Author Archives: Meghan Hopper

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Staff: The Sting

The Set-Up.

It’s the best movie of 1973 — the Academy says so. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Score bring its total Oscar wins to seven, with three more nominations (Best Actor for Robert Redford, Cinematography, and Best Sound) to boot. And what a film! It’s got everything: charismatic leads, despicable villains, a charming supporting cast of connivers and swindlers, and a brilliant score to match.

The Sting is the ultimate con movie, and its PG rating keeps it friendly for the whole family.

The Hook.

The film features Paul Newman and Robert Redford at the top of their charismatic game, Robert Shaw as the mustache-twirling villain, and a whole cast of characters helping along the way (including Robert Earl Jones as Luther and Eileen Brennan as Billie). Directer George Roy Hill also directed Butch Cassidy And The Sundance KidThoroughly Modern Millie, Slap Shot, and Hawaii. Screenwriter David S. Ward went on to write Major League and Sleepless in Seattle, among others, and his gift for comedy shines through in the dialogue and charm of The Sting.

The Tale.

When Johnny Hooker (Redford), a small-time grifter, unknowingly steals from the ominous Doyle Lonnegan (Shaw), the big-time crime boss demands satisfaction after the insult. After his partner is killed, Hooker seeks out the help of Henry Gondorff (Newman), master of the long con, to take Lonnegan down.

All it takes is a little Confidence.

The Wire.

The indelible ragtime tunes of Scott Joplin, as adapted for the film by Marvin Hamlisch are, technically, completely wrong for the period in which The Sting is set. Ragtime music, most popular in the 1910s, was well out of fashion by the film’s 1936. And yet, I would challenge anyone to find music that fits the film better than Joplin’s “The Entertainer.” The two are inextricably linked now for audiences: when someone thinks of the movie, they’ll hear the first few piano notes of the song, and vice versa.

The Shut-Out.

WCT has undergone a lot of changes in the last few months, from upgrading our lighting system to hiring a new Managing Artistic Director. You won’t want to miss anything our theatre has to offer, so get your tickets early!

The Sting.

Well, we can’t go and spoil the movie, now can we? If you want to see how it all plays out on the big screen, you’ll just have to come see The Sting at WCT on March 11!

Ya follow?

 

 

Meghan Hopper

Office Manager

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PIX Flix Spotlight On The Staff: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Since it was first published in 1843, Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol has captured the imagination of readers and the spirit of Christmas. The ghostly story of Ebeneezer Scrooge has been adapted for the big screen twenty times, and even more for television and stage. It’s as tied to the holiday as pine trees and sugar cookies. Is there anything that could make this story better?

Add Muppets, of course!

I consider myself something of a Christmas Carol connoisseur. This story, more than any Christmas story (aside from the big one!), is my family’s go-to for the holidays. And The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite adaptation of all time. (With a special shout-out to the George C. Scott 1984 classic!)

Does it help that I was seven years old when it came out in theaters in 1992? Of course! But its heart-warming storytelling and sharp sense of humor (not to mention its clever use of puppetry!) are what bring me back every year to my favorite Christmas movie, my favorite Muppet movie, and, frankly, one of my favorite movies of all time.

The first Muppet movie made after Jim Henson’s untimely passing, The Muppet Christmas Carol features a few nods to the creator, including a shooting star that Kermit the Frog watches early in the movie. Kermit plays faithful employee Bob Cratchit, but I won’t spoil any more clever Muppet casting here for those who haven’t seen the film yet. I will, however, spend some time praising Michael Caine’s performance as Ebeneezer Scrooge. He is always fully committed, even when he’s acting against a miniature mouse Muppet, and his heartfelt performance grounds the story while never getting in the way of the fun.

Every family has its holiday traditions. My family’s Christmas Eve includes corned beef sandwiches and beloved frog puppets. What could be better?

This year, though, I’ll be viewing the movie a bit earlier than usual. (Don’t worry, family, we’ll still get in our Christmas Eve tradition!) I couldn’t miss a chance to see the movie again on the big screen, now could I?

Whether you’re seeing the movie for the first time or the twenty-sixth time (and I may still have you beat!), Waukesha Civic Theatre hopes you’ll join us for our December PIX Flix showing. Tickets are only $5. Be sure to pick up some Pop’s Kettle Corn at the concession stand, and we’ll see you on December 10th at 6:30!

