Blog Archives

6 Plays. 30 Actors. 24 Hours. DON’T. MISS. OUT.

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.

 

 

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

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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

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

jcramer@waukeshacivictheatre.org

I Want To Be A STAR…For A Day!

act-summer-showcase-august-2016-126That’s right ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages (and especially children between the ages of 6 and 19) … Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Star For A Day program is back! Mark your calendars, young theatre enthusiasts: the first of this special set of one-day-only classes is coming up on Wednesday, November 23, 2016!

Just what is Star For A Day? We’re glad you asked! It’s a program through WCT’s Academy at Civic Theatre for students between the ages of 6 and 19. On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, Monday, January 23, 2017, and Friday, June 9, 2017 students in the School District of Waukesha will be off school. What are those students going to do for the whole day? Why, come to the theatre, of course!

Star For A Day offers classes for students ages 6-8, 9-12, and 13-19 starting at 9:00 a.m. and culminating in a free performance that evening at 5:00 p.m.

Each group has a chance at three different classes: choreography class Dance Fever, interactive improvisation in Incredible Improv, and singing with movement in Musical Madness. The jam-packed day also has an hour of group rehearsal before the evening’s performance.

Schedule

6-8 Years

Dance Fever 9:00-10:50 a.m.

Musical Madness 11:15-1:05 p.m.

Incredible Improv 1:30-3:20 p.m.

 

9-12 Years

Musical Madness 9:00-10:50 a.m.

Incredible Improv 11:15-1:05 p.m.

Dance Fever 1:30-3:20 p.m.

 

13-19 Years

Incredible Improv 9:00-10:50 a.m.

Dance Fever 11:15-1:05 p.m.

Musical Madness 1:30-3:20 p.m.

 

All Students

Group Rehearsal 3:45-4:45 p.m.

Performance 5:00 p.m.

 

All classes take place at the Waukesha Civic Theatre. Students may sign up for one class for $25, or two classes for $50 – and then the third class is free! Register here!

Still not sold? You can get more information by contacting our Education and Outreach Administrator Doug Jarecki at (262) 547-4911 ext. 21 or at djarecki@waukeshacivictheatre.org. We also have information available on our website.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for our great Star For A Day opportunities!

Lights! Camera! Action! & The ACAP PlayMakers

Well, we are right in the middle of our latest outreach offering – Lights! Camera! Action! with the ACAP PlayMakers. Only this time, there is a twist. The PlayMakers are playing the role of video editor/director. We’ve never offered something like this before, and so far the results have been outstanding!

Let me back up for a minute and give you a quick history here. Last year, Matt Huebsch and I taught Lights! Camera! Action! (LCA) for the ACAP PlayMakers. LCA is an on-camera acting class that has been a part of the A.C.T. program for years. The ACAP PlayMakers are a community partner that has performed at Civic for years. I guess it was only a matter of time before these two met!

The PlayMakers are an inclusive group of performers that feature performers with and without disabilities. It gives a voice to performers who might not otherwise get the opportunity. But even while being so inclusive, there were still some members who were not able to participate in a stage production. That’s where LCA came in. As you well know, acting on camera and acting on stage are two very different skill sets, and some of ACAP’s members were more suited to have their voice heard on camera instead of the stage.

Matt and I worked with the group for six weeks, writing and filming a series of scenes that showcased some of the hidden talents of the group. It was a fun and unique way to show what a great sense of humor these guys have. They love to perform, and it showed in every frame of the video.

This year, we decided to take it one step further and shift the focus.   Instead of focusing on the acting, we put the PlayMakers in charge of the directing and editing. A beginner’s course for how to put a movie together. Matt and I filmed ourselves in a short scene together, filming multiple takes and multiple “moods” of each scene. We created a very loose template for the video, with a lot of options for our editors to choose from. Starting Week 1, we worked with the group to give them an understanding of the tools and concepts of video editing, sound and visual effects. As the weeks have gone on, members of the group have become more proficient in piecing their videos together.

Think of it as a choose-your-own-ending kind of book, except in video form. The PlayMakers work with the footage we provided and piece together scenes that are coherent and follow a logical path (Ok, full disclosure here – sometimes the videos are extraordinarily silly and don’t make much sense, but that’s part of the fun of learning how to do all this!).

