Author Archives: Katie Danner

6 Plays. 30 Actors. 24 Hours. DON’T. MISS. OUT.

Trust me … you don’t want to miss this show!

 

What Is It?

During Combat Theatre participants create and perform six to eight new plays in 24 hours. Writers gather together on the Friday night before the performance at 7:30 pm and draw a location and a subject out of a hat, and the number of actors they need to write for, and then go away and write a ten to fifteen minute play overnight.

The writers return Saturday morning at 9:00 am with their completed scripts, along with all of the directors, writers, and tech staff, and the directors will then randomly draw which script they will direct, and randomly draw the actors that will perform the script. Then they block and memorize the show, find costumes and props they need, and have a 45 minute tech rehearsal to set light and sound cues.

There is a second rehearsal in the late afternoon with all of the shows running in the order they will perform, and then the performance that night. It is truly creating an evening of theatre in just 24 hours. Astounding!!!

 

When Is It?

And now we are bringing this incredible show to the WCT stage as a fundraiser for our theatre arts education program, the Academy at Civic Theatre. The show is this Saturday, August 26, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25, but the experience is priceless, and all proceeds go to an excellent cause. Don’t procrastinate … get your tickets now.

 

Why Do It?

I’ve had the pleasure of participating in Combat Theatre in downtown Milwaukee several times over the last few years, both as a director and as an actor, and it is truly one of the most amazing and unique theatrical experiences I’ve ever had. It is very challenging and rewarding. I am going to participate as a writer for the first time, and I’m TERRIFIED! I’m also EXHILARATED! I can’t wait, and I hope you can’t wait either.

 

Who Does This?!

Our “Combatants” include Maggie Arndt, Nick Bailey, Tara Cha, Tess Cinpinski, Elena Cramer, John Cramer, Mike Crowley, Alexa Farrell, Janice Ferguson, James Fletcher, Jennifer Fletcher, Tarolyn Fulkerson, Marisa Hernandez, Meghan Hopper, Matt Huebsch, Doug Jarecki, Jon Jones, Sophie Jones, Peter Kao, Stacy Kolafa, Amie Losi, Noah Maguire, Mina Miller, Andrea Moser, Karen Owecki, Chuck Padgett, Lee Piekarski, Cheryl Peterson, Beth Reichart, Sandra Renick, Amanda Satchell, Sharon Sohner, Veronica Somerfeld, Ashley Sprangers, Abigail Stein, Lauren Sutton, John Van Slyke, Kayla Tillisch, Hunter West, Adam Williams, and Karolyn Wokos.

I hope you can join us.

 

 

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Staff: Disney’s 101 Dalmatians

6,469,952 spots. 101 Dalmatians. 1 highest grossing movie of 1961. Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians has adventure, romance, and a feel-good family narrative that appeals to everyone. Join us at the PIX for this iconic Disney film on Monday, August 14th at 6:30 pm! Tickets are $5 for everyone – unless you bring a group of 10, in which case you’ll only pay $4 a ticket! Quality entertainment doesn’t get much more affordable than that.

Growing up, I always wanted a dog. My kids want a dog. My husband had a dog. Not everyone is a dog person , it’s true, but most of us can appreciate pets and the special place they hold in humans’ hearts and homes. The makers of Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians deliberately cast dogs with deeper voices than their human owners so they had more power. They have the power over our imaginations and, ultimately, over the villains in this film.

These 101 purloined puppies also had the power over the visual style of Disney animation for more than a decade. To save on production costs, the filmmakers used photocopying technology (Xerography) for the first time in a Disney feature film. This technique made the visual complexity of the film possible and also set the tone of Disney animation until 1977. It also allowed the animators to have a little fun – there’s a hidden Mickey on almost all the Dalmatians!

I’ll be at the PIX on Monday, August 14th, hunting for hidden Mickeys and cheering on Pongo, Perdita, and their intrepid pups along with my family. We’d love to see you and yours there!

 

 

Katie Danner

Box Office Supervisor

Marketing Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: West Side Story

Come join us on Monday, July 31st at 6:30 pm for the classic movie-musical, West Side Story! Set against a backdrop of two warring teenage gangs on the streets of New York City in the 1950s, this musical re-telling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet opened on Broadway on September 26, 1957. Racial tensions against a growing immigrant population from Puerto Rico fuel the feud between the Sharks, a gang of Puerto Rican immigrants, and the Jets, a gang of Americans. Caught in the crossfire are the star-crossed lovers: Tony and Maria. While at a school dance, Tony and Maria meet, falling in love at first sight. However, their love is ill-fated as Tony is a former Jet and Maria is the sister of the Sharks’ leader, Bernardo.