 

 

 

Meghan Hopper

Office Manager

PIX Flix: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

“I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.” – Jefferson Smith

Waukesha Civic Theatre’s next PIX Flix presentation is Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, starring James Stewart, Claude Rains, and Jean Arthur, and directed by Frank Capra.

“Aah, he’ll never get started. I’ll make public opinion out there within five hours! I’ve done it all my life. I’ll blacken this punk so that he’ll – You leave public opinion to me. Now, Joe, I think you’d better go back into the Senate and keep those Senators lined up.” – Jim Taylor

When it premiered in 1939, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington was a widely celebrated, highly controversial film. The story of idealistic everyman Jefferson Smith, who is temporarily appointed to the United States Senate only to find it filled with corruption, has inspired audiences for over seventy-five years.

“You can’t count on people voting, half the time they don’t vote, anyway.” – Senator Joseph Paine

Politics may seem inescapable at times, but this film still speaks to audiences today. Neither the Republican nor Democrat parties are ever mentioned or even hinted at on screen, and at the time of its release, it was both lauded for its patriotism and decried as pro-communist and anti-American. Washington insiders hated it, but fascist states in Europe banned it for fear that it showed that democracy worked.

“This is the most titanic battle of modern times. A David without even a slingshot rises to do battle against the mighty Goliath, the Taylor machine, allegedly crooked inside and out.” – Diz Moore

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, one of the great films of 1939 (a prestigious company that includes classics such as The Wizard Of Oz, Gone With The Wind, Stagecoach, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips), was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, ultimately winning for Best Original Story. It made the American Film Institute’s 100 Years … 100 Movies list, ranking at number 26, and it is widely considered one of Frank Capra’s best films.

“Because of just one, plain, simple rule: Love thy neighbor. And in this world today, full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust.” – Jefferson Smith

For only $5, join us at 6:30 on Monday, November 7th for this classic American film. And don’t forget to vote!

hopper-meghan-2014Meghan Hopper

Office Manager

Theatre Vocabulary

Theatre, like any other business, is full of jargon. If you’re onstage for the first time, will you know what to do when a director tells you to cheat out? Why is everyone talking about strike? Who is a choreographer and what do they do?

WCT has put together this handy list of theatre terms to help you out anywhere you might be, from the front of house to the green room.

ACTING

ARTICULATION: The clarity with which a person speaks. To speak with proper articulation is to speak clearly, pronouncing letters and words properly so the audience can understand.

BLOCKING: The actors’ movement and stage positions during a performance.

CHEAT OUT: When an actor turns his body so the audience has a better view. Two actors cheating out would not face each other directly, but turn enough so that the audience sees their faces and bodies instead of just their profiles.

CROSS: A move from one part of the stage to another.

CUE: For actors, the part of a script or show immediately before an actor’s line or action that signals the actor to proceed (i.e. entering, saying a line, answering the door, etc.)

CURTAIN CALL: The cast bow at the end of a show.

DICTION: The quality or style of speaking an actor uses to demonstrate his character. It includes elements such as accent, enunciation, and inflection.

IMPROVISATION: Acting done spontaneously and without a script; everything is made up on the spot. Often used in rehearsals to strengthen understanding of character.

PACING: The rate at which a scene is played.

PROJECTION: The volume at which you speak. If a director tells an actor to project, that actor is not being loud enough vocally to fill the space.

TECHNICAL THEATRE

COSTUME: The clothing worn by characters on stage.

CUE: In technical terms, the prompt (be it a line or an event) for an action to be carried out at a specific time. Lighting and sound cues are called for by the stage manager, following along in the script with the events of the show.

DESIGN: The plan or convention for the construction or creation of an element of a play. Sets, lighting, sound, costume, plots, and make-up all require designs.

LIGHTING: The deliberate use of light to illuminate the stage or convey a location or emotion.

PLOT: In technical terms, the plot refers to the design of the lights. The lighting plot maps out the color, location, brightness, and shift between lighting cues.

PROPS/PROPERTIES: The objects actors interact with onstage. Items such as books, knives, and parasols are props.

SOUND: The deliberate use of auditory effects, music, and voice to enhance the story told onstage.

