Blog Archives

Cramer’s Corner: We Are Marching Along With Another Great Month Of Entertainment!

Everyone marches to the beat of a different drummer but, lucky for you, we have something for everyone at WCT during the month of March.

We open our next Mainstage show, 33 Variations, next week.  This innovative and inspiring show focuses on a modern music scholar facing the end of her life as she studies the mysteries of Beethoven and the 33 variations of a simple melody he composed while facing the end of his.  The show runs March 10-26 with two Pay What You Can performances on March 11 at 7:30 pm and March 25 at 2:00 pm.  We will also have two talk backs with ALS specialists joining the cast and crew immediately after the performances on March 12 at 2:00 pm and March 19 at 2:00 pm.  And we will be selling raffle tickets for several amazing items including the always popular Discount Liquor Basket.


We have two auditions coming up this month.  Barefoot In The Park auditions will be held on Monday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 14, starting at 6:30 pm both nights. Kelly Goeller is directing. And Miscast auditions will be held on March 27 starting at 6:30 pm.  Meghan Hopper is directing.


Our next PIX Flix movie of the season will be Mr. Holland’s Opus on March 20 at 6:30 pm.  The cast of the movie includes Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headley, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis, William H. Macy, Alicia Witt, 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!


Our spring fundraiser gala, Festival Of Fools, will be held at Westmoor Country Club on Saturday, April 1st.  We are thrilled to announce that our King And Queen of the festival will be Joel and Rebecca Kleefisch, and our emcee will be Vince Vitrano.  This will be an event you don’t want to miss, so get your tickets NOW!



Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby 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 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 Disney’s 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)

Amazing, right?  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

On a personal note – my daughter, Elena Cramer, will be playing Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point March 3-5 and 9-11.  My son, Jude Cramer, will be playing Gomez Addams in The Addams Family at Waukesha South High School March 9-11.
I’ll see you at the theatre!

Cramer John 2006John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

2013 Key To The City Award

John Cramer and the Waukesha Civic Theatre received the 2013 Waukesha “Key to the City Award,” which is considered the highest form of municipal honor! It was presented for outstanding contributions to the Waukesha community.

“The practice of presenting a Key to the City to an individual may be traced back to medieval times, when admission into a city was hampered by walls and locked gates. Back then the key symbolized free entry. Today the presentation honors people and organizations for their outstanding civic contributions, and symbolizes that the city is at their service.

“As a citizen Mayor, and custodian for the city residents, I am humbled to give these keys to the following 12 2013 recipients, whom have my utmost respect and whom deserve this recognition. Their contributions have further stabilized the family values of Waukesha — values of empathy, responsibility and creativity. They have carried out these values with strength to proactively build a brighter future — a brighter future for ourselves and for our children,” Scrima said. Mayor Scrima has been giving the award for the past three years.

Mayor Scrima chose John and WCT to receive the award because the work done at the Waukesha Civic Theatre “reminds us all that as different as we might think we are, we all share a universal human experience. Mr. Cramer is personal, funny and touching. They enrich, challenge and make our community smile.”

John has been the Managing Artistic Director at WCT since June 2003. When he started at the theatre, we were open 22 weeks of the year, producing six Mainstage shows, one holiday show, and two PlayMakers shows (approximately 80 performances).  We had a small, inconsistent theatre arts education program offering one or two classes a year.

Today we are open 46 weeks of the year, producing eight Mainstage shows, two ACAP PlayMakers shows, three Education and Outreach shows, and presenting seven to fifteen Random Acts of Entertainment (approximately 130 performances).  Our theatre arts education program is now a full year program, with more than forty classes offered every year, and a robust outreach program offering classes and workshops in the community for schools, community centers, arts centers, and more.

We are not the only ones working to make Waukesha such an outstanding place to live, work, and play, however. Over the past three years, many of Waukesha’s most prominent citizens, businesses, and organizations have been honored with the Key to the City Award.

Other Recipients Include:


Jesús (Jesse) Mireles

Karen Tredwell and the Waukesha Food Pantry

Chris Becker and the Waukesha YMCA

Gregg Wandsneider

Jerry and Judie Couri

Kerry and Terry Mackay

Dr. Amy Schley

John Cramer and the Waukesha Civic Theatre

CEO Peter Davis and Gaco Western

Principal Lisa Kovaleski and Waukesha Catholic School System

Rev. Paul B. R. Hartmann and Catholic Memorial High School

Larry Blanton and MetalTek International

Chief Russell Jack and the Waukesha Police Department


Steve Crandell – Director Community Development

Ron Grall – Director  Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry Dept

Rick Congdon  – Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity

John M. Schoenknecht – Historian

Roger Igielski – Allo! Chocolat owner and WDBA president

Nancy Major – Executive Director   Safe Babies, Healthy Families

Renee Ramirez  – Executive Director   Waukesha Community Dental Clinic

Thom Farrell – President – SPX Transformer Solutions

Page Remmers – Executive Director  Waukesha Community Art Project

Todd Gray – Superintendent  Waukesha School District

Brian White – President GE Waukesha Gas Engines

Majors Ronald and Carol Lemirand  of the Waukesha Salvation Army


Fire Chief Allen LaConte

Library Director Jane Ameel

Andrea and Tony Bryant

Susan Edwards and ProHealth Care

President Doug Hastad and Carroll University

Ty Taylor and Waukesha State Bank

Jeff Seymour

Lynn Gaffey

Norm Bruce

Bernie Juno

Anselm Villarreal and La Casa de Esperanza

The Taylor and People’s Park Family

Look for the award and John in our lobby the next time you’re at a show. Without your support and patronage, we couldn’t do what we do. See you at the Theatre!