Blog Archives

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!

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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

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 Movie: Bane vs Superman

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

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Vertigo

Vertigo is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film.  It will make its Waukesha Civic Theatre debut on the big screen at 6:30 pm on May 1, 2017.

John “Scottie” Ferguson, played by James Stewart, is a retired San Francisco police detective with a case of acrophobia.  Madelaine, played by Kim Novak, is the lady who leads him to high places.

Vertigo is a 1958 American crime film.  It is a romantic story of obsession, manipulation, fear, suspense and mystery all wrapped around twisted human psychology.  The versatility and genre befuddled audiences of 1958.  “Dolly zoom,” zooming a zoom lens to adjust the angle of the view toward or away from the subject created a continuous perspective of distortion.  It was a technique used to increase the drama in a scene.

Hitchcock actually pulled Vertigo out of circulation in 1973.  It wasn’t until 1980 that audiences saw it again and grew to appreciate it more.  A digital restoration of the film in 1996 further returned it to its original glory.

The film was shot on location in San Francisco, California and Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Scottie’s apartment is one block downhill from the “crookedest street in the world”.  The Mission San Juan Bastista is a real place.  Madelaine jumps into the sea at Fort Point, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.  The views of San Francisco and surrounding area are beautiful.  The step back in time with the classic automobiles of the 1950’s is dramatic.

In 1989 Vertigo was recognized as a “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” film by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in the first year of the registry voting.  As of 2016, on Rotten Tomatoes the film has a “certified fresh” rating of 97%.

What better place to watch this film, considered to be one of Hitchcock’s best, if not THE best, than the big screen at the Waukesha Civic Theatre?

Take a look for yourself and decide whether or not Vertigo is the greatest Hitchcock film of all time.  Don’t leave yourself hanging in suspense (like poor Scottie).

Also, don’t forget, Hitchcock appears somewhere in all of his films.  Will you spot him?

Hope to see you May 1st!

Mary Dembinski

Board Director

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Thomas Buchs

Artist’s Statement

I attended Layton School of Art and became an Illustrator, creating artwork for advertising by many national and local companies during the last 46 years. During summers I exhibited at Art Fairs and also did Pastel Portraits.  Much of my current work is Plein Air Painting ( painting from life outdoors). I try to capture the light and atmosphere of a scene within a few hours. I believe that a painting is not just a two dimensional illusion, but also that of a moment in life, captured by an artist on canvas. I have found that while doing a painting outdoors I am immersed in the moment , what I mean is that later when I look at the painting I can remember all the things that went on as I painted, the weather, the birds singing, a small animal moving through the scene, people who have stopped to talk to me. The memories are all part of the painting.

Biography

My recent accomplishments in Plein Air Painting events include:

Best of Show and People’s Choice at Paint the Point Plein Air Event Mineral Point

1st place at 2014 New Berlin Plein Air Event Shorewood Historical Society Award

People’s Choice at 2014 Shorewood Plein Air Event

2nd place-2014-Theodore Robinson Plain Air Event- Evansville WI

3rd Place 2015 Paint the Point Winter Edition Plein Air Event – Mineral Point

Beloit College Patron of the Arts Award-2015 Beloit Friends of the Riverfront Plein Air Event

Honorable Mention – 2015-2016 Historic Third Ward Plein Air Event

2nd Place Nocturne at 2015 Paint the Point Plein Air Event – Mineral Point

Merit Award 2015 Between the Bluffs Plein Air Event- LaCrosse

1st Place Historical Evansville category at 2016 Theodore Robinson Plain Air Event

1st place 2016 Pewaukee Waterfront Art Fair Plein Air Event

People’s Choice at 2016 New Berlin Plein Air Event

 