STRIKE: At the end of the run of a show, when the set and all other technical aspects are taken apart, clearing the stage for the next show. Strike generally occurs immediately after the close of the last performance.

THEATRE PEOPLE

ACTOR: The person who portrays a character in a play.

CAST: The group of actors who play all the characters in a show.

CHOREOGRAPHER: The person who designs and teaches the dancing and other specialized movement such as stage combat.

DESIGNER: The person or persons responsible for devising and creating technicals aspect of the show such as lighting, sound, costume, make-up, or props.

DIRECTOR: The individual who oversees the mounting of a stage play. He or she is in charge of all designers, bringing everything together to a cohesive whole. He or she also oversees the actors and all action onstage.

DRAMATURG: This person deals mainly with research and development for plays and operas. He or she primarily deals with the historical and cultural aspects of the play.

HOUSE MANAGER: The person in charge of the front of house, including ushers, concessions, playbill distribution, etc.

PLAYWRIGHT: A person who writes plays.

STAGE/RUN CREW: The people behind the scenes who keep the play running. They change scenery, control the elements that fly on and off the stage, help actors with quick changes, and more.

STAGE MANAGER: This person has the overall responsibility of making a show run smoothly. He or she is in charge of all of the stage crew and technicians once the show begins, calling cues and overseeing scenery changes, etc. During rehearsals, the stage manager often acts as a prompter, keeping track of the script for the director and actors.

STAGE DIRECTIONS

STAGE DIRECTIONS

CENTER / CENTER STAGE: The center position of the stage. Generally considered the most “powerful” position on the stage.

DOWNSTAGE: The section of stage nearest to the audience.

DOWN LEFT: The front left of the stage, when facing the audience.

DOWN RIGHT: The front right of the stage, when facing the audience. After center stage, this is generally considered the second-most powerful section of the stage as it’s the first place audiences trained to read from left-to-right usually look.

STAGE RIGHT: The section of stage to the actor’s right as he faces the audience.

STAGE LEFT: The section of stage to the left of an actor as he faces the audience.

UPSTAGE: The section of stage furthest from the audience.

UP LEFT: The back left section of the stage, when facing the audience. Generally considered the ‘weakest’ position on stage as it is the last place the audience is likely to look.

UP RIGHT: The back right section of the stage, when facing the audience.

THEATRE BUILDING

BACKSTAGE: The wings, or the parts of the stage off left and off right, unseen by the audience.

BOX OFFICE: The place where tickets are sold.

CONTROL BOOTH: Often in the back of the theatre behind the audience, this is the room where lights and sound are controlled.

COSTUME SHOP: The room where costumes are designed, built, altered, and mended.

DRESSING ROOMS: The rooms where the actors get into their costumes and make-up.

GREEN ROOM: A room backstage for actors to gather, relax, and prepare before or during a show.

HOUSE: The place where the audience sits to watch the performance. A “full house” means every seat for that performance is sold.

LOBBY: An entrance hall or area outside the theatre and house where audiences can wait before a show begins or during intermission.

MAINSTAGE: Usually the largest performance space in a venue and the place where bigger productions are staged.

SCENE SHOP: The place where play sets, scenery, and props are built and prepared for a show.

STUDIO THEATRE: A smaller performance space, often used for experimental productions.

 

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy

This summer is shaping up to be an exciting one here at WCT. The Academy at Civic Theatre program is in full swing, offering a pair two-week summer camps, a comedy benefit fundraiser, and a summer-long musical theatre class culminating in performances open to the public. The Civic sponsors both Friday Night Live and Saturday Farmer’s Market performers and is open during these events as well as Art Crawls and downtown parades. Summer also sees our final mainstage performance of the 58th season, as well as auditions and rehearsals for upcoming fall shows and special performances from ACAP and other groups. This summer, WCT is the place to be!

JUNE

June 5-21 Father of the Bride When Stanley Banks’ daughter Kay announces her engagement, her family is thrilled–but all Stanley can see is the catering bill, the dressmaking bill, and the ever-expanding guest list. Father of the Bride is a funny, heartfelt story of a father’s love for his daughter.