The story unfolds as told through the dialogue by author Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Together, the team created some of the most beautiful and recognizable songs in Broadway history, including, “Something’s Coming,” “Maria”, “Tonight,” “America,” and “I Feel Pretty.”

That season, the musical was nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Musical. Jerome Robbins won the Tony Award for his iconic choreography.

A film adaptation of the musical was released in 1961, starring Natalie Wood as Maria and Rita Moreno as Anita. West Side Story went on to win 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Musical Score. Jerome Robbins received a special Academy Award for his choreography.

To this day, West Side Story remains a favorite in the theatre community. What better way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of West Side Story than to see the film at the Waukesha Civic Theatre on Monday, July 31st at 6:30 pm? Tickets are only $5!

 

Peter Kao

Board Director

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Les Leffingwell

Biography:

Les Leffingwell is native to the Milwaukee/ Waukesha/ Pewaukee landscape and is attracted by its rich visual arts heritage. He graduated from UWM in 1969 and found work as an art educator, fine art restorer and on-the-spot courtroom illustrator for television news. In 1982, he became owner and sole proprietor of Les Leffingwell Architectural Illustration. His lifelong passion for putting brush to canvas still thrives within and is viewable at: http://leffingwell.artistwebsites.com/

 

Artist’s Statement:

In these times of threats to reduce or eliminate government funding for the creative arts, it is especially gratifying to have the opportunity to show my art at the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery.

For this event, I’ve included paintings of local landmarks (acrylic plein air and Avalon composite poster) and portraits of famous performers and artists (oil paintings). The stylistic spirit of the work is what I like to call “expressionist impressionism” or “painting from the gut.” I’ve been inspired by the bright, bold colors of the Fauvists, such as Kees van Dongen, and the spontaneity of Bay Area Figurative painter Richard Diebenkorn. Also, I rely on a glazing technique taught to me early on by artist and professor Joseph Friebert.

Hopefully, my paintings will involve you to see something in a new light and encourage you to use your own imagination and experience to complete the picture. Please enjoy the show and thanks for looking!

 

 Les Leffingwell

Take One: The ACAP PlayMakers On Film!

The ACAP PlayMakers have been part of the Waukesha Civic Theatre family since 2006 starting with a meeting with John Cramer to discuss how people with disabilities could get involved in some way with the Theatre.

 

“We have our PlayMakers program that no one is currently operating since the two creators of that program retired. Why don’t you start with that.”

 

Us run a theatre program? Nevertheless, John put his faith in us (and a lot of moral and professional support) and here we are 20 shows later.

 

As people have heard about our adaptive theatre work, many more people have joined our troupe. Starting out with 8 people, we now have over 30 people regularly involved in the program (and that’s not including the many community actors that play supporting roles in the cast). As we continue to grow, we are running out of space on stage!

 

That’s where our idea for a film production came from: looking for a way to include more people, given the limited space available at the Theatre.  We figured, if we could create and capture smaller groupings of people on film, and string them all together in a larger story, we would achieve that end.

 

So we are currently learning from scratch the ins and outs of movie making. Join us on Saturday, July 15th to see the final product – Oh, Henry: A Double Feature! Here’s hoping that 20 productions from now, we will be as successful as the ACAP PlayMakers venture has been!

 

~Mark Cage

60th Season Carl Thomas Memorial Volunteer Awards

Congratulations and thank you to the recipients of our 60th season Carl Thomas Memorial Volunteer Award! The Waukesha Civic Theatre recognizes the volunteers who have made the organization what it is. This award is named for Carl Thomas, a long-time volunteer who served on stage, backstage, on the board, and anywhere else he was needed. He truly exemplified the “spirit of community theatre.”

This award is given peer to peer for all Mainstage productions, in which each show’s cast, crew, and staff nominate the person involved in that show who they feel has best represented the spirit of community theatre with the highest levels of enthusiasm, energy, and involvement.

The administrative award is chosen by the staff and/or the board of directors and goes to someone who has given of their time and talent outside of the productions we produce.

