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Cramer’s Corner: WCT’s 62nd Season Kicks Off With Some HOT ENTERTAINMENT!

Our first PIX Flix film of the season is Cat On A Hot Tin Roof on Monday, July 9 at 6:30 pm. Join us for this Tennessee Williams classic starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Jack Carson, Madeleine Sherwood, Judith Anderson, and more! 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!

Our summer theatre arts education program has a fantastic performance to look forward to. The Music Man JR. will perform July 27-August 5.

I am also offering beginner-to-intermediate Tap Dance Classes over the summer. We have already started, but have 13 more 75-minute sessions from July 2 through August 21. You can pay as you go, one class at a time, or pre-pay for five or ten sessions. If you have questions, please let me know!

Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery is Vanessa Johanning through August 27.

We still have room in our New York City Theatre Adventure October 11-14, 2018, but you need to book it NOW. The deadline has been extended to July 13. We also still have room on our bus to see Dear Evan Hansen in Chicago on February 27, 2019. If you are interested and want more information about either of these trips, let me know and I can send you the details.

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.

Our 62nd Season season tickets, individual tickets, and group sales are all on sale now. Join us for all of our Mainstage shows, Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education & Outreach shows, PIX Flix Films, and Fundraising Events.

Our Mainstage Season includes:
The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940
(Directed By Carol Dolphin)
Billy Elliot: The Musical

(Directed By Mark E. Schuster)
Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols
(Directed By John Cramer and Kelly Goeller)
The Underpants
(Directed By Phil Stepanski)
Thoroughly Modern Millie
(Directed By Jim Padovano)
The Giver
(Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger)
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?
(Directed By David Kaye)

Our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events include:
The Music Man JR.
Br!NK New Play Festival
A.C.T. August Summer Showcase
DISABILITY: The Evolution
Waukesha Reads
You’ve Got A Friend
An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern
Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe
Comicality
A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp
Waukesha STEM Academy’s Fame JR.
A.C.T. Live!
My Funny Valentine
The Wizard Of Oz Unplugged
The Shamrock Shindig (A Gaelic Gala)
Our Favorite Things
Miscast
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film Series includes:
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Mary Poppins
Singin’ In The Rain
Ghostbusters
North By Northwest
Muppet Christmas Carol
To Kill A Mockingbird
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
The Sting
Field Of Dreams
Camelot
Grease

And don’t forget about all the ways to save on quality, live entertainment. WCT’s Ticket Promotions can’t be beat!
Mainstage Season Ticket – Save 33%
Flex Pass Membership – 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%
Senior (60+) / Military Rate – Save 11 to 15%
Teen Rate – Save 15 to 33%
Child Rate – Save 31 to 44%
Terrific Tickets – Save 50%
Pay What You Can – You Name Your Savings

All subscribers also receive the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 17 downtown Waukesha restaurants. And your ticket stub can save you money too!

Thank you to all of the generous donors that have supported us every 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 to our Curtain Call Club
* 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 Independence Day!

I’ll see you at the Theatre!

John Cramer
Managing Artistic Director
jcramer@waukeshacivictheatre.org

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Cramer’s Corner: Our 61st Season Draws To A Close With An Incredible Month Of Entertainment!

As WCT wraps up 61 historic years we look forward to our 62nd season and start our summer off with a cornucopia of awesome art!

Our seventh and final Mainstage show of the 61st season, Father Knows Best, opens TONIGHT and performs through June 17.

We still have room in our New York City Theatre Adventure, but you need to book it NOW.  The deadline is today, June 1, but I can accept registrations up to next Tuesday, June 5.  If you are interested and want more information let me know and I can send you the registration and tour description.

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

I am also offering beginner-to-intermediate Tap Dance Classes over the summer.  There will be 16 75-minute sessions from June 5 through August 21.  You can pay as you go, one class at a time, or pre-pay for five, ten, or all 16 sessions.  If you are interested please let me know and I can send you the information.

