Category Archives: Waukesha Civic Theatre
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.
Managing Artistic Director
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!
Box Office Supervisor
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!
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!
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.
Managing Artistic Director
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.
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.
As the days get longer and the temperature gets warmer, the smile that’s already on your face can just keep growing when you join us for our April offerings!
Our next ACAP PlayMakers show, Snow White And The Magnificent Seven, opens tomorrow and has seven performances through Sunday afternoon.
Our next PIX Flix movie of the season will be E.T. – The Extraterrestrial on April 10 at 6:30 pm. The cast of the movie includes Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, 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!
If you would like to help us select the movies we present in our PIX Flix movie series next season, click here to complete our survey.
Our next A.C.T. production is Broadway Bound on Saturday, April 15, at 10:00 am.
We open our next Mainstage show, The Drowsy Chaperone, April 28 and continues through May 14. The show has three Pay What You Can performances on April 29 at 7:30 pm, May 7 at 7:30 pm, and May 13 at 2:00 pm.
Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby through April 9 is a group of students from Waukesha South High School. They were challenged to create art inspired by 33 Variations in only 33 days, and it is amazing! Our next artist will be Tom Buchs.
If you are looking for a theatre experience outside of Wisconsin, consider joining us for our NYC Theatre Adventure October 12-15, 2017, or for our trip to Chicago to see Hamilton January 3, 2018. Contact John Cramer by email or phone (262-547-4911 ext. 13) if you would like more information about either trip.
Our 60th Season is on sale now. Subscription packages for the Mainstage shows, and individual tickets for everything can be purchased now. Please join us for the second half of our current great season of entertainment!
Registration is open for our A.C.T. spring and summer sessions, including our summer ACT production The Lion King JR.
Just in case you missed it last month, our 61st season will include:
Sex Please We’re Sixty
(directed by Peter Kao)
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
(an area premier directed by Mark E. Schuster!)
The House Without A Christmas Tree
(an original adaptation by our own Doug Jarecki directed by moi)
The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged)
(directed by Dustin J. Martin)
Clue: The Musical
(directed by Ken Williams)
Wait Until Dark
(directed by Kelly Goeller)
Father Knows Best
(directed by Rhonda Schmidt)
Season Tickets will go on sale in May 2017.
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
Happy Easter! I’ll see you at the Theatre!
Managing Artistic Director
262-547-4911 ext. 13
So, here we are once more. Gathered again in Spring, 55 years since our inaugural meeting, to celebrate World Theatre Day. Just one day, 24 hours, is dedicated to celebrating theatre around the world. And here we are in Paris, the premier city in the world for attracting international theatre groups, to venerate the art of theatre.
Paris is a world city, fit to contain the globes theatre traditions in a day of celebration; from here in France’s capital we can transport ourselves to Japan by experiencing Noh and Bunraku theatre, trace a line from here to thoughts and expressions as diverse as Peking Opera and Kathakali; the stage allows us to linger between Greece and Scandinavia as we envelope ourselves in Aeschylus and Ibsen, Sophocles and Strindberg; it allows us to flit between Britain and Italy as we reverberate between Sarah Kane and Prinadello. Within these twenty-four hours we may be taken from France to Russia, from Racine and Moliere to Chekhov; we can even cross the Atlantic as a bolt of inspiration to serve on a Campus in California, enticing a young student there to reinvent and make their name in theatre.
Indeed, theatre has such a thriving life that it defies space and time; its most contemporary pieces are nourished by the achievements of past centuries, and even the most classical repertories become modern and vital each time they are played anew. Theatre is always reborn from its ashes, shedding only its previous conventions in its new-fangled forms: that is how it stays alive.