To give you an example of how things have been going, there is a scene in which I appear at the door of a home. We filmed me doing several versions of this, and even filmed a dog in place of me. Lorraine, a longtime PlayMaker who has enjoyed poking gentle fun at me for years, wanted to find a way, through the magic of editing, to turn me into the dog. Did I say “wanted to”? I meant “insisted.” We worked together for an entire class, figuring out how we could make this happen. And by the end, sure enough, I was a dog! Thanks, Lorraine.

If this class were to just stand alone, it would be an enjoyable six weeks where we all got to learn something. However, the hope is that this can be a starting point for video to play a more prominent role in how the ACAP PlayMakers continue to help their members find their own voices, their own stories to tell. This is in no way going to replace the excellent stage work they do, it is going to add to it. Classes like this lay the groundwork for an idea that big. It all starts somewhere. And in our case, it started with my friend Lorraine turning me into a dog.

Jarecki Doug 2008 CroppedDoug Jarecki

Education & Outreach Administrator

Why Theatre Arts Education?

Academy at Civic Theatre (A.C.T.) works with students to develop and strengthen listening, communication, and creative problem-solving skills. These are core stage skills for any performer, but they are so much more. That’s a nice thing to say, but what do we mean by that?

These core skills are vital to just about anything students will pursue in life. Learning to listen, to truly be engaged and focused on where you are, is invaluable. There are more and more distractions in the world that splinter our focus, and theatre education is a fun and effective way to train ourselves to block those distractions out when necessary.

The communication skills we work on also carry well beyond the stage. Simple but vital skills like eye contact and articulation are at the heart of our A.C.T. programs. There’s a big difference talking to a young person who stares at their feet the whole time as opposed to looking you in the eye when they speak. Eye contact speaks to a confidence level that we work to develop. And with electronic devices doing more and more of the talking for us, exercising these communication muscles becomes more and more important.

And what do we mean by “creative problem-solving” skills? When we work with our students at A.C.T., we make sure they know that acting is not about being perfect. Mistakes happen in almost every single live performance they will ever see. They will probably not notice 95% of those mistakes because actors are trained to not focus on them, but rather to keep moving forward with the story. While we always work with students on ways to minimize mistakes, the more important work we do with them is training them on how to deal with a mistake when it does happen. When something goes wrong, do you shut down and give up, or do you stay calm and allow your brain to figure out how to make it right? We provide a safe and supportive environment for kids to learn how to positively navigate the mistakes that will inevitably pop up.

Theatre Arts education helps equip students with the tools they will need in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue. We are not focused on developing the next generation of actors and singers and dancers. Rather, we are focused on helping develop the next generation of well-rounded, civic-minded young people who are prepared to overcome whatever obstacles lie ahead for them. We just get to do it in a really, really fun way!

Jarecki Doug 2008 Cropped

 

~Doug Jarecki
Education & Outreach Administrator

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy

This summer is shaping up to be an exciting one here at WCT. The Academy at Civic Theatre program is in full swing, offering a pair two-week summer camps, a comedy benefit fundraiser, and a summer-long musical theatre class culminating in performances open to the public. The Civic sponsors both Friday Night Live and Saturday Farmer’s Market performers and is open during these events as well as Art Crawls and downtown parades. Summer also sees our final mainstage performance of the 58th season, as well as auditions and rehearsals for upcoming fall shows and special performances from ACAP and other groups. This summer, WCT is the place to be!

JUNE

June 5-21 Father of the Bride When Stanley Banks’ daughter Kay announces her engagement, her family is thrilled–but all Stanley can see is the catering bill, the dressmaking bill, and the ever-expanding guest list. Father of the Bride is a funny, heartfelt story of a father’s love for his daughter.

June 15-26 A.C.T. June Summer Session The first of two summer camps from the Academy at Civic Theatre, the June summer session offers two weeks packed full of theatre classes for kids from ages 4-19. Classes offered range from Musical Madness to Incredible Improv. Check out the website for more information including classes, dates and times, and prices. If you register by May 30th, you’ll receive a special discount!

June 27 June Summer Showcase Come and see all the hard work the kids of the A.C.T. program have put into their classes. There are two shows: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, seniors, and military, and $6 for subscribers.

Every Friday! Friday Night Live Every summer Friday night, the City of Waukesha shuts down traffic and opens up for live performers and entertainment in the streets of downtown. WCT sponsors a performer in front of the theatre each Friday night.