June 15-26 A.C.T. June Summer Session The first of two summer camps from the Academy at Civic Theatre, the June summer session offers two weeks packed full of theatre classes for kids from ages 4-19. Classes offered range from Musical Madness to Incredible Improv. Check out the website for more information including classes, dates and times, and prices. If you register by May 30th, you’ll receive a special discount!

June 27 June Summer Showcase Come and see all the hard work the kids of the A.C.T. program have put into their classes. There are two shows: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, seniors, and military, and $6 for subscribers.

Every Friday! Friday Night Live Every summer Friday night, the City of Waukesha shuts down traffic and opens up for live performers and entertainment in the streets of downtown. WCT sponsors a performer in front of the theatre each Friday night.

Every Saturday! Farmers’ Market The Civic Theatre is open to the public during every summer Farmers’ Market. We sponsor a live performer every Friday, so be sure to check them out!

Ongoing Auditions Make sure you check back often. We’ll be scheduling auditions for upcoming shows, including A Little Night Music and The Turn of the Screw. If you’re interested, keep an eye on this link to see when auditions will be scheduled.

JULY

July 4 Music in America Parade WCT will be taking part in the City of Waukesha’s Independence Day Parade. Come check us out!

July 10-12 Tempest Island Prospero and his daughter Miranda have been cast off to a lonely island filled with magic and spirits. Prospero plots revenge against those who have wronged him in this musical comedy adaptation of the Shakespeare play, presented by the ACAP Players.

July 17-18 Our Way Come hear the wonderful songs of Nat King Cole, including “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable,” “Ramblin’ Rose,” “When I Fell in Love,” and many more.

July 24 Dynamite Comedy This yearly comedy show benefits the Academy at Civic Theatre. Check it out and enjoy all new jokes, new songs, and new scenes!

July 31-August 9 Shrek the Musical Jr. In a faraway land filled with magical misfits, one particularly ill-tempered ogre must undertake a great quest to get his home swamp back. Produced as part of an ACT class designed to teach young performers about every aspect of the theatre, this show is great fun for the whole family!

Every Friday! Friday Night Live Every summer Friday night, the City of Waukesha shuts down traffic and opens up for live performers and entertainment in the streets of downtown. WCT sponsors a performer in front of the theatre each Friday night.

Every Saturday! Farmers’ Market The Civic Theatre is open to the public during every summer Farmers’ Market. We sponsor a live performer every Friday, so be sure to check them out!

Ongoing Auditions Make sure you check back often. We’ll be scheduling auditions for upcoming shows, including A Little Night Music and The Turn of the Screw. If you’re interested, keep an eye on this link to see when auditions will be scheduled.

AUGUST

July 31-August 9 Shrek the Musical Jr. In a faraway land filled with magical misfits, one particularly ill-tempered ogre must undertake a great quest to get his home swamp back. Produced as part of an ACT class designed to teach young performers about every aspect of the theatre, this show is great fun for the whole family!

August 1 Art Crawl The Waukesha Civic Theatre is open for every downtown Art Crawl. Come on in and check out the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery!

August 2 Mama, A Rainbow: A Concert Tribute To Conne Smith This special one-night-only performance honors Conne Smith. In 1963, she had a vision for a children’s theater company to offer training and production opportunities for the youth of Waukesha. Now, original members reunite from across the country to celebrate the woman who gave them their start. All tickets are $25.

August 3-7 Lights! Camera! Action! A special one-week class offered by A.C.T. that teaches students how to act and direct for the camera. Students will showcase their completed work at the end of the class.

August 10-22 August Summer Session The second of two summer camps from the Academy at Civic Theatre, the August summer session offers two weeks packed full of theatre classes for kids from ages 4-19. Classes offered range from Dance Fever to Acting Up. Check out the website for more information including classes, dates and times, and prices. If you register by July 24th, you’ll receive a special discount!

August 22 August Summer Showcase Come and see all the hard work the kids of the A.C.T. program have put into their classes. There are two shows: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, seniors, and military, and $6 for subscribers.

Every Friday! Friday Night Live Every summer Friday night, the City of Waukesha shuts down traffic and opens up for live performers and entertainment in the streets of downtown. WCT sponsors a performer in front of the theatre each Friday night.

Every Saturday! Farmers’ Market The Civic Theatre is open to the public during every summer Farmers’ Market. We sponsor a live performer every Friday, so be sure to check them out!

