Author Archives: Katie Danner

MAD Corner: Barefoot In The Park

We end our 60th Mainstage season (and fourteen years of putting up with me as WCT’s Managing Artistic Director) with a show that is one of the best shows from one of America’s best playwrights … Barefoot In The Park by Neil Simon. I love Simon’s plays across the board, but this one has always been one of my favorites.

We recently announced our lineup for our historic 61st season and are thrilled about the variety of high quality entertainment we are offering. We are sure that you, the Waukesha community, will find something you like from our list of nearly 100 exciting entertainment options.

We have an incredible opportunity to DOUBLE YOUR DOLLARS presented to us and we need your help to take full advantage of this amazing offer. Scott and Nancy McCaskey & Family have challenged us to provide funds for several much needed operational improvements at Waukesha Civic Theatre. They will donate a matching dollar for every dollar we raise between May 1 and June 30, 2017, up to $25,000, raising $50,000 for WCT! That’s right. If you donate $1, they will donate $1. If you donate $100, they will match it! If you donate $1,000, that would be $2,000 for WCT, and you’ll find me skipping down the hall singing “Match maker, match maker, make me a match!”

Just a few of our immediate needs include:

  • Replacing our phone and voice mail system, which is 17 years old! ($5,000)
  • Replacing our phones, which are six to 17 years old. ($3,000)
  • Replacing our server, box office, and administrative computers and printers, which are six to ten years old. ($20,000)
  • Upgrading our concession and bar refrigeration system. ($5,000 to $30,000)

With your gift, we promise to enhance the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s ability to provide quality programs and educational opportunities for years to come.

In addition to that, we have been blessed with the incredible support of the Waukesha community as you support us as patrons, donors, and volunteers. We are excited about the future and the possibilities that lie before us, and we can’t to move into the next season with enthusiasm for the arts, our community partners, and all of the people that have been touched, and will be touched by the Waukesha Civic Theatre, an incredible sight to see in the heart of Wisconsin. I want to thank everyone for joining us in any capacity, and I hope you are enjoying the ride as much as we are.

 

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

Director’s Note: Barefoot In The Park

Barefoot In The Park is known by many for the 1967 movie adaption directed by Gene Saks and starring Robert Redford (Paul) and Jane Fonda (Corie). However, it all started four years before that on October 23rd, 1963 when it opened at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway. It ran for a total of 1,530 performances closing on June 25th, 1967, making it Neil Simon’s longest-running hit. Robert Redford also played Paul in the Broadway performance, and Elizabeth Ashley played Corie.

This production is set in 1963. While times have changed around the woman’s role in the household since then, many of the challenges Corie and Paul are presented during their first four days living together after their blissful honeymoon, along with how they deal with them, remain timeless.

We laughed a ton during rehearsals as we each thought back to our own relationships, and how spot on Neil Simon was. The nosey mother, the crazy neighbor, and the reality that hits after the honeymoon is over. But, ultimately realizing that with your loved one at your side, you can conquer it all, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. For many actors, the roles in Barefoot In The Park are bucket list roles, and I know that to be true for several of our cast members. I think you’ll understand why after seeing the show. I am truly lucky for the caliber of cast, crew, and production staff I have working with me side-by-side on this production. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun at rehearsals as I did working with this cast. I hope you have as much fun watching the show as the cast does performing it!

 

Kelly Goeller

Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Barefoot In The Park

Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre. We’re very glad you’re here supporting live theatre in our city.

Tonight, you will be enjoying one of Neil Simon’s best known and most beloved plays, Barefoot In The Park. It first appeared on Broadway in 1963 and was an instant hit, running for almost four years and over fifteen hundred performances. That made it Neil Simon’s longest running Broadway show, and one that is still a favorite of live theatre venues today.

The story centers on a newlywed couple moving into their first apartment in a New Yok City walkup.  Simon’s comedic writing talent is on display in abundance as the couple begins their married life in their new home.

I moved to Waukesha thirty-four years ago, and the downtown area was nothing like it is today. There was little happening in the evenings then. Now, WCT is in the epicenter of a revitalized vibrant and fun place to be. There are multiple first class restaurants within walking distance of the theatre, along with retail establishments that you just don’t find in the big malls. To enhance your Civic Theatre evening, come early, enjoy great dining in one of our nearby restaurants, and then stroll down the street to experience the best that live theatre has to offer.

