Category Archives: Waukesha Civic Theatre

Announcing Our 62nd Mainstage Season!

July of 2018 marks the beginning of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s 62nd season. WCT is proud to be part of an elite group: according to the American Association of Community Theatres, of the roughly 7,000 community theatres in the United States, only about 100 can claim 60 years of continuous operation. Since the theatre opened in 1957, WCT has produced or presented more than 650 shows, over 14,000 people have volunteered, 450,000 audience members have been entertained, and more than 15,000 students have been served.

 

We are thrilled to announce our 62nd Mainstage Season:

Comedy | September 14 – 30, 2018 Snowed in at their wealthy patron’s Westchester estate, a creative team reunites to launch a new show – stalked by the “Stage Door Slasher,” who haunted their last Broadway flop. (NOT a musical. YES a comedy!)

Directed By Carol Dolphin 

 

 

 

 

Musical Comedy | October 26 – November 11, 2018

Set during the miners’ strike of 1984-85, this musical follows Billy as he trades in boxing gloves for ballet shoes and develops the courage to be uniquely himself. This show contains strong language – discretion advised.

Directed By Mark E. Schuster

 

 

 

 

Holiday Variety Show | November 30 – December 16, 2018 Celebrate with a cast of all ages acting, singing, and dancing through classic seasonal songs and stories. This WCT family tradition is a must-see part of the holiday season.

Directed By John Cramer & Kelly Goeller

 

 

 

 

Comedy | February 8 – 24, 2019 Adapted by Steve Martin; this comedy is set in Germany, 1910. As events unfold, Theo worries about scandal and repercussions at his job as a government clerk. Louise allows herself to revel in newfound fame, reveling in the possibilities. They explore scandal, fame, and gender roles through intricate wordplay.

Directed By Phil Stepanski

 

 

 

Musical Comedy | March 29 – April 14, 2019 Millie, a small town girl from Kansas, arrives in New York ready to become a star. This madcap musical comedy is full of bright, 1920s music and dance.

Directed By James Padovano

 

 

 

Drama | May 3 – 19, 2019 Jonas lives in a utopia with no pain, no fear – and no choice. Jonas is assigned to be the Receiver of his community’s memories and learns that life does not have to be so black and white. Based on the Newberry Award winning novel by Lois Lowry.

Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger

 

 

 

Comedy | June 7 – 23, 2019 Barnaby Folcey is murdered at a family gathering where he had the motive to murder everyone, but no one had reason to want him dead. Everything seems to go wrong in this absurd comedy – there are secret passages, poison in the sherry, and the police take forever to arrive, so the eclectic group tries to unmask the murderer themselves.

Directed By David Kaye

 

 

Subscription Packages Go On Sale May 1, 2018 | Individual Mainstage Tickets Go On Sale July 1, 2018 

See you at the Theatre!

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No Foolin’ – April Is Full Of Fun At WCT!

We have another full month coming up and I hope you can join us! We kick off the month with our next Education And Outreach production, Broadway Bound tomorrow morning, Saturday, April 7 at 10:00 am.  Come see Waukesha’s future stars in this musical revue!

Darn Yankees, our next ACAP PlayMakers production, takes our stage April 12-15.

Our annual gala, Spring City’s Wild West Saloon, will be held on Saturday, April 14, at the Westmoor Country Club.  It’s not too late to join us for this fun-filled night of entertainment, but don’t delay!

Our next Mainstage show is the classic Frederick Knott mystery Wait Until Dark performing April 27 through May 13.

Our tenth PIX Flix film of the season is Apollo 13 on Monday, April 30 at 6:30 pm.  “Houston, we have a problem!”  Directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, and more, this is the suspenseful re-telling of the Apollo 13 mission! All PIX Flix tickets are $5.00, or groups of ten or more for $4.00 each.  And of course we have concessions available, including soda, water, beer, wine, cookies, beef sticks, and POPCORN from Pop’s Kettle Corn!

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

Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery is Jack Pachuta.  Come enjoy his art through April 16.  Our next gallery show will be a photograph display from the Consulate of Mexico in Milwaukee featuring photos of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Nicolas Murray, and Edward Weston from April 17 through May 21.  A reception will be held on Saturday, May 5, from 3 pm to 5 pm.