Ongoing Auditions Make sure you check back often. We’ll be scheduling auditions for upcoming shows, including The Turn of the Screw and Candy Cane Tales and Holiday Carols. If you’re interested, keep an eye on this link to see when auditions will be scheduled.

There is plenty going on behind the scenes at WCT all summer! Auditions and rehearsals for fall shows like A Little Night Music are in full swing. The Play Advisory Committee is hard at work considering dozens of scripts for the 2016-2017 season. Improvements from the “Spotlight on the Future” capital campaign are underway. WCT is a vibrant and active place to be in any season!

Les Miserables — Frequently Asked Questions

LesMiserables_SQ_CLRThe penultimate show of WCT’s 58th season is the celebrated and beloved musical Les Misérables from the novel by Victor Hugo. Adapted for the stage in 1985 and turned into a major motion film in 2012, Les Mis is one of the most well-known musicals of the last thirty years. WCT’s production opens May 1st, and tickets are going fast! Les Mis is a decades-spanning, history-entwining show with many plots and even more characters. Below, we’ve put together a few Frequently Asked Questions. We’ll be sharing some details of the plot, but no big spoilers. (You’ll have to come see the show for those!)

What is Les Misérables about?

Les Misérables (or Les Mis for short) follows the story of the convict Jean Valjean. It begins in 1815 as Valjean leaves prison after serving a nineteen-year sentence for stealing bread. Finding work or shelter proves difficult for the parolee, who must present his yellow ticket-of-leave everywhere he goes. His circumstances–and his life–change forever when he meets a kind priest. The story checks in on Valjean’s life twice more, first in 1823 after Valjean has found success, and again in 1832 during an uprising in Paris. Beyond this one man’s story, the play also deals with themes like compassion, forgiveness, justice and injustice, and class.

Is Les Misérables based on a book?

Yes! The novel Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo, was first published in France in 1862 and is generally considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. It was translated into English and other languages immediately, and though it was not a critical success, it was commercially very popular and remains widely available to this day. At nearly 1,500 pages, it’s also one of the longest novels ever written.

When was it adapted into a musical?

The musical’s official website boasts that Les Mis is the longest running musical in the world. The earliest version of the play premiered in France in 1980, but it didn’t find critical and commercial success until five years later, when it was adapted and translated into English for its West End premiere. A year and a half later, it made its way to Broadway, where it was nominated for twelve Tony Awards. It went on to win eight, including Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Musical. If you would like to read more, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia has an interesting article about the history of the musical here.

How do you say Enjolras?

Though he is the leader of the Friends of the ABC revolutionaries and sings lead in one of the musical’s most famous songs, “Do You Hear The People Sing?”, Enjolras’ name is never spoken aloud in Les Mis. This has led to some debate about just how his name is pronounced. Follow this link for a video featuring the correct pronunciation.

If this play takes place in France, why do they have British accents?

One of the recurring themes in Les Mis is class conflict. From poor convicts to wealthy business owners to politically-minded students to Paris street urchins, much of nineteenth-century France’s social strata is represented in the play. One of the tricks writers use to establish a character’s place in a social hierarchy is his or her accent. Most English-speaking audiences wouldn’t be able to recognize different French dialects, but we can distinguish different British dialects by class. We know, for example, that if we hear a character speaking with a Cockney accent, he is likely a poor, lower-class individual, while another character with a crisp accent and large vocabulary is probably wealthy and well-educated. These cues help the audience to know something about a character even when she has only spoken a few words.

Is Les Misérables about the French Revolution?

Nope! In fact, the French Revolution ended more than a decade before Les Misérables even begins. The uprising in the play’s second act is the June Rebellion, a relatively minor revolt that Victor Hugo witnessed as a young writer in Paris. If you’d like to learn more, there is an interesting article here. It was written around the time the 2012 film was released, and it does contain a few spoilers.

Who are the Friends of the ABC and why are they called that?

The Friends of the ABC are a fictional group of revolutionary students, including Marius Pontmercy. They play a significant role in the musical’s third section, agitating for social reform and eventually raising arms in the June Rebellion. Their headquarters is the ABC Café, where they drink and plan and talk of revolution. In French, ABC is a pun. Its French pronunciation (ah-bay-say) is similar to the word abaissés, meaning abased or lowly.

