Blog Archives

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

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!