Our twelfth PIX Flix film of the season is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Monday, June 11 at 6:30 pm.  Join us for John Hughes’ brilliant comedy starring Mathew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Gray, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein, and more!  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!

Come see Waukesha’s future stars strut their stuff in our A.C.T. June Summer Showcase on Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Our current featured artists in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery are The League Of Milwaukee Artists through June 25.

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.

June is the final month of our 61st Season, with one Mainstage show, one PIX Flix Film, and one Education & Outreach show.  Fabulous Flex Passes are still available for our Mainstage show!
Father Knows Best
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

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 receive the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 17 downtown Waukesha restaurants.  And your ticket stub can save you money too!

And our 62nd Season is going to be spectacular!  Season tickets for our Mainstage series are on sale now and individual tickets and group sales will go on sale on July 1st.  Individual tickets for all of our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education & Outreach shows, PIX Flix Films, and Fundraising Events are on sale now as well.

We are looking for Production Staff to fill out the full season, including Stage Managers, Music Directors, Choreographers, Scenic Designers, Costume Designers, Lighting Designers, Sound Designers, Properties Designers, and more, so if you are interested please send me a letter of interest and your resume.

Our Mainstage Season includes:
The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940
(Directed By Carol Dolphin)
Billy Elliot: The Musical
(Directed By Mark E. Schuster)
Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols
(Directed By John Cramer and Kelly Goeller)
The Underpants
(Directed By Phil Stepanski)
Thoroughly Modern Millie
(Directed By Jim Padovano)
The Giver
(Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger)
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?
(Directed By David Kaye)

Individual tickets and group sales for our Random Acts Of EntertainmentEducation And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale now!
Broadway Bound
The Music Man JR.
Br!NK New Play Festival
A.C.T. August Summer Showcase
DISABILITY: The Evolution
Waukesha Reads
You’ve Got A Friend
An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern
Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe
Comicality
A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp
Waukesha STEM Academy’s Fame JR.
A.C.T. Live!
My Funny Valentine
The Wizard Of Oz Unplugged
The Shamrock Shindig (A Gaelic Gala)
Our Favorite Things
Miscast
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film Series individual tickets and group sales are on sale now! Get a Flix Mix and SAVE on the whole season!
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Mary Poppins
Singin’ In The Rain
Ghostbusters
North By Northwest
Muppet Christmas Carol
To Kill A Mockingbird
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
The Sting
Field Of Dreams
Camelot
Grease

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 to our Curtain Call Club
* 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 wife Kelli will be performing in The Queens Of Country at the Sunset Playhouse June 14-17.

Happy Father’s Day!

I’ll see you at the Theatre!

John Cramer
Managing Artistic Director
jcramer@waukeshacivictheatre.org

Cramer’s Corner: May At WCT Is Full Of Great Days!

Spring is here! Yay!

Our next Random Act Of Entertainment, Miscast, performs TONIGHT, May 3 at 7:30 pm. Come see Waukesha’s stars mix it up in this topsy turvy musical revue.

Our current Mainstage show is the classic Frederick Knott mystery Wait Until Dark, performing two more weekends, May 4 through May 13.

Our eleventh PIX Flix film of the season is Rear Window on Monday, May 14 at 6:30 pm. Join us for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic mystery starring Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr, and more! 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 artists in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery is 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. Starting May 22 we will feature The League Of Milwaukee Artists.

Our next and final Mainstage show of the 61st season is Father Knows Best performing June 1 through June 17.

We have two Theatre Tours coming up next season. Our New York City Theatre Adventure will be October 11-14, 2018. Our current list of shows include Anastasia, Come From Away, and Mean Girls. The deadline to register for the trip is June 1st. And we will be traveling to Chicago on Febrary 27, 2019 to see Dear Evan Hansen at the Oriental Theatre. We still have tickets available so it’s not too late to join us. If you are interested in either trip, please contact me for more information.

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 review committee will meet May 24, July 19, and August 23.

We are already ten 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!
Miscast
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film series is also on sale now, including our new group rate!
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:
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 (PWYC) – You Name Your Savings

All subscribers also receive the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 18 downtown Waukesha restaurants. And your ticket stub can save you money at Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace and People’s Park, too!