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

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

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

Individual tickets for our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale now!
Broadway Bound
Darn Yankees
Spring City’s Wild Card Saloon
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film Series is also on sale now, including our new group rate!
Apollo 13
Rear Window
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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

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

All subscribers also recieve the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 18 downtown Waukesha restaurants.  And your ticket stub can save you money too!
Thank you to all of the generous donors that have supported us so far this season.  If you would like to donate, you can choose from any number of ways you could help us not only maintain, but thrive, as Waukesha’s Cultural Cornerstone.

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

 

 

See you at the theatre!
John Cramer
Managing Artistic Director
jcramer@waukeshacivictheatre.org

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing – A 31 Year Old Favorite

So if you’re looking for a movie to make you feel good, has toe tapping catchy music, sexy dancing, great acting and an awesome story line filled with a little spice and good girl falls for bad boy – Dirty Dancing is the film to see! Released in 1987, Dirty Dancing is one of the best dance/teen love movies ever made. It’s also the movie that catapulted the career of Swayze. Just three years later he went on to make the movie Ghost with Demi Moore (another awesome love story, but let’s stay focused!) Dirty Dancing is literally one of those movies you can watch again and again, and never get tired of it.

It’s been said that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had terrible chemistry off camera – but you’d never know that watching them on the big screen. The movie takes off when Baby Houseman and her family go on vacation to a resort in New York. After Baby meets the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny, and signs up for dance lessons…well, let’s just say sparks begin to fly. Some of the scenes between Johnny and Baby draw you in and leave a feeling of happy, sad, excitement – and might even make you think you could dance. There have been many movies made with music and dancing since 1987 – but none quite like Dirty Dancing. It’s in a category all by itself.

So bring a friend, relative or significant other to the Waukesha Civic Theatre to watch this nostalgic feel-good feature film. Future movies include The African Queen, Apollo 13, Rear Window, and the final PIX film feature – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In addition, there are many Mainstage performances to choose from.

Come see Dirty Dancing on Monday, February 5th at 6:30 pm and have ‘the time of your life’! See you at the PIX!

Anthony Ventress

Board Director

 

Meet Our Intern: Abbey Schaffer!

My name is Abbey Schaffer and I am a senior at Carroll University. This is my last semester, and I will be graduating in December with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After I graduate, I am looking to further my education by getting my master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology, but first, I am going to spend some time traveling in Australia after Christmas.

I am always looking for new experiences and skills to gain, so I was interested in getting an internship for my last semester. I was able to get involved with Waukesha Civic Theatre through Carroll. At the time, I was looking for an internship close to campus and in our community, however I wasn’t sure where to go. Thankfully the university has some wonderful connections with different organizations in the community to help students like me find valuable internships. When Carroll suggested that I intern with WCT, I was very interested because I missed being in the theatre atmosphere. I spent some time in high school performing in shows and I really enjoyed working on the sets.

What I find most fun about working at WCT is the spontaneity of my position! There is always something different for me to do everyday! From folding playbills, getting lost in the props room, to lending a hand to help paint the set, it has been such a great experience to see what happens ‘behind the scenes’ of putting on a show. Also, being able to work with the WCT staff and volunteers have been absolutely wonderful! I have met so many creative and fun people who strive to make the community a better place. I am so thankful for all of the experiences I have gained and the connections I have made thus far.

MAD Corner/Director’s Note: The House Without A Christmas Tree

As Andy Williams said, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.”  And 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.”

I love this season, and I love WCT’s tradition of presenting an affordable family show for the community to enjoy.  This season we present a story that is near and dear to my heart.  I grew up watching after school specials (anyone else remember those?) and one of my favorites was The House Without Christmas Tree starring Jason Robards.  There wasn’t a stage adaptation of the story available to produce, so we asked our own Doug Jarecki to tackle the project.  He used the original story, the after school special screen play, and added a few things of his own to create a funny and heartwarming stage adaptation featuring seven adults and twenty children.

Not only are we presenting this beautiful adaptation as our December Mainstage show, the holiday season at WCT is full of amazing entertainment options, including Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe, The Wisconsin Philharmonic Chamber Concert featuring The Apollo Trio, our PIX Flix feature film It’s A Wonderful Life, and The Four Guyz In Dinner Jackets: Now In Technicolor!

If you’re looking for even more holiday season entertainment, don’t miss ‘Twas The Month Before Christmas at Next Act Theatre.  This is another Doug Jarecki script, and we are both in it.