What songs will I know?

Les Misérables features a number of well-known songs, including “I Dreamed A Dream” (recently made popular again by singer Susan Boyle), “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “On My Own,” and “Do You Hear The People Sing?” along with many others. The music was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel (translated to English by Herbert Kretzmer.)

How can I learn more?

There are plenty of resources out there for people interested in learning more about Les Misérables. The official website has some interesting facts and figures. Before the national tour came to Birmingham, Alabama, this blog put together 25 interesting things to know about the show. There is a video here with more Frequently Asked Questions which incorporates music from several adaptations of Les Mis. It’s worth a watch if you have few minutes! If you have more than a few minutes, you could always read the book (or the SparkNotes if you’re in a hurry.) Our recommendation, of course, is to get your tickets now for WCT’s production!

I can’t wait! How do I get tickets?

As always, you can purchase tickets through our website, or you can call our box office (262) 547-0708 during our regular hours, 12-5 Tuesday through Friday. We are also open during Waukesha Farmer’s Markets and two hours before any show. Tickets are going fast, so don’t delay!

Our Historic 59th Season Is Nearly Here!

59th season blogThe Waukesha Civic Theatre is proud to announce its 2015-2016 season! With seven Mainstage shows and plenty of special events, our 59th season is sure to have something for everyone! Here are our Mainstage shows:

A Little Night Music, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler. Directed by John Baiocchi.

When a fading but glamorous actress unexpectedly encounters an old flame, buried passions are rekindled in this classic from Stephen Sondheim. Weaving a complex story of jealousy, betrayal, lust, and love, A Little Night Music is a mature and sophisticated musical. (Sept. 18-Oct. 5, 2015)

The Turn of the Screwby Jack Neary. Directed by Mary Rynders.

A governess, isolated in a sprawling manor home, must contend with the ghosts haunting her two young charges. When no one else believes her, she struggles to prove she isn’t crazy in this psychologically eerie Henry James tale. (Oct. 30-Nov. 15, 2015)

Candy Cane Tales and Holiday Carols, originally conceived by John Cramer. Additional material by Katie Danner, Jes Sudbrink, and Jacob Sudbrink. Directed by Jes Sudbrink and Jacob Sudbrink.

The Civic’s holiday tradition returns for its seventh year. Featuring beloved Christmas songs and characters, Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols brings a mix of old and new, classic and contemporary holiday cheer. Come ring in the season with WCT! (Dec. 4-20, 2015)

Almost, Maine, by John Cariani. Directed by David Kaye.

Love comes (and goes) in all shapes and sizes. Almost, Maine, one of the most popular American plays of the last decade, features interlocking vignettes of finding and losing love in a small Maine town that almost wasn’t. (Feb. 5-21, 2016)

Leading Ladies, by Ken Ludwig. Directed by Dustin J. Martin.

Jack and Leo are down on their luck Shakespearean actors with dreams of Hollywood. When they learn a wealthy older woman is seeking her long-lost relatives and heirs, they decide some impersonation is in order. Their plot hits a snag when they learn the young relatives aren’t nephews, but nieces! (March 4-20, 2016)

Annie Get Your Gun, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, book by Dorothy Fields, revised by Peter Stone. Directed by John Cramer.

Sharpshooters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler find fame, love, and rivalry in this bombastic musical, featuring popular songs like “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “The Girl That I Marry” and “Anything You Can Do.” (April 29-May 15, 2016)

Fawlty Towers, by John Cleese. Directed by David Scott.

Basil and Sybil Fawlty run a lovely countryside hotel, but Basil’s short temper and Sybil’s bossiness assure that everything that can go wrong will.  Based on scripts from the brilliant British sitcom starring Monty Python vet John Cleese, Fawlty Towers will leave you in stitches. (June 3-19, 2016)


All Mainstage shows run for three weekends. The performance schedule is as follows:

Day Time
First Friday (Evening) 7:30 p.m.
First Saturday (Evening) 7:30 p.m.
First Sunday (Matinee) 2:00 p.m.
Second Friday (Evening) 7:30 p.m.
Second Saturday (Matinee) 3:30 p.m.
Second Saturday (Evening) 7:30 p.m.
Second Sunday (Matinee) 2:00 p.m.
Third Friday (Evening) 7:30 p.m.
Third Saturday (Matinee) 2:00 p.m.
Third Saturday (Evening) 7:30 p.m.
Third Sunday (Matinee) 2:00 p.m.

