Blog Archives

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Coco

The filmmakers at Pixar have a reputation of creating beautiful animated films that tug at the heartstrings. To prove their point, they boast an incredible resume of films known to be tear-jerkers, including the Toy Story franchise, Monsters Inc., Up, and Inside Out. Their 2017 offering, Coco follows in those same footsteps.

Coco captivates its viewers by paying tribute to the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This colorful film celebrates the beauty of life while reminding us that those we’ve lost continue to live on in our hearts.

Along with the film, the theatre has invited an Aztec Drum and Dance troupe from La Casa de Esperanza to join in on the festivities. Waukesha Civic Theatre is proud to welcome our neighbors to the theatre in a joint celebration of culture and the arts.

 

Peter Kao

Secretary

Board of Directors

Director’s Note: Bad Seed

‘Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?’ 

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

 When a child is born, we look into their sweet faces and imagine all of the things they could become. We wonder what their future will hold. Will they be a doctor? A lawyer? A teacher? A mother or father? Will they have a family? When a child is born, it’s fun to think of all the things that could be. Opportunity is wide open to them to become whatever they want to be.

As the child grows, we quickly learn about their personality. Their likes and dislikes. Their strengths and weaknesses. But do these things define them and their future? Nature vs Nurture… what do you think?

I’m willing to bet that no one looks into an infant’s eyes and thinks… ‘They’re going to be a serial killer’. In today’s world of social media, we see – nearly daily – stories of kids that commit terrible crimes. If you read the comments, often times the parents are blamed. But should they be? How can a child brought up in a loving home with everything they need become a killer? How do kids in these homes grow up with what seems to be a complete lack of empathy?

I bring up these questions, not to start a debate, but to allow you begin to put yourself in the shoes of Christine in Bad Seed. Is Rhoda, a charming, smart, and sweet little girl, really a bad seed? What would you do if you were put in Christine’s shoes?

I think it’s easy for us to say how we would react to different scenarios life might throw at us. Or for us to say, ‘that would never happen to me’. The reality is that we don’t know what life will throw at us, and we certainly can’t say with certainty how we would respond.

I cannot thank my cast and production staff enough for their hard work, talent, and dedication to this production. We laughed, we cried, we had the hair stand up on our necks, and we discovered these characters and the show together. I hope you enjoy the show!

 

 

Kelly Goeller

Director

Note from the Managing Artistic Director: Bad Seed

Welcome to Waukesha Civic Theatre, and welcome to the 63rd Season, we are delighted to have you here. You heard me correctly – Sixty-three years of bringing our community together to enrich, challenge, and entertain, using the arts to connect people. You might wonder how it’s possible to for small non-profit theatre to continue to thrive for so long, and I will tell you that our secret is people like you, who provide support in multiple ways each year. Through financial contributions, robust volunteerism, community passion, and enthusiastic production attendance, we continue to grow into our 63rd Season, and what a season it will be! 

In the 63rd Season, we hope to delight your senses in several ways through our variety of show selections. We hope to tug at your heart strings, keep you on the edge of your seats, make you laugh, tap your toes, and let you sing along. We invite you to do more than watch a show here at Waukesha Civic Theatre, we encourage you to get involved and to become a part of our community.

There are several ways for you to join our community – as a patron, Season Subscriber, FLEX Member, donor, volunteer, artist, or an ambassador of the theatre. We invite you to attend our seven Mainstage Productions, five Random Acts of Entertainment, new Music on Main, two A.C.T Academy at Civic Theatre Productions, several Theatre Education opportunities, and the PIX Flix Film Series movie events. We hope you catch the Civic Broadway Singers or the Civic Senior Players around town. We invite you to attend our Annual Gala to celebrate our accomplishments, to our Season Preview to get a sneak peek at the 64th Season, various FUNdraising events, art gallery exhibits, the second annual Walk, Run, or Skip, and collaborative community events. 

In our efforts to enhance inclusivity and diversity, we are thrilled to be launching multiple Sensory Friendly performances, to provide a safe and engaging experience for our patrons of all sensory needs.

One of the best ways to support WCT is to spread the word about Waukesha Civic Theatre. Find us on social media, like and share, and help us spread the word. Buy your tickets ahead of time and give tickets as a gift! The gift of theatre is a treasure. 

Private Donors and Corporate Sponsors help keep us financially sound and looking to the future through gifts to the Annual Operating Fund, the Endowment Fund, by including us in planned estate giving, and through annual corporate sponsorships. Please contact us to make arrangements to support the theatre.

These are exciting times and we are thrilled that you are here with us. Enjoy the show! 

 

Rhonda Marie Schmidt

Managing Artistic Director (Lady MAD) 

Spotlight On The Board: Bad Seed

One of Broadway’s outstanding hits. “It is solely and honestly meant to entertain…As purely purposeful diversion it ranks with ‘Dracula’ and sometimes sets your spine to as much tingling…chilling.” NY Telegram.