Every Saturday! Farmers’ Market The Civic Theatre is open to the public during every summer Farmers’ Market. We sponsor a live performer every Friday, so be sure to check them out!

Ongoing Auditions Make sure you check back often. We’ll be scheduling auditions for upcoming shows, including A Little Night Music and The Turn of the Screw. If you’re interested, keep an eye on this link to see when auditions will be scheduled.

JULY

July 4 Music in America Parade WCT will be taking part in the City of Waukesha’s Independence Day Parade. Come check us out!

July 10-12 Tempest Island Prospero and his daughter Miranda have been cast off to a lonely island filled with magic and spirits. Prospero plots revenge against those who have wronged him in this musical comedy adaptation of the Shakespeare play, presented by the ACAP Players.

July 17-18 Our Way Come hear the wonderful songs of Nat King Cole, including “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable,” “Ramblin’ Rose,” “When I Fell in Love,” and many more.

July 24 Dynamite Comedy This yearly comedy show benefits the Academy at Civic Theatre. Check it out and enjoy all new jokes, new songs, and new scenes!

July 31-August 9 Shrek the Musical Jr. In a faraway land filled with magical misfits, one particularly ill-tempered ogre must undertake a great quest to get his home swamp back. Produced as part of an ACT class designed to teach young performers about every aspect of the theatre, this show is great fun for the whole family!

Every Friday! Friday Night Live Every summer Friday night, the City of Waukesha shuts down traffic and opens up for live performers and entertainment in the streets of downtown. WCT sponsors a performer in front of the theatre each Friday night.

Every Saturday! Farmers’ Market The Civic Theatre is open to the public during every summer Farmers’ Market. We sponsor a live performer every Friday, so be sure to check them out!

Ongoing Auditions Make sure you check back often. We’ll be scheduling auditions for upcoming shows, including A Little Night Music and The Turn of the Screw. If you’re interested, keep an eye on this link to see when auditions will be scheduled.

AUGUST

July 31-August 9 Shrek the Musical Jr. In a faraway land filled with magical misfits, one particularly ill-tempered ogre must undertake a great quest to get his home swamp back. Produced as part of an ACT class designed to teach young performers about every aspect of the theatre, this show is great fun for the whole family!

August 1 Art Crawl The Waukesha Civic Theatre is open for every downtown Art Crawl. Come on in and check out the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery!

August 2 Mama, A Rainbow: A Concert Tribute To Conne Smith This special one-night-only performance honors Conne Smith. In 1963, she had a vision for a children’s theater company to offer training and production opportunities for the youth of Waukesha. Now, original members reunite from across the country to celebrate the woman who gave them their start. All tickets are $25.

August 3-7 Lights! Camera! Action! A special one-week class offered by A.C.T. that teaches students how to act and direct for the camera. Students will showcase their completed work at the end of the class.

August 10-22 August Summer Session The second of two summer camps from the Academy at Civic Theatre, the August summer session offers two weeks packed full of theatre classes for kids from ages 4-19. Classes offered range from Dance Fever to Acting Up. Check out the website for more information including classes, dates and times, and prices. If you register by July 24th, you’ll receive a special discount!

August 22 August Summer Showcase Come and see all the hard work the kids of the A.C.T. program have put into their classes. There are two shows: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, seniors, and military, and $6 for subscribers.

Every Friday! Friday Night Live Every summer Friday night, the City of Waukesha shuts down traffic and opens up for live performers and entertainment in the streets of downtown. WCT sponsors a performer in front of the theatre each Friday night.

Every Saturday! Farmers’ Market The Civic Theatre is open to the public during every summer Farmers’ Market. We sponsor a live performer every Friday, so be sure to check them out!

Ongoing Auditions Make sure you check back often. We’ll be scheduling auditions for upcoming shows, including The Turn of the Screw and Candy Cane Tales and Holiday Carols. If you’re interested, keep an eye on this link to see when auditions will be scheduled.

There is plenty going on behind the scenes at WCT all summer! Auditions and rehearsals for fall shows like A Little Night Music are in full swing. The Play Advisory Committee is hard at work considering dozens of scripts for the 2016-2017 season. Improvements from the “Spotlight on the Future” capital campaign are underway. WCT is a vibrant and active place to be in any season!