And our 62nd Season is going to be spectacular! Season tickets for our Mainstage series go on sale on Friday, May 4th and individual tickets and group sales will go on sale on July 1st. Individual tickets for all of our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education & Outreach shows, PIX Flix Films, and Fundraising Events all go on sale May 4th as well. May the fourth be with you! (I couldn’t help myself!)

We are looking for production staff to fill out the full season, including Stage Managers, Music Directors, Choreographers, Scenic Designers, Costume Designers, Lighting Designers, Sound Designers, Properties Designers, and more, so if you are interested please send me a letter of interest and your resume.

Our 62nd Mainstage Season includes:
The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940
(Directed By Carol Dolphin)
Billy Elliot: The Musical
(Directed By Mark E. Schuster)
Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols
(Directed By John Cramer and Kelly Goeller)
The Underpants
(Directed By Phil Stepanski)
Thoroughly Modern Millie
(Directed By Jim Padovano)
The Giver
(Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger)
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?
(Directed By David Kaye)

Individual tickets and group sales for our Random Acts Of EntertainmentEducation And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale May 4th!
The ACAP PlayMakers’ Show Of Shows V
Broadway Bound
The Music Man JR.
Br!NK New Play Festival
A.C.T. August Summer Showcase
DISABILITY: The Evolution
Waukesha Reads
You’ve Got A Friend
An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern
Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe
Comicality
A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp
Waukesha STEM Academy’s Fame JR.
A.C.T. Live!
My Funny Valentine
The Wizard Of Oz Unplugged
The Shamrock Shindig (A Gaelic Gala)
Our Favorite Things
Miscast
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film Series individual tickets and group sales will also be available starting May 4th!
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Mary Poppins
Singin’ In The Rain
Ghostbusters
North By Northwest
Muppet Christmas Carol
To Kill A Mockingbird
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
The Sting
Field Of Dreams
Camelot
Grease

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

On a personal note, my son Jude will be performing in Love, Death And The Prom at Waukesha South High School May 11-12.

Happy Mother’s Day and Best Wishes For A Memorial Day Filled With Pride, Warmth, And Togetherness!

I’ll see you at the Theatre!

 

John Cramer
Managing Artistic Director

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!

Director’s Notes: For Purely Elfish Reasons

Over the years, many people have asked me how my odd sense of humor came to be. Of course, some of the credit/blame falls on my parents, but so much of it came from another source. On so many weekends, my sister and I would get our parents to take us to Blockbuster Video to rent VHS tapes of the Marx Brothers. Oh, the Marx Brothers… they only made sense when absolutely necessary, but you still could find layers in their humor. From the wit and verbal jabs of Groucho to the wisecracking foolishness of Chico and the sweet pantomime of Harpo, these brothers helped form my humor from a very early age.

In December of 2014, I went to the Alchemist Theatre to see a brand new, five-person show by my old friend Jason Powell. I hadn’t read anything in advance about this Elfish Reasons show, so I didn’t know what the show was about. Almost immediately, a performer came on stage dressed as a Christmas elf Groucho Marx! Then we got to see Jason himself as Chico! And look – Harpo too! I feel as if I owe an apology to anyone else that was in the theatre that night. I have never been a subtle laugher, and I worry I may have ruptured an eardrum or two with my uncontrollable guffaws.

This year, Christmas came early and I was tasked with bringing the new expanded version of this wonderful musical to the stage at Waukesha Civic Theatre. This has been a monumental task (as I’ve directed only one musical, and never a show with more than 14 people) but also a monumental joy. Working with this cast and this crew to bring purely silly holiday frivolity to the stage is a privilege I may never be able to match.

This is a sweet show. It is about caring and joy and love beyond the jokes and jibes. It is also about sitting back in a theatre and laughing with a whole room full of people. There are no great lessons from a ghost of Christmas future, but this show offers a chance to laugh and smile with those around you and those you love. For me, that is the true meaning of Christmas.