Season Tickets for our 2015-2016 season will go on sale May 1, 2015. Individual tickets will go on sale on July 1, 2015. We offer several season ticket packages. Becoming a subscriber of the Waukesha Civic Theatre includes several benefits, including reduced ticket prices for the original package, a Subscriber Benefits Card which entitles you to discounts and deals at local restaurants, the ability to exchange tickets at no charge, and discounts on any additional tickets. Check out our subscription packages below.

The Package The Savings!
Sensational Seven $105.00 ($15 a ticket) 35% savings
Super Six $96 ($16 per ticket) 30% savings
Fabulous Flex $68 ($17 per ticket) 26% savings
Perfect PIX 3 $54 ($18 per ticket) 22% savings

All individual tickets and subscription packages may be purchased by mail, phone, email, fax online, or in person. We accept cash, check, and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express). See you at the Theatre!

Let Me Play Among The Stars

Gala_SQ_CLR-01Calling all high rollers! The Waukesha Civic Theatre’s annual gala is coming up fast. This year’s event, Fly Me To The Moon, has a swingin’ sixties Las Vegas theme and plenty of entertainment to go with it. You are surreptitiously invited by the Honorary Big Cheese, mayor Shawn Reilly himself, to our fancy little shindig at the Red Circle Inn in Nashotah.

Fly Me To The Moon: Swingin’ Like The Rat Pack will feature the incomparable tunes of The Mr. Lucky Syndicate Swing Band for all your swingin’ and dancin’ needs. Come join us for casino games, dinner, and a grand old time. Just bring yourself and we’ll do the rest.

Mark your calenders for April 18th, 2015. The evening begins at five o’clock with libations, hors d’oeuvres, casino games, and music. Seven o’clock brings dinner and a live auction, and from eight-thirty onward, it’s music and swingin’ until it’s time to cash out.

This is a VIP gig, and entry into the High Rollers club is by password only. Interested? The password will be provided to guest by telephone upon receipt of reservation. Your password gets you:

  1. Entry into the high rollers casino
  2. Hors d’oerves
  3. Dinner
    • Wedge salad
    • Fresh baked rolls
    • Duet of Sicilian Breaded Filet and Seafood Manicotti (vegetarian option available on request)
    • Sautee of Asparagus, Yellow Squash, and Pimentos
    • Coffee or Gourmet Tea
  4. Champagne toast
  5. $300 in casino clams
  6. A cool, solid fun time!

$95 per plate, including a $40 tax-deductible contribution to the Waukesha Civic Theatre. Please RSVP by April 1, 2015.

Interested in sponsoring another way? We’ve got plenty of opportunities (and benefits) available!

WOW-EE WOW WOW 18 KARAT
$3,000 (Event Sponsor)
8 event tickets
$4,800 in casino clams ($600 per guest)
Signage on sponsor banner
8 pairs of 2014-2015 season vouchers
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition
$2,000 (Casino Sponsor)
4 event tickets
$3,300 in casino clams ($550 per guest)
Signage on sponsor banner
4 pairs of 2014-2015 season vouchers
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition
RING-A-DING PLATINUM
$1,500 (Dinner Sponsor)
4 event tickets
$2,000 in casino clams ($500 per guest)
Signage on sponsor banner
2 pairs of 2014-2015 season vouchers
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition
$1,500 (Band Sponsor)
4 event tickets
$2,000 in casino clams ($500 per guest)
Signage on sponsor banner
2 pairs of 2014-2015 season vouchers
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition
BIG-LEAGUER HIGH HAT
$1,500 (Auction Sponsor)
4 event tickets
$2,000 in casino clams ($500 per guest)
Signage on sponsor banner
2 pairs of 2014-2015 season vouchers
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition
$800 (Dinner Table Sponsor)
8 event tickets
$3,200 in casino clams ($400 per guest)
Signage on table
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition
HIGH ROLLER SHARPSTER
$400 (1/2 Dinner table Sponsor)
4 event tickets
$1,600 in casino clams ($400 per guest)
Signage on table
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition
$300 (Game Table Sponsor)
2 event tickets
$800 in casino clams ($400 per guest)
Signage on table
Donor board recognition
Playbill recognition
Theatre lobby recognition
Website recognition

This year’s gala will be at the Red Circle Inn in Nashotah. Give us a call at (262) 547-0708 or check out our website for more information.