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 ~ or one of Joel Kopischke’s CDs … wonderful gifts of theatre to share with anyone, or to treat yourself!  Happy Holidays!

 

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

Director: The House Without A Christmas Tree

A View From The Choir

Outside of contributing to the drama of this show as part of the Cathedral Choir, I work with homeless individuals and families to evaluate the cause of their homelessness in order to stabilize their situation. It’s funny that whenever I mention to people I work with the homeless, everyone starts to drown me out with their own supposed expert opinion of why people are really homeless based on a few people they have met and maybe talked to for ten minutes. The homeless are more often seen as a stain on the city, and blamed for their own condition, and kicked out of public places quite similar to the treatment of the people labeled gypsies in this show. Even for myself in my own work, when I think I have someone all figured out, the repulsive behavior of Claude Frollo is a good reminder of how often we make judgments and moral assumptions about someone whose life we barely know without allowing them to tell their own story. We can be much more like Frollo than we’d like to admit, perpetuating racism and poverty by being much quicker to condemn than to try understand or help.

How often are we really like Esmeralda, willing to risk the hostile stare and revile of others to show kindness to someone who is despised and outcast? Yet Esmeralda is demonized based on her cultural background, assumed lifestyle and moral character without out ever being allowed to speak for herself at all. She is even wrongfully accused of witchcraft.

And in regards to Quasimodo, he is just like the people that we today dehumanize and stigmatize and want to pretend are not a part of our society and want to keep hidden because seeing them disturbs us.

Why does it disturb us to see disfigured people? Or homeless people? Why is it so hard for us to let people from other cultures, creeds or lifestyles be? Is it because it makes us feel guilty? Because we need someone else to look down on as morally inferior? Or because it reminds of the fragility and vulnerability of the human condition that so scares us? Any of us are just a few paychecks away from being homeless, one accident away from being disfigured or disabled, one move away to a neighborhood or country where we are the minority and the stranger.

Despite all this, to quote Archdeacon Frollo, these are crimes for which the world shows little pity. Waukesha Civic Theater’s Hunchback of Notre Dame powerfully shows the cruelty of prejudice and hypocrisy in the name of moral authority and progress, backed by the easily influenced populace. Five hundred years later, the medieval attitudes of Frollo and the angry mob are terrifyingly familiar to how we as individuals and a society treat others today, more than they are on a commentary on a distant backwards past.

The cast and all involved in this production, beautifully illustrate the power and value of theater, through story and song to challenge us and to bring light to what dark part of us needs to be acknowledged and left as a part of history, if we really want that kinder, fairer, and wiser someday to come before the people who need our compassion and understanding the most, are gone.

Amy Teutenberg ~ Cathedral Choir

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Welcome to The Hunchback Of Notre Dame! This production at Waukesha Civic Theatre is truly a must-see “TV” (Theatrical Venue) event. This is an amazing institution that showcases local talent in quality shows, and I am proud to be on the Board of Directors. Do not miss other sell-out performances this season! We have some great productions yet to come.

We have an amazing array of entertainment and involvement opportunities all year round: Mainstage, Random Acts, A.C.T., Friday Night Live, PIX Flix, our community partnerships such as ACAP, and Waukesha Reads, and a host of special events. You can be involved on and off stage! So whether you can pound a nail, sing a solo, teach kids, focus a light, or just have a passion for the arts, there are plenty of ways to get involved. I encourage you to speak to any board member about being part of this community.

In the original work, Victor Hugo expressed his passions for maintaining a reverence for the achievements of a society in transition. Today, live theater stands in stark contrast to the bite-sized hand held electronic entertainment that consumes so much of our modern era. And this live experience does not exist without performers and patrons who have a passion for the arts. Please come join us in that important community expression.

See you at the Theatre!

 

 

Brian Goeller

Vice President

Board of Directors

MAD Corner: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

WCT is both proud and delighted to present the area premier of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame! Inspired by and using some of the music from the Disney cartoon, this incredible new musical brings Victor Hugo’s amazing story of Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Pheobus, and Frollo to life on stage, working with some of the darker themes of Hugo’s novel.  Guided by Mark E. Schuster, one of WCT’s premier directors, and featuring a lush and beautiful score played by a full orchestra and sung by 40 powerful voices, I am confident that our production will astound everyone who sees it.

