show, but everyone in the show shines in their parts.

The crop dusting scene is my personal favorite in the film. Our hero in the show, Roger Thornhill finds himself attacked by a machine-gun-equipped crop dusting plane. It is one of the most remarkable scenes in film history. It has left me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath every time I watch the film. Although, all the scenes are impeccably done: the Mt. Rushmore visitor center scene, the drunk driving scene, the auction and the UN segment.

Hitchcock’s vision, Grant’s charm, and the rest of the casts’ truly brilliant performances makes this one film that you need to see. Join us on Monday, November 12th at 6:30 pm. See you at the PIX!

 

 

Kitty Messplay 

Vice President

Board Of Directors