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.
Managing Artistic Director
There was a time in my life as an actor, when I would put off the hardest thing about a role. Perhaps it would be a difficult emotional moment, or a new dialect, or any number of things that would make me uncomfortable. I would hope that through the process of rehearsal, these moments would take care of themselves. Of course, they seldom did, and come opening night I would dread those moments.
I got involved in a 24 hour theatre project when I was living in Los Angeles and it changed my perspective on tackling a role. Here there was no time to prepare. Too many lines? Too bad, you’ve only got 12 hours. You’ve never done a Spanish accent before? Sorry, you go up in 6 hours. Having a hard time crying for this scene? Better figure it out because you are going on next.
There is a moment just before you enter the stage where you are absolutely terrified. This could very well not work. But you push yourself over that threshold, somehow it does work, and you leave the stage feeling like you can do anything for the next month. From that moment forward I haven’t looked back on my old way of thinking. I now find the most difficult part of a role and I tackle it first.
I’ve been producing Combat Theatre for almost 20 years now, Combat Boot Camp for 12, and I’ve seen so many other actors, both professional and student, face that same fear and challenge over and over again. And I’ve seen the way they feel after they triumph, and how it changes them. I can’t think of a better or more entertaining acting exercise.