 

Scott Trindl

Board Director

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Pat Toicen-Dycee

Biography:

Patricia was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin and has lived in the area all her life. Her interest in photography started in 1982 and continues today. Trained through classes at WCTC, UWW, and workshops from Santa Fe School of Photography, Rocky Mountain School of Photography including many photographers such as John Gerlach, Barb Gerlach, Brenda Tharp, Doug Beasley, Mike Moats and many others. Patricia worked for Walgreens for 45 years and after retiring in 2015 she has become an avid photographer joining several workshops a year around the US, melding her love of travel and passion for photography. She is a past president and member of The Unlimited Vision Photo Club based in Waukesha. Her images have been used by Prohealth in the yearly Breast Cancer River Walk Brochure and she volunteers for the City Of Waukesha Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department to photograph yearly events.

 

Artist’s Statement:

While staying at Akiko’s Bed and Breakfast outside Hilo, Hawaii, I traveled with a group of photographers to produce images of the non-traditional local beauty of the Island. Encouraged by the instructor, photographer Douglas Beasley, the assignment was to look for gratitude and serenity in the backroads of Hilo. The beauty of Volcano National Park, driving along the Hamakua Coast, the very small village of Wailea, the lush greenery of the Red Road Scenic Drive, dramatic rocks at Lapahoehoe and downtown Hilo are my memories of Hawaii. The images that you see in the exhibit are my personal artistic expression showing the peaceful beauty that is Hawaii.

 

 

Patricia Toicen-Dycee

ptoicendyc@aol.com

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: The Drowsy Chaperone

In many ways, I am The Man In The Chair. As a child and young girl, I spent hours in our living room, ears glued to the speakers, listening to my mom and dad’s LPs, imaging the likes of Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman, and Mary Martin as they gallivanted across the streets of London in My Fair Lady, rode the vaudeville circuit in Gypsy, and sang and danced on sugar sands in South Pacific! I could see them so clearly in my mind’s eye that it was as if they were right there with me in the room, performing just for me, thrilling me and making me laugh and cry, dance and sing! How can you NOT love a classic musical?!?!?

Welcome to The Drowsy Chaperone, where we all get to be The Man In The Chair! As a WCT board director and performer, I am constantly amazed and thrilled by the variety of theatre options the WCT brings to our community every season. From cutting edge drama like 33 Variations to the innumerable learning opportunities through ACAP, STEM Academy, and A.C.T. to family friendly classic movies with PIX Flix and more, WCT is truly a gem.  But I confess, deep down in my heart, my absolute favorites are the WCT musicals. No one does them better than WCT!

Our historic 60th season ends next month with Neil Simon’s Barefoot In The Park, as we look forward to our 61st season and your continued support. Without the generous support of our guests, we could not continue to provide these great services to the Waukesha community. Please consider a donation today to support our mission to provide quality live theatre performances and educational opportunities that will enrich, challenge, and entertain both participants and audience members for years to come.

 

Enjoy the Show!

 

 

Jane G. Klett

Board of Directors

MAD Corner: The Drowsy Chaperone

I had the pleasure of seeing The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway when it was brand new, and absolutely fell in love with it.  It has all the elements that make musical theatre the favorite genre of most theatre lovers. The show incorporates everything except the kitchen sink – mistaken identities, dream sequences, spit takes, a deus ex machina, an unflappable English butler, an absent-minded dowager, a Broadway impresario and his Follies production, comic gangsters, a ditzy chorine, a harried best man, and a “Drowsy” (i.e. “tipsy”) Chaperone, played in the show-within-a-show by a blowzy Grande Dame of the Stage, specializing in “rousing anthems” and not above upstaging the occasional co-star. As The Man In The Chair states in his opening monologue “that’s what the show is – fun!”  I hope you think so too!

Thank you to everyone that supports WCT! All of our volunteers help us out in any number of ways by acting, ushering, serving on the board of directors, providing maintenance or office support, or working on sets, costumes, props. Our patrons come to WCT see quality live entertainment, the fruits of our volunteers’ labor. Our donors help keep us financially sound by their gifts to the Annual Operating Fund, the Endowment Fund, or by including us in their planned giving.

The generosity of the Waukesha community astounds me, and I truly appreciate all the time, talent, and money that you give to WCT.

One way, and arguably the best way, to support WCT is to spread the word about Waukesha’s best kept secret. It always amazes me when I meet someone in Waukesha who has no idea what a fantastic organization we have right here in the heart of the community. Tell people about what we do and all we offer.

Enrich. Challenge. Entertain. That says it all, so keep watching, keep participating with, and keep supporting this cultural cornerstone. We couldn’t do it without you.