Get ready for a spine tingling story about a sweet, charming, full of old-fashioned graces, loved by her parents, admired by all of her elders, little Rhoda Penmark.  Just in time for the Halloween holiday you will be captivated by this chilling play.

We have many opportunities throughout the year to enjoy, in more than one way, the offerings at the Civic. If after seeing Bad Seed you want to dust off your acting skills, we encourage you to audition for any of our upcoming shows. If acting isn’t up your alley, purchasing tickets to our upcoming shows or donations are always a welcomed support of the theatre. We also have many opportunities for volunteering your time to the theatre to help keep it in the pristine state and experience you are used to after all of these years of entertainment.

So grab your favorite person you bring to thrillers to hang onto for an exceptional telling of this old tale. Please spread the word to your family and friends about the great works Waukesha Civic Theatre has to offer. Remember we cannot provide this great entertainment without the support of our collective Civic family.

 

Rich Johnson

Treasurer

Board of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight on the Board: The Greatest Showman

There’s a particular joy in watching an original musical that was written for the silver screen. The Greatest Showman is a dazzling cinematic experience that doesn’t disappoint. Don’t miss your chance to see this larger than life musical on the PIX screen.

The Greatest Showman is inspired by the life of PT Barnum, portrayed by Hugh Jackman with an effervescent energy that drives the film. This Father of Show Biz charismatically and tirelessly works to create the greatest show on earth. True to the spirit of Barnum himself, The Greatest Showman glosses over the grittier details of Barnum’s real-life story and instead paints the tale of an American dreamer, full of hope and imagination, who pulls himself up by the bootstraps to “dream with his eyes wide open.”

Barnum assembles an ensemble of misfits who live in society’s shadows and offers them that which their lives woefully lack: respect, acceptance, love. Where the rest of the world sees “freaks,” Barnum sees human beings who are “extraordinary, unique, [and] beautiful.” Who among us hasn’t felt out of place, bullied, or shunned for our imperfections? As Barnum and The Greatest Showman create a safe space for these misfits — and for us — where uniqueness is celebrated instead of mocked, we are reminded that our differences are a marvelous gift.

Despite Barnum’s abundant optimism and relentless drive, The Greatest Showman is not void of strife. Touching love stories examine classism, racism, adultery, and the very deep wounds that can result from gossip and bullying. Through tragedy, Barnum learns how to refocus on the most important things in life, the core beneath the intoxicating razzle dazzle. Fame, money, and applause are fleeting. Living a life full of love? That is truly the greatest show.

A star-studded cast (Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya) is equally matched with stunning costumes and set, striking cinematography, and innovative choreography. This feel-good film opens with a literal bang, and the high-paced energy captures your attention and heart for the full hour and forty-five minutes.

As a musical, it has both songs and straight dialogue. The score is integral to the heart of the film, intertwining musical theater elements into dialogue scenes, such as characters nailing fliers to walls becoming part of the score’s percussion. The nine original songs by Oscar and Tony award-winning Pasek and Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, Smash) will leave you wanting to hear them over and over again.

The unique format of an original movie musical allows for creative choreography to be woven into both songs and dialogue. Particularly impressive moments include a bird’s-eye view shot that catches a trapeze artist’s singing while she soars, and a barroom business deal incorporating handiwork with shot glasses into the dancing.

Like Barnum’s circus, The Greatest Showman is “a celebration of humanity.” It is one of those rare gems that is tailored for everyone, especially those who have ever felt like they don’t quite fit in. Perfect for a date night, family night, or even a lonely misfit in search of inspiration and hope.

Parents will enjoy talking with their children about myriad themes, such as bullying; ethical showmanship; and how to find hope and the strength to persevere when all seems lost.

Don’t miss your opportunity to run off and join the circus for a couple hours while you’re swept away into this fanciful world of spectacle, hope, and love.

 

 

Scott Fudali

Board of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight on the Board: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991, part of a resurgence of Disney animated musicals in the late 1980s through the early 2000s. From the very beginning, the film adopted a theatrical tone, with a grand opening number featuring the full cast. For its voice talent, veteran Broadway performers lent their voices to bring these now classic characters to life: Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, Jerry Orbach as Lumiere, David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth, Robby Benson as the Beast, Richard White as Gaston, and Paige O’Hara as Belle. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken filled the score with tunes that have now become unforgettable classic songs like, “Belle”, “Be Our Guest”, and the title song, “Beauty and the Beast”. The film went on to become the first animated film nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category.

The animated film was adapted into a stage musical that made its Broadway debut in 1994. It ran for 13 years and closed in 2007. Throughout its run, many famous singers played its iconic roles including Toni Braxton, Debbie Gibson, Donny Osmond, and Nick Jonas. In 2017, Beauty and the Beast was turned into a live-action film, starring Emma Watson as Belle, allowing a new generation to experience the magical story.