Juried Art Exhibitions

Waukesha Art Fair – 2008 -2009-2011

Firefly Art Festival – 2008-2009-2012-2013-2014-2015

Milwaukee Domes Art Festival – 2010-2011-2012-2013

Hidden River Art Festival -2010-2011-2012-2013-2014

Plymouth Art Fair -2010-2011

The Little Show-Cedarburg -2011

Stevens Point Art Festival-2012-2013

Richfield Historical Society Art at the Mill- 2013 2014

National Oil and Acrylic Painters “Best of America” Show

Richeson 75 2013 Still Life and Floral Show 2 Finalist- 4 Meritorious

Richeson 75 2015 Small Works Show Finalist

 

Art Exhibitions and Awards:

Best of Show – 2013 Kenosha Art Fair

6 Time – Favorite 15% BoldBrush Online Competition

First Place -“Point of Color: The Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association Juried Show,” at the Monroe Arts Center

2nd Place- 2015 “En Plein Air” Exhibit, The Lighthouse Art Center, Tequesta, FL

October 2015 Month long One Man Show at The Beloit Fine Arts Incubator

May -June 2016  One Man Show at The Schauer Center in Hartford, WI

Best of Show-Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery January 2017 Online Show

Cramer’s Corner: Spring Is In The Air!

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!

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

jcramer@waukeshacivictheatre.org

262-547-4911 ext. 13

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

No movie may be more nostalgic of the 80’s than E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. I’d like to welcome you to enjoy our presentation of the April PIX Flix feature on Monday, April 10th This was one of my favorite movies growing up. What could be more intriguing to kids both young and old than the mystery of a young boy befriending an alien from another planet?

From the moment this movie starts, it captures your imagination and relates it all to a young boy with an older know-it-all brother and talkative younger sister.  This younger sister was the breakout performance to none other than Drew Barrymore.

A set around the fall season and Halloween adds to this timeless adventure. The whole story is pulled together by the continued breathtaking music compilations by John Williams.  John Williams has been nominated for 50 academy awards and won 5 for iconic movies like Star Wars and Jaws, including one for this very movie.

This movie has everything a good family movie should have.  There are emotional ups and downs along the way, but it remains one of the most touching family friendly movies of all time.  So please join us with your whole family for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on Monday, April 10th, and don’t forget the popcorn!

 

Rich Johnson

Treasurer

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: 33 Variations

Welcome to another jewel of the 60th Waukesha Civic Theatre season. You are in for another Civic treat. From the start of 33 Variations, you will be entranced by the phenomenal work of Ludwig van Beethoven.  Throughout the show, you will hear the works of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and follow the journey of a musicologist as she discovers the reason for 33 distinct variations on a waltz theme.

This unique play is like no other in that we get to enjoy classical music inside a personal journey around that music. The music in this play is often considered to be one of the greatest sets of variations for piano. This play holds a special place in my heart because of my musical background in playing in various symphonies through my younger years. While I didn’t have the opportunity to perform this specific variation since it was written for the piano, I did enjoy the other Beethoven pieces that I have played in the past. Since my primary instrument was bassoon, I will unfortunately not have the opportunity to play this variation. I do, however, get the pleasure and the honor to hear my wife practice and perform these Beethoven variations at home and while I watch this moving story unfold around the music.

Please enjoy this production of 33 Variations and tell your friends and family about the show.  We have many ticket packages to enjoy this and as many productions of Civic that interest you.  Please remember that we thrive on entertaining the community and the generosity of our civic family.

Richard Johnson

Treasurer

Board of Directors

Director’s Note: 33 Variations

I love how highly theatrical 33 Variations is in examining how we choose to live our lives when we know the end is closer than the beginning. It is this combination of theatricality and powerful storytelling that drew me to this play.

“Time is scarce” multiple characters tell us during the play. Both Dr. Katherine Brandt and Beethoven are trying to complete their work before their bodies ultimately rob them of the ability to do so.

For me, it is much broader than that. Time is scarce for all of us. None of us know how much time we have left. Therefore, we need to lives our lives to the fullest and enjoy what we have been given and those closest to us.

My eldest daughters are entering high school this fall. I have spent a lot of time recently bemoaning the little time I have left with them until they become adults and head out into the world. This play has directly challenged me to be sure that I do not waste that time while I have it.

After all … Time is scarce.

Dustin J. Martin

Director