Thank you for coming, enjoy the show, and hail, hail Fredonia!

Kaye David 2015

David Kaye

Director

MAD Corner: For Purely Elfish Reasons

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 hidden gem by local playwright/composer Jason Powell: For Purely Elfish Reasons, a holiday show with great characters and a story line that gives a respectful (and hilarious) nod to the Marx Brothers.

Our Spotlight On The Future Campaign is coming to a close. This major gift campaign has a goal to raise $750,000, providing capital for upgrades that will enhance the theatre experience, increase advertising revenue, decrease operating expenses, and provide for building maintenance. So far we have raised 47% of our goal and have already put these donations to good use. A new HVAC unit, our new lighting catwalk, our new retractable movie screen and projector (join us for our December movie, How The Grinch Stole Christmas), a new sound board for the Mainstage, new sound and lighting equipment for the Studio Theatre and Rehearsal Hall, and our new LED marquees and window displays. We still need your help. If you haven’t given to the Spotlight On The Future campaign yet, please consider a year end gift! If you already have given, thank you, and please consider an additional gift to help us reach our goal.

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 … wonderful gifts of theatre to share with anyone! Happy Holidays!

Cramer John 2006John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: For Purely Elfish Reasons

The Waukesha Civic Theatre is a hidden gem right here in historic downtown! I’d like to welcome you to For Purely Elfish Reasons, the third Mainstage show of our historic 60th season. We are thrilled to present this new gem, by local playwright Jason Powell! Opportunities like this are one of the things that make WCT’s quality, live entertainment not just another night at the theatre. With such a wonderful, professional venue for our local talent, I’m honored to be a member of the Board. Yet, surprisingly, there are still some people who don’t know of this entertainment gem centered right here on Main Street! Please spread the word about our very own cultural cornerstone!

Between the Mainstage, Random Acts, A.C.T., Friday Night Live, Special Events, and our community partnerships with ACAP, the STEM Academy, Waukesha Reads, and others, we have a plethora of different entertainment options running year-round! Our special events – such as Festival Of Fools in April – provide entertaining and fun ways to support the theatre. We also have outreach programs like anti-bullying workshops, the Civic Broadway Singers, the Civic Senior Players, and many more! Our theatre arts education program offers classes at WCT and extends beyond our doors to teach kids in local schools. Likewise, we partner with Carroll University and UW-Waukesha for students of all majors to intern in our office or with our classes.

That’s right, we’re not just for actors! Whether you can pound a hammer, program a computer, alphabetize a file cabinet, or perform an aria, there are plenty of ways to get involved almost every day of every week. So spread the word!

You are also invited to join the celebration of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s proud achievement of providing challenging, enriching, and entertaining opportunities for 60 HISTORIC SEASONS. Having reached this elite DIAMOND status, we ask you to help us look to the future with your support. Without the generous support from our guests, we could not continue to provide these great services to the Waukesha County community and beyond. Please consider a donation today. Thank you!

I look forward to seeing you, and let me know what you think!

danner-jonathan-2010Jonathan Danner

Secretary

Board Of Directors

A Note From The Playwright

For Purely Elfish Reasons has a kind of strange pedigree, as I keep on adapting it for different audiences and venues. It was originally written for an audience of very little children, commissioned by a company that then dissolved before they could produce it. I rewrote the show, adding brand new songs, years later for a six-person ensemble in Bay View’s Alchemist Theatre. (And those six people included the director, stage manager and accompanist, all of whom also played characters in the show and two of whom were me.) This third iteration was customized once again to fit the specifications of a big holiday show at Waukesha Civic Theatre, with a much larger list of characters and twice as many new original songs. I’m very grateful to WCT for allowing this now full-length original musical to continue its slow-but-steady evolutionary path.