I would like to thank everyone that supports WCT!  We wouldn’t be here without you. 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: The Princess Bride

In a 2013 interview, Mandy Patinkin confessed that his favorite line in The Princess Bride is not the immortal words of his character, Inigo Montoya: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you keeled my father, prepare to die.” Rather, Patinkin’s favorite quote comes from the end of the story, when the heroes are escaping the castle, and Inigo prepares to jump from the window to ride off on one of four magnificent white horses. He pauses and says to Wesley: “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.”

To Patinkin, this is what it is all about. “The purpose of revenge is completely worthless and pointless and the purpose of existence is to embrace our fellow human being … and turn our darkness into light.”

In today’s world of cynicism, political strife, and discord, Patinkin’s words were never truer. I own multiple copies of The Princess Bride and have seen it, beginning to end, at least 30 times, and yet, if I happen upon it while channel surfing, I immediately stop and luxuriate in the perfection of this movie. It is a classic. A movie that knows what it is. Perfectly cast, beautifully filmed, heartwarming, irreverent, hilarious, and imminently quotable, The Princess Bride is like a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold day.

The beauty of this film is that it is familiar and fresh all at the same time. The story lines are ones we know: a grandfather spending time with his grandson; a son avenging his father; miracles; and, of course, true love. But the movie is intertwined with such joy, humor and unexpected quips, that it surprises and never gets old. No matter our age, gender, background, or mood, The Princess Bride is always the perfect fit.

I first saw The Princess Bride the year it was released (1987). Just a year out of college, it charmed me and made me laugh. Years later, I introduced it to my soon-to-be-husband who immediately fell under its spell. When our children came along, it became a family night favorite and, as they have grown, the jokes have become funnier, the subtle humor more appreciated and the lines more quotable.  On more than one occasion I quoted Miracle Max as they headed out of the house “Have fun stormin’ the castle!”

When released, The Princess Bride was not a blockbuster hit. It wasn’t until release on VCR that it truly hit its stride and became popular. It is now universal. Test this yourself. Ask people you know what their favorite line is from The Princess Bride. You will be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t have a quote or who hasn’t seen the film. In a 2012 interview in New York Magazine, Patinkin said that his most famous line from gets quoted back to him by at least two or three strangers every day of his life. Patinkin told the interviewer that he loves hearing the line and he also loves the general fact that he got to be in “The Wizard Of Oz of our generation.” What an apt description. Like The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride is a celebration of storytelling! So let’s celebrate its 30th anniversary at the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s PIX Flix on Monday, November 13, 2017 – 6:30 pm.

What’s MY favorite quote? Meet me at the Theatre on the 13th, and I’ll let you know!

 

 

Jane Klett

Board Director

Meet The…Office Manager!

Floyd the Flamingo, local celebrity and COO (Chief Office Ornithologist) of WCT recently sat down with the Office Manager, Meghan Hopper.

Floyd: Hi Meghan! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to chat with you. Given my recent stage roles, it’s been pretty busy for me here in the office. How did you get involved here at WCT?

Meghan: I used to usher here when I was in high school. I joined the marketing committee a few years ago, and I’ve been slowly getting more involved ever since! I also used to work in the box office and as a house manager for a while, but I switched over to being the Office Manager in August, 2015.

Floyd: Are you originally from the Waukesha area?

Meghan: I was born in Dearborn, Michigan, but I moved here when I was fourteen and attended Waukesha North High School. After that, I went to UW-Eau Claire where I majored in English Education and minored in Theatre Education.

Floyd: Will we ever see you on stage, or just in the office?

Meghan: I was in Fawlty Towers here a couple of seasons ago, but you probably won’t see me onstage too much. I prefer the backstage side of things – I’ve directed two Miscast cabarets here and I also wrote a script for Combat Theatre. So don’t watch for me onstage, but watch for my name in the playbill!

Floyd: What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

Meghan: I like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

Floyd: If you could be any bird, what kind would you be? Why?

Meghan: I would be a peregrine falcon, because I like saying the word “peregrine.” Also, they’re the fastest creatures on earth!

Floyd: What’s one thing you think people should know about you?

Meghan: People in the office probably get annoyed at how much I talk about podcasts. They just don’t understand. Podcasts are great.

Floyd: It’s not just people in the office, Meghan.