This is a bittersweet moment. Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols will be my last show at WCT as Managing Artistic Director.
I care deeply about the Waukesha Civic Theatre, and have put my blood, sweat, and tears into my work here for more than 15 years! It has been my honor and my privilege to be part of this amazing organization and to work hand in hand with the people that are the theatre’s life source.
Thank you for the support you have given me, the WCT staff, board of directors, volunteers, and the entire WCT Community.
It’s no secret that I love the holiday season. Starting with Halloween, continuing with Thanksgiving, thriving through Christmas, and culminating in New Year’s Eve, these three months are truly “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.” I love the lights, the themed decorations, the family gatherings, the parties, and of course, the music and the stories.
The Cramers are more than a little crazy when it comes to celebrating the holidays. First, we decorate like we’ve been possessed by Buddy the Elf. We have seven 30 gallon bins full of decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s that we lovingly haul out of storage and display every year. But it is Christmas that really gets our attention. We have more than twenty 30 gallon bins full of holiday delights. A Santa collection, an elf collection, a village, garlands, wreaths, lights and more take over our home in a festive explosion of color. We have Christmas trees in our family room and all three bedrooms. Some years we add a fifth, or even sixth tree just because. I did say we were a little crazy, didn’t I?
This love of the holidays is where Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols came from. The show started out in 2005 as a musical revue performed at the Waukesha State Bank holiday party by me and my wife Kelli, and accompanied by Abby Lorenz. I put the show together featuring our favorite music and stories, with a little bit of history thrown in, and entertained the WSB employees for an hour.
Then I started thinking about how it might translate to a full production. Good holiday shows are hard to find. There are a handful of traditional classics like A Christmas Carol, Miracle On 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but every theatre produces them, so the holiday entertainment market is saturated with these old standbys. I wanted to create something that could be WCT’s unique holiday tradition so I took that WSB show and expanded it to a full two hour show, with opportunities for community members of all ages to participate. We produced it for the first time in 2009 with a cast of 65 actors ages 6 to 80, and a new tradition was begun. We followed that production with six more versions of the show through 2015. Each year the show changed a little bit, replacing some of the songs and stories with other fantastic songs and stories.
We took a break from the show for two seasons, but are now bringing it back with a brand new story line. This year’s adaptation is near and dear to my heart, with the Bickford family and friends based on my own life and circle of family and friends. I’ve loved working on this show again, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
Not only that, the holiday season at WCT is full of amazing entertainment options, including An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern, I Got Yule, Babe, our PIX Flix feature film The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Comicality.
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, or to treat yourself! Happy Holidays!
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.”
Co-Director / Choreographer
Happy Holidays and welcome to the 62nd season and return of Waukesha Civic Theatre’s production of Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols. This production started from the creative mind of our very own Managing Artistic Director, John Cramer. John will reprise his role directing and updating his original WCT classic. I still remember the early variety show in which my oldest son had the pleasure of playing Charlie Brown back in 2011. Also, my youngest daughter elated the audience singing “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” in 2015. While the show has changed throughout the years, it is still one of the best ways to enjoy the Holiday season. I hope you, like me, are looking forward to seeing what surprise John may have in store for us in the return of this beloved Holiday adventure. This family-friendly show never fails to captivate the essence of the Holiday spirit.
Thank you for supporting our theatre with your patronage. Please also remember there are many ways to support the theatre while providing you discounted ticket prices with our Festive Flex Four For Sixty-Four membership available throughout the Holiday season. You can also take advantage of our Terrific Tickets by utilizing your ticket stub for you or a friend to see this show again for half price.
The theatre also welcomes many different volunteer opportunities to help support everything that goes into shows and keeping the theater immaculate. Volunteer opportunities include ushering, maintenance, set development, and serving on a committee or on the Board. These are just a few of the opportunities to help the theatre.
Enjoy the show and please have a safe and Happy Holiday!
Board of Directors
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. We open tonight and run through December 18, including two Pay What You Can performances Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 pm and Saturday December 17 at 2:00 pm. Click here for more information.
Waukesha Silver Bells is once again sponsoring Horse Drawn Carriage Rides in downtown Waukesha every Friday and Saturday throughout the month. Click here for more information.
The West End Artists are presenting their 94th Art Crawl Saturday, December 3, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, with fantastic art displays in several galleries and stores in downtown Waukesha, including our own Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in the WCT lobby. Click here for more information.
For those of you looking for something a little naughty (but a lotta nice) Joel Kopischke brings his unique brand of comedy to our stage for the eighth consecutive season with I Got Yule, Babe Tuesday and Thursday, December 6 and 8, at 7:30 pm both nights. Joined by his merry band of incredible musicians and singers, he will present some of his favorites with a few new songs mixed in. Click here to buy tickets.
We have two auditions coming up this month. A.C.T. Live! auditions will be held on Monday, December 12 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and auditions for 33 Variations will be held on Monday and Tuesday, December 12 and 13, starting at 6:30 pm. Click here for more information.
Our PIX Flix movie series is utilizing our new screen and projector, bringing the silver screen back to the PIX. Our next movie of the season will be Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas on December 19 at 6:30 pm. The cast of the movie includes Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, 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! Click here to buy tickets.
We end the holiday season with the return of Tony Davis as Elvis Presely in Elvis: The Legend Lives On with performances December 29-31. Click here for more information.
Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery in our lobby is the InterFaith Lifetime Art Competition Winners through December 8, and then we will feature the art of Jonathan Korotko December 10 through January 9.
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 another great season of entertainment!
I know we are only half way through our current season, but I am so excited about our 61st season I have to share it with all of you. I am thrilled to annouce that our 2017-2018 season will include:
Sex Please, We’re Sixty
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (an area premier!)
The House Without A Christmas Tree (an original adaptation by our own Doug Jarecki)
The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Wait Until Dark
Father Knows Best
Amazing, right? Subscription packages will go on sale in May 2017! Individual tickets will go on sale in July 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 son Jude will be appearing with the Waukesha South High School choirs in two concerts. The first with the Wisconsin Philharmonic on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 pm at Shattuck Auditorium, and the second at Waukesha South High School on Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 pm.
Have a Happy Holiday Season, and I’ll see you at the theatre!
Managing Artistic Director
262-547-4911 ext. 13 office