Through all of the show’s permutations, the premise has remained consistent. I love the holidays and I love the Marx Brothers. Of course I love other things too, but the comedy of Groucho, Harpo and Chico has something else in common with Christmastime in my brain: They are things that I enjoyed a lot when I was a child AND which I still enjoy today. The holidays to me are all about family – both young and old. So when I found myself in the position of writing a Christmas comedy, it made sense to me to look to the comedians whose humor appealed to me as a young child and still appeals to me as an adult.

When I watch old Marx Brothers movies, I’m in awe of how timeless the material seems. Granted, some of the topical references sail right past my head, I’ll admit that. But their sense of timing, their playful use of language, the absurdity, the physical comedy … those things haven’t aged. It all feels very fresh to me…it’s “classic,” in the best sense of the word.

The idea of recasting the Marx personae as Christmas elves seemed a natural fit, to my mind. I learned after I wrote the show that one of the last projects that Chico, Groucho and Harpo worked on together was a sitcom pilot in which they all portrayed heavenly angels (complete with halos that looked like giant bagels, which Harpo ends up snacking on just a few minutes into the story). So I guess my impulse to cast them as characters from a Christmas song wasn’t too out of the box. It’s just that instead of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” I went with something more out of “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

And from that impulse came For Purely Elfish Reasons, a show in which every single character is an elf who either works in Santa’s workshop or used to…including the Marx stand-ins Jules, Dolly and Lonnie (you can look up the brothers’ real names if you’re curious about those source of those handles). That was the other thing that appealed to me about the premise…I’ve seen shows that featured Christmas elves among the cast before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in which EVERY single character had pointy ears. Maybe it’s the Leonard Nimoy fan in me.

In combining the Marx Bros. with the North Pole, my “Christmas wish” is that Elfish has something for everybody. Certainly if you’re a fan of movies like Duck Soup and Night at the Opera, you’ll find some nods and winks, and some redux versions of a few classic sequences to make you smile. But ideally, I very much hope the show also taps into something timeless and classic, so that even if you’re completely unfamiliar with those old films, you’ll still find yourself tickled by the same things that bring a grin to my own lips…Not just the gags and punchlines and slapstick, but also that ineffable holiday spirit, that uniquely Christmas-y warmth that always gives me “comfort and joy” at this time of year.

jason-powellPlease enjoy the show!

Jason Powell

Playwright

MAD Corner: Almost, Maine

Cramer John 2006

Almost, Maine is one of those shows that makes you say “awwww” and “what just happened?” in the same moment. I love that. It is sweet and quirky, funny and sad, a slice of life and completely bizarre all at the same time. We hope you enjoy this charming little story about love, life, and living as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to our stage.

Last fall we announced Spotlight On The Future, a major gift campaign with a goal to raise $750,000, providing capital for upgrades that will enhance the theatre experience, increase advertising revenue, decrease operating expenses, and provide for building maintenance. So far we have raised 45% of our goal and have already put these donations to good use. A new HVAC unit, our new lighting catwalk, our new retractable movie screen and projector, a new sound board for the Mainstage, and new sound and lighting equipment for the Studio Theatre and Rehearsal Hall. We still need your help. If you haven’t given to the Spotlight On The Future campaign yet, please consider a gift! If you already have given, thank you, and please consider an additional gift to help us reach our goal.

The generosity of the Waukesha community astounds me, and I truly appreciate all the time, talent, and treasure that you give to WCT. Keep watching, keep participating with, and keep supporting this cultural cornerstone!

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

Director’s Notes: Almost, Maine

Kaye David 2015As Valentine’s Day comes around, our thoughts inherently turn to love. This doesn’t mean we are all thinking the same thing. Some people remember the first kiss, the first look, long love that you slip into like a comfortable robe, or the love that broke and we left behind. Almost, Maine is all of these. This play is a snapshot of love in all its glory, grandeur, tears, and hope. As we peek into these characters’ lives we get to see memories of ourselves and the loves we’ve had, lost, dreamt of, and hope to find soon. To embrace love, we must accept every aspect of it. That is why this play is special; it lets us give the gift of love in all its forms to some of the most important people in the world, you, our audience.

Happy Valentines, and may you see the love on stage that you will find yourself.

David Kaye

Director