 

SUE HERRO – JULY 2016 (Administrative)

Sue has been a patron, donor, volunteer bartender, and board director, serving as our board secretary for several years. She always has a smile and something sarcastic to share. Her attention to detail and commitment to fiscal responsibility is beyond compare. The board meetings we held on her pontoon were always the best! We appreciate your commitment and enthusiasm, Sue. Thank you!

 

MIKE BOHREN – AUGUST 2016 (Administrative)

Mike has been a patron, donor, and board director. He led our fund development committee for several years. His appreciation for the arts, combined with his wealth of knowledge and experience, made him an invaluable asset to us. Thank you, Mike, for everything you’ve done for WCT!

 

ANDY GRATKE – SEPTEMBER 2016 (Administrative)

Andy has volunteered as an actor and crew member. He’s a member of the Civic Senior Players, has helped at the audition registration table, participated during community event performances, and he helps with facility maintenance. Thank you, Andy, for your tireless dedication to WCT and the Waukesha Community!

 

JORDAN LEVENE – OCTOBER 2016 (Gypsy)

Jordan won the hearts of everyone in the cast when she stepped in to understudy the role of Dainty June. Not only had she joined the ensemble late, after another actor had to drop out of the show, but she learned the leading role in less than two weeks, and performed it for more than half the run. She was also a very helpful, positive, and optimistic presence backstage. One cast member said it best … “she is AMAZING!” Kudos, Jordan!

 

JIM SANTELLE – NOVEMBER 2016 (To Kill A Mockingbird)

Jim was a kind and enthusiastic member of the cast. He was always quick to volunteer throughout rehearsals for whatever was needed. He was generous, thoughtful, and full of praise for his fellow actors and crew members. Also … Jim brought food. Lots of it! Thank you, Jim!

 

CHRISTINE KULINSKI – DECEMBER 2016 (For Purely Elfish Reasons)

Christine was one of our “kid wranglers” for this show. She was always around to help out in any way no matter what, and always with a pleasant attitude. She kept everyone, adults included, organized and on track. She took on the difficult task of keeping the kids in the cast quiet, focused, and entertained when they were not on stage. “She was FUN!” Way to go, Christine!

 

JOHN HROBAR – JANUARY 2017 (Civic Broadway Singers)

John has been involved at WCT for many years as a performer, donor, and patron. He has been a member of the Civic Broadway Singers for many years. The joy he brings to CBS’s patrons is just as fulfilling for them as the joy he receives from them in return. John is not only very talented, but he is thoughtful, dependable, enthusiastic, and encouraging. He simply loves singing with the Civic Broadway Singers. Thank you, John!

 

MARY RYNDERS – FEBRUARY 2017 (Blithe Spirit)

Mary was a terrific asset to this production. In addition to her role as Mrs. Bradman, she was willing to help in any way possible. She provided rides to other cast members, helped with costumes and props, and pitched in backstage with costume changes and props management. Congratulations, Mary, and thank you for all you do!

 

LEAH TESKE – MARCH 2017 (33 Variations)

Leah gives selflessly to ensure a smooth, solid performance. Her help backstage was invaluable to the show. She was always ready and willing to do whatever was needed, with an extremely helpful and enthusiastic attitude. She always shared her many talents – she can do anything! Way to go, Leah. Thank you!

 

STEVE DEMBINSKI – APRIL 2017 (Administrative)

Steve has been a patron, donor, usher, and fund development volunteer for WCT for many years. His amazing attitude and willingness to pitch in and help is a joy to experience. He always has a smile and a positive word. Thank you, Steve, for everything you do for WCT!

 

MICHAEL SKOCIR – MAY 2017 (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Michael was always willing to help others, and became the unofficial spokesperson for the cast and crew; bringing up concerns, asking questions, and offering helpful solutions in an honest and respectful way. He always had fun comments which helped people feel at ease and enjoy the time together, performed several times with injuries, and also generously hosted a wonderful cast party. Thank you, Michael!

 

LLOYD MUNSON – JUNE 2017 (Barefoot In The Park)

Lloyd gave in every way, shape, and form with professionalism and enthusiasm. He picked up any task that was asked of him with gusto. His excitement and commitment are inspiring. He has been a joy to work with and we can’t wait for him to return to WCT time and time again! Way to go, Lloyd. Thank you!

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