 

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Citizen Kane

What would possess a left-leaning 24 year old from Kenosha, WI to co-write, direct, produce and star in a motion picture intended to skewer the oligarchs who controlled the American media in the 1930’s? In Orson Welles’ own words, “Ignorance.” Having already achieved critical acclaim as a theater actor, playwright and director, perhaps it is this audacity of scope combined with the fresh technological innovations of the silver screen that led Welles to create what is now almost universally agreed to be one of the greatest films ever made.

 

Citizen Kane, a fictional biopic of the newspaper magnate Charles Kane, is Welles’ first film and employs numerous experimental techniques developed for this movie. Many of these contributions to style and cinematography have entered the movie making lexicon. Today these remain as fresh and important to the story as when Citizen Kane was released in 1941.

 

Charles Kane, played by the young Orson Welles, is transparent in life and mysterious in death. Welles and his co-writer, Herman Mankiewicz, ask the viewer to share in the detective work of newsreel reporter Jerry Thompson, played by William Alland, to discover Kane’s deepest secrets by investigating the mundane meaning of the final utterance on his deathbed: “Rosebud.” This thinly veiled misdirection provides the audience the opportunity to approach and receive the film on numerous levels. Today, the parallels to our culture remain as strong as they did 76 years ago with just as much opportunity to be challenged and entertained.

 

With a handpicked cast, many of whom such as Agnes Moorehead and Joseph Cotten would go on to storied careers, Citizen Kane represents a high watermark in cinematic storytelling. Whether you are a fan of film, student of history, have interest in the media’s role in modern politics or simply want to share this experience with friends and family, the Waukesha Civic Theatre invites you to join us at 6:30 pm on Monday, June 5th to watch and celebrate this Hollywood masterwork.

 

Brian Goeller

Board Director

Director’s Note: The Drowsy Chaperone

Just after I finished college, my aunt and uncle paid for a trip to New York as a present. They had arrived earlier than I did, and when I landed, they told me they had bought show tickets for that evening but didn’t tell me what show. I had a list of a half dozen shows I REALLY wanted to see, and so I was very excited when I met up with them. They informed me that they had gotten tickets to see The Drowsy Chaperone, and I had a hard time concealing my disappointment. (I must have mentioned the show to them at some point.) I had been interested in the show, but it was maybe 7th on my list of 6 shows I wanted to see on that trip. But it was too late, and it was a gift. So we went to the show, and it was an utter delight from start to finish. Great characters, catchy songs, tongue in cheek humor. It was a total joy. A truly PLEASANT SURPRISE and one of the highlights of that trip.

 

Fast forward this past fall. I get an email from John Cramer asking if I’d be interested in directing the production at Civic. I was under the assumption that a director was already in place, so it was a very PLEASANT SURPRISE to have been given this opportunity.

 

This cast has been a joy to work with. The Civic has been very welcoming to me and I have enjoyed this experience immensely. When I direct, I tend to be on my feet a lot, playing around right along with the actors. I am fairly certain they’ve had as much fun as I have putting this show together, and today’s performance is proof of that. If you have never seen the show before, I hope you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was when I first experienced it.

 

 

Matt Zembrowski

Director

Cramer’s Corner: Happy May Day!

This time of year is such a happy time.  Days getting warmer and warmer.  The burst of color as plants come back to vibrant life.  The threat of snow diminishing.  A little.  And incredible activity at WCT!

Our next PIX Flix movie of the season, Vertigo is tonight, May 1, at 6:30 pm.  Vertigo is often considered Alfred Hitchcock’s most discussed, dissected, and critically reappraised film.  The cast of the movie includes Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, and more.  All tickets are $5.00, and we have concessions available, including soda, water, beer, wine, cookies, beef sticks, and … wait for it … POPCORN!  Click here to buy tickets.

Our next Random Act Of Entertainment is Miscast on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 pm.  Click here for more information or to buy tickets.  Miscast is a musical revue in which WCT performers sing songs for characters they would never have the chance to play in real life, be it due to gender, race, age … the stranger the better!

Our current Mainstage show, The Drowsy Chaperone, continues May 5 through May 14.  We have several promotions running right now for this show.  Use the code CHAIR to receive $5 off the adult ticket price, or the code THANKSMOM to buy one adult price ticket and get a second ticket for our Mother’s Day performance on May 14 at 2:00 pm. You can use the code on line or in person, over the phone, or via email.  The show has two more Pay What You Can performances on May 11 at 7:30 pm, and May 13 at 2:00 pm. And of course our Terrific Ticket promotion is always running.  Click here for more information.