Coincidentally, my own introduction to Waukesha Civic Theatre started with Beauty and the Beast in 2008. Braving a snowy evening in an unfamiliar city, I drove to WCT to audition for my dream role: LeFou (Gaston’s sidekick). Being new to the city and new to community theatre, I felt very much like Belle upon entering the castle. I was nervous, unsure of expectations, and a little bit scared. While I ended up not being in that production, I was welcomed with open arms by the wonderful people here at WCT, just as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip welcomed Belle. In no time at all, I found myself at home.

Beauty and the Beast has cast a magic spell on generations that is as enchanting as the talking objects found within the Beast’s castle. It is only fitting that the film returns to its theatrical roots as part of the PIX Flix Kids series. Get your tickets today for this iconic film!

Beauty and the Beast truly is a tale as old as time.


Peter Kao
Board of Directors
Secretary

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Alice In Wonderland JR.

Welcome to Alice In Wonderland JR. at the Waukesha Civic Theatre presented by our A.C.T. program. Join Alice as she chases the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole and journeys through a topsy-turvy world that gets “curiouser and curiouser.” Meet the Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, the Cheshire Cat, March Hare, Caterpillar, the flowers, Doorknob, Queen & King of Hearts and more unforgettable characters as they take to the stage.

This fun-filled tale is being performed by students aged 6-17 and they are having a great time. These students come to Waukesha Civic to experience participating in a Mainstage show. They get the experience of going through an audition process in a safe and encouraging environment. This program gives each student the opportunity to participate, as they are all guaranteed a role in the production. They are taught how to support their fellow actor friends and how to handle disappointment and to realize that all roles are important to make a show complete. Once casting is finished, the students go through a full rehearsal process and gain a better understanding and appreciation of everything that goes into a Mainstage production. This program wants every student to grow and gain confidence in their stage skills.

I have an older child that started in the summer A.C.T. Production shows about 5 or 6 years ago now. Her experience was amazing as she took to the stage and I watched her confidence grow. The support she received and the skills she learned are helping her in her current performances as well as helped shape her into the person she is today. So, it was no question to me when my next 2 daughters wanted to try acting as to where to send them. They are both in this Alice In Wonderland JR. production and once again the encouragement, skills training, and support from the directors and other kids is building their confidence and they LOVE coming to rehearsal 5 days a week in the middle of summer.

When I asked my 9-year-old daughter about her experience in the show, she said: “It is amazing! Just being here and being able to be a part of the show is amazing. You get to be someone else. You get to see a whole different side of yourself. And you get to try new things. Everyone in the show is so supportive which makes it fun and more comfortable.”

I realized, from observing my own children, that each of these kids may have overcome an obstacle to be on this stage today. They may have stage fright, extreme shyness, anxiety, or they might just be a natural performer who is working on enhancing their skills. This stage experience, along with the entire A.C.T. program at Waukesha Civic Theatre, is helping to shape their futures. Check out our theatre website for additional A.C.T. program opportunities.

 

Thank you for supporting the A.C.T. program. Sit back and enjoy the show!

Nancy McCaskey

Board Director

The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Francis Annan Affotey

Biography

Francis Annan Affotey was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. After graduating from Ghanatta College of Art and Design winning Best Student of Still Life, Best Imagination and Composition, and Best Abstract Drawing awards, Annan joined the Revolution Art Organization and displayed his work in several group and solo exhibitions in Accra. In 2013, Annan helped found the African Young Artist Organization (AYAO), an organization dedicated to supporting African youth in the arts through programs and exhibitions. Since coming to the United States, Annan has displayed his work around Wisconsin, New York, and Miami, was a Pfister Artist-in-Residence finalist, and has worked in Milwaukee Public Schools with Arts@Large.

 

Artist Statement

As a child in Accra, “poses” were part of daily life. I was surrounded by women peeling oranges, carrying head pans, and braiding hair. Children played in the dirt, invented games, took care of siblings, and cooked with their mothers. I did not realize at the time how much these images or poses had a lasting impression in my mind; little did I know how important they were in revealing the “secret” joys of which millions of Africans are familiar yet to which much of the world remains blind.

I use poses to expose the paradox of everyday African life. By depicting a pose as semiabstract, my paintings highlight both the mundane and the joy in everyday African life. Images that seem pitiful or sad to the outside world have much deeper implications. A woman feeding her family suggests pride, not inferiority. A child playing in a slum suggests friendship and imagination, not hopelessness. My artwork is meant to challenge those who only see Africa through the lenses of conflict, poverty, and corruption.

Since coming to Milwaukee, my work has explored stories with more universal themes, as I connect my past with my present. Milwaukee introduced me to many new cultures with surprising differences and even more surprising similarities to those back home. The similarities and differences have led me to use new media, new techniques, and new concepts.

Contact

Francis Annan Affotey

125 E. Wells St #403

Milwaukee, WI 53202

+1-920-791-0840

annanart.gh@gmail.com

Website: www.annanartgh.com