World Theatre Day then, is obviously no ordinary day to be lumped in with the procession of others. It grants us access to an immense space-time continuum via the sheer majesty of the global canon. To enable me the ability to conceptualise this, allow me to quote a French playwright, as brilliant as he was discreet, Jean Tardieu: When thinking of space, Tardieu says it is sensible to ask “what is the longest path from one to another?”…For time, he suggests measuring, “in tenths of a second, the time it takes to pronounce the word ‘eternity’”…For space-time, however, he says: “before you fall asleep , fix your mind upon two points of space, and calculate the time it takes, in a dream, to go from one to the other”. It is the phrase in a dream that has always stuck with me. It seems as though Tardieu and Bob Wilson met. We can also summarise the temporal uniqueness of World Theatre day by quoting the words of Samuel Beckett, who makes the character Winnie say, in his expeditious style: “Oh what a beautiful day it will have been”. When thinking of this message, that I feel honoured to have been asked to write, I remembered all the dreams of all these scenes. As such, it is fair to say that I did not come to this UNESCO hall alone; every character I have ever played is here with me, roles that seem to leave when the curtain falls, but who have carved out an underground life within me, waiting to assist or destroy the roles that follow; Phaedra, Araminte, Orlando, Hedda Gabbler, Medea, Merteuil, Blanche DuBois….Also supplementing me as I stand before you today are all the characters I loved and applauded as a spectator. And so it is, therefore, that I belong to the world. I am Greek, African, Syrian, Venetian, Russian, Brazilian, Persian, Roman, Japanese, a New Yorker, a Marseillais, Filipino, Argentinian, Norwegian, Korean, German, Austrian, English – a true citizen of the world, by virtue of the personal ensemble that exists within me. For it is here, on the stage and in the theatre, that we find true globalization.
On World Theatre Day in 1964, Laurence Olivier announced that, after more than a century of struggle, a National Theatre has just been created in the United Kingdom, which he immediately wanted to morph into an international theatre, at least in terms of its repertoire. He knew well that Shakespeare belonged to the world. In researching the writing of this message, I was glad to learn that the inaugural World Theatre Day message of 1962 was entrusted to Jean Cocteau, a fitting candidate due to his authoring of the book ‘Around the World Again in 80 Days’. This made me realise that I have gone around the world differently. I did it in 80 shows or 80 movies. I include movies in this as I do not differentiate between playing theatre and playing movies, which surprises even me each time I say it, but it is true, that’s how it is, I see no difference between the two.
Speaking here I am not myself, I am not an actress, I am just one of the many people that theatre uses as a conduit to exist, and it is my duty to be receptive to this – or, in other words, we do not make theatre exist, it is rather thanks to theatre that we exist. The theatre is very strong. It resists and survives everything, wars, censors, penury.
It is enough to say that “the stage is a naked scene from an indeterminate time” – all’s it needs is an actor. Or an actress. What are they going to do? What are they going to say? Will they talk? The public waits, it will know, for without the public there is no theatre – never forget this. One person alone is an audience. But let’s hope there are not too many empty seats! Productions of Ionesco’s productions are always full, and he represents this artistic valour candidly and beautifully by having, at the end of one of his plays, and old lady say; “Yes, Yes, die in full glory. Let’s die to enter the legend…at least we will have our street…”
World Theatre Day has existed for 55 years now. In 55 years, I am the eighth woman to be invited to pronounce a message – if you can call this a ‘message’ that is. My predecessors (oh, how the male of the species imposes itself!) spoke about the theatre of imagination, freedom, and originality in order to evoke beauty, multiculturalism and pose unanswerable questions. In 2013, just four years ago, Dario Fo said: “The only solution to the crisis lies in the hope of the great witch-hunt against us, especially against young people who want to learn the art of theatre: thus a new diaspora of actors will emerge, who will undoubtedly draw from this constraint unimaginable benefits by finding a new representation”. Unimaginable Benefits – sounds like a nice formula, worthy to be included in any political rhetoric, don’t you think?…
As I am in Paris, shortly before a presidential election, I would like to suggest that those who apparently yearn to govern us should be aware of the unimaginable benefits brought about by theatre. But I would also like to stress, no witch-hunt!
Theatre is for me represents the other it is dialogue, and it is the absence of hatred. ‘Friendship between peoples’ – now, I do not know too much about what this means, but I believe in community, in friendship between spectators and actors, in the lasting union between all the peoples theatre brings together – translators, educators, costume designers, stage artists, academics, practitioners and audiences. Theatre protects us; it shelters us…I believe that theatre loves us…as much as we love it…
I remember an old-fashioned stage director I worked for, who, before the nightly raising of the curtain would yell, with full-throated firmness ‘Make way for theatre!’ – and these shall be my last words tonight.