We have added a movie to our schedule on Tuesday, May 9 at 6:30 pm.  Bane Vs Superman is a fan film.  Tickets are free.  Donations are welcome (all go to WCT). Concessions will be open.  Click here for more information.

Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery is Tom Buchs. Are you interested in helping WCT make decisions about everything we do?  Join A Committee and get involved.  We have two committees that are starting work this month, our Art Gallery Committee and our Play Advisory Committee. Our Art Gallery Committee will be meeting on Monday, May 8, at 3:30 pm.  This committee determines which artists will be featured in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby.  Committee members bring artist suggestions to the table and participate in determining the line up for the upcoming season. The Play Advisory Committee operates both independetly (the submission committee) and scheduled (the review committee).  If you want to suggest titles for us to consider, you complete a Play Advisory Submission Form for each title you are recommending by May 25, 2017.  If you are interested in helping us choose the shows from the submitted forms, you need to attend all three of the review committee meetings.  This year they will be held on June 8, July 13, and August 17.  All Thursday nights from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Our other commmittees include Education and Outreach, Finance and Facility, Fund Development, Fundraising Events (Gala), Governance, and Marketing. If you are interested in serving on one or more committees please let me know! If you are looking for a theatre experience outside of Wisconsin, consider joining us for our NYC Theatre Adventure October 12-15, 2017.  We are planning on seeing Come From Away, School Of Rock, and War Paint, but we need at least ten guests to book the trip by TODAY, May 1.  If we don’t reach our minimum number we may still go on the trip but we most likely won’t be able to see War Paint, and maybe not even Come From Away, due to the popularity of these shows and we will lose our group sale reservation if we don’t commit.  I know cast members in both of these shows so I may be able to schedule a back stage tour for one or both of them.  Contact me TODAY by email or phone if you would like more information about either trip. Registration is open for our A.C.T. summer sessions, including our summer ACT production Disney’s The Lion King JR and both our June and August A.C.T. Summer Showcases. Click here for more information. We still have several great shows in our 60th Season so please join us for some great entertainment! Season Tickets for our 61st season are now on sale! Sex Please We’re Sixty          The Hunchback Of Notre Dame                  The House Without A Christmas Tree                          The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged)                                  Clue: The Musical                                          Wait Until Dark                                                  Father Knows Best Individual tickets for these shows will go on sale July 1. Individual tickets for our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale now! Oh, Henry: A Double Feature         Disney’s The Lion King JR.                 A.C.T. August Summer Showcase                         Combat Theatre                                  Miscast                         The Tortoise And The Hare:  The Rematch!                 Wisconsin Philharmonic Chamber Concerts         Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe The Four Guyz In Dinner Jackets         A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp                 Singin’ In The Rain JR.                         A.C.T. Live!                                 My Funny Valentine                                         Darn Yankees                                                 Spring City’s Wild Card Saloon                                                         A.C.T June Summer Showcase 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 gift to our Spotlight On The Future Capital Campaign      * 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 is playing Stu Thomas in Borderline Crazies at Waukesha South High School May 12 and 13.  He also advanced to the state competition for both forensics and solo and ensemble.  And my daughter Elena is completing her first year at UWSP, and she was in two shows and made the Dean’s List!  She was also invited to participate in the Prague Shakespeare Company Summer Intensive in July, receiving one of only four scholarships.  Proud papa! 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 jcramer@waukeshacivictheatre.org 262-547-4911 ext. 13 office

The Movie: Bane vs Superman

The movie Bane vs Superman is a DC Comic related film. It deals with plot twists like the comic book scenarios with the good guys, the villains, and the heroines. It is based off a script written by Keith Stahle with general shooting locations in the Wisconsin and Illinois areas, including: Marshfield, Wausau, Madison, and even downtown Southwestern Chicago, Illinois on Lower Wacker Drive.
 
The main “Good Guy” and “Bad Guy” roles and the leading heroines are played by: Keith Stahle, Kevin Staley, and Janelle Griebel. Keith Stahle is a method trained actor by the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (California) and brought in Janelle Griebel and Kevin Staley as well as several other actors in the Wausau area for the making of this film. The cinematographer was Sam Karow, who bought new cameras, directly related to the shooting of this film, which was shot mainly during the fall and winter of 2015.
 
Keith and Kevin are brothers only two years apart and Keith lives in California with his girlfriend and both of them grew up in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Special thanks to Sharon Groth and Thomas Staley for giving birth to “Bane.”
 
Kevin Staley, actor