Dress sharp and don’t be late. You won’t want to miss a thing.

Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Valerie J. Christell

Next month, the Waukesha Civic Theatre will present The Diary of Anne Frank. A powerful reminder of the horrors of war and a testament to the human spirit, The Diary of Anne Frank dramatizes the story of the Frank family and others who spent years trapped in a secret annex to hide from the Nazis. The tragic but inspiring story is perhaps best summed up by the Anne’s own words: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

The art on display Throughout the month of March, the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery, housed in the theatre’s lobby, will display the work of artist Valerie J. Christell. The exhibit, “Reflections on the Holocaust,” is a powerful reflection on human loss and cruelty.   Here is an excerpt of the artist’s statement:

Valerie J. Christell’s photomontages explore aspects of the nature of existence in terms of humankind’s interactions with each other and the environment, analyzing aspects of the destruction of the environment and life.  Creating in black and white, Christell works with figures, shadows and textures, manipulating flat images and/or building layers in order to capture within the piece the essence of specific environments and circumstances.  Her intuitive process in working with this digital form of collage involves letting the images speak to her.  She manipulates either full or partial images while developing an understanding of what the pieces can say for her figuratively and metaphorically, until she feels the piece fully reflects whatever concept has developed within the process.

Inspired by research culminating in a trip to places of the Holocaust across Eastern Europe, Christell’s Holocaust series expresses her experience of the history of human loss coupled with the energy felt while walking through the various memorial settings on that trip.  The creation of these pieces was her way to express the unspeakable and to share so that others may not forget.  The feelings she had during her experiences at the memorials come flooding back every time she views her photographs—an indication to Christell of the power of the spirits and environments of the Holocaust.  The photographs within in this group of works are primarily from the memorial sites Auschwitz, Majdanek, Paneriai Forest and several Jewish cemeteries.

Drop by the Civic during the Waukesha Art Crawl on March 7th or anytime throughout the month to see this poignant display.

Christell has taught studio art and art history courses at Alverno College.  Additionally, she has been a workshop presenter and juror for area art organizations and was chosen by Milwaukee Artist Resource Network as a Mentor. Her work has been displayed in many several local venues, both traditional and alternative.

Tickets for The Diary of Anne Frank are available through the box office at (262) 547-0708 or through our website.

How Long Will It Shine If You Say You’re Mine?

Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.

Patsy Cline was one of the most celebrated and influential American singers of the twentieth century. A pioneer in the country music industry, she helped pave the way for female performers across musical genres.  She was much more than just a singer, gaining the respect and trust of musicians everywhere. From “I Go Out Walking” to “I Fall to Pieces” to “Leavin’ On Your Mind,” Cline’s music and reputation have lived on long beyond her tragically short life.

Kelli Cramer starred as Patsy in Patsy Cline Live! Today, Tomorrow, and Forever. The show, produced by Alleycat Enterprises, Inc. also included a live five piece band featuring Ruben Piirainen, Clay Schaub, Paul Silbergleit, Terry Smirl, and Garry Williams.

Kelli Cramer as Patsy Cline

This was Kelli’s sixth show performing as Patsy Cline. Previously, she appeared in Always … Patsy Cline at the Wagon Wheel Theatre, Archangel Productions, and the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and in Patsy Cline Live! Today, Tomorrow, and Forever at WCT and at the Oconomowoc Performing Arts Center. Many people who have seen Kelli perform have called her the best Patsy they’ve ever seen.

This show, designed as a “slice of life,” was developed by Kelli Cramer and her husband, John. Patsy Cline would tour from town to town and play with local musicians, and the Cramers strive to create a production that feels not like a tribute show, but like a real Patsy Cline concert. Most of the songs are classic Patsy Cline, both beloved classics and some of Kelli’s favorites, with a few seasonal songs thrown in as well.