Blog Archives

Cramer’s Corner: A Regional Premier!

If You Loved Les Miserables …
You MUST See The Hunchback Of Notre Dame!

History is being made at WCT! A premier, presented by almost 70 creative members of our community (including a live, 14 piece orchestra), a set that has to be seen to be believed, costumes, lighting, sound, and props that rival anything we have presented … a show YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS!

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, the second Mainstage show of the season, opens this Friday, October 27, and runs through November 12.  A Milwaukee area premier, this musical drama from the creators of Godspell, Pippin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, and Wicked, is based on Victor Hugo’s famous novel and the beloved classic Disney film.  This production is darker than the Disney film and not recommended for younger children.   Parental discretion is advised, and we recommend only ages 12 and up attend.

The show features a production staff of 17 led by one of WCT’s favorite directors, Mark E. Schuster, a cast of 20, a cathedral choir of 17, and a live orchestra of 14.  That’s right … nearly 70 incredibly talented people from our community are bringing this amazing story to life on our stage!  We have FIVE Pay What You Can performances during the run.  October 28 at 7:30 pm, November 5 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, November 9 at 7:30 pm, and November 11 at 2:00 pm.  Click here for more information or to order tickets.

With the holiday season right around the corner, consider giving the gift of theatre to your friends, family, co-workers … or yourself!  Gift certificates are a great idea, or you could give a Festive Flex Four For $64, for sale October 26-December 31, with a 40% Savings off our adult ticket price.

Our fourth and fifth PIX Flix films of the season are Back To The Future on Monday, October 30, and The Princess Bride on Monday, November 13, both films at 6:30 pm.  Join Marty McFly and Doc Brown in this blast from the past … er … future … er … you know what I mean.  Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and more!  And it is the 30th anniversary of The Princess Bride, which has become a verified classic, and one of the most quotable films of all time.  Starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin,  Wallace Shawn, Andre The Giant, Chris Sarandan, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, 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 … wait for it … POPCORN!  Click here to buy tickets.

We are partnering with Waukesha Reads and presenting Mike Earp, retired U.S. Marshal, descendant of Wyatt Earp and author, as he speaks about the U.S. Marshal Service -including stories from his own career and what it was like to be a marshal during the time period of True Grit. Join us on November 2 with a social hour and book signing from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, and the presentation at 7:30 PM. Tickets are FREE!

Auditions for The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged) will be held on Monday and Tuesday, November 6 and 7, 7:00 pm both nights.

Share Your Heart!  Heart of Canal Street is Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s signature community program. Half of each $3 or $7 Canal Street Bingo game purchased goes to the Heart of Canal Street fund, which totaled more than $1.1 million last year and provided funding to children’s charities in southeastern Wisconsin. Waukesha Civic Theatre is in the running to be a 2017 charity. Help give the gift of a promising future by playing now through December 14. Visit paysbig.com/heart.

Our first of three distinctly different Wisconsin Philharmonic Chamber Concerts will be presented on November 14 at 7:30 pm.  The Cadance Chamber Players present a collection of music through time for flute and strings. This diverse program features Mozart’s Flute Quartet No. 1 in D Major and Aaron Copland’s Two Threnodies for flute and string trio, as well as Pres-ent for flute and cello by contemporary composer Efrain Amaya. The concert will also include music of Figorello, Dohnányi, and Villa-Lobos.  The Cadance Chamber Players are an affiliate of Cadance Collective, a Milwaukee-based music and dance collaborative ensemble creating original performance pieces for the stage.  Click here for more information or to buy tickets.  If you are interested in the Tremendous Trio package call the box office to see all three concerts and SAVE 19%.

Waukesha Civic Theatre is looking for volunteers to participate in the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday, November 19.  If you are interested please click on this link to sign up: 2017 Waukesha Christmas Parade.  If you have any questions please contact Phillip Alonge at ushercoordinator@waukeshacivictheatre.org.

Registration is open for our A.C.T. Winter and Spring Sessions, including Star For A Day, a one day camp on November 22.

Get up, get out, and #ShopSmall on November 25 during Small Business Saturday. Celebrate #SmallBizSat with us!

This year, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, we are part of a call to action that will change the calendar and help make history. We are celebrating a day dedicated to giving ‐ when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers, and more will all come together for #GivingTuesday – a movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better, and smarter giving during the Holiday Season that we are proud to be part of.  As a non-profit organization, Waukesha Civic Theatre relies on community contributions to raise approximately 35% of our operating budget. There are many ways that you can support the Waukesha Civic Theatre. We would like to encourage our patrons, friends, and fans to kick off the giving season on #GivingTuesday by making a donation to Waukesha’s Cultural Cornerstone, the Waukesha Civic Theatre.

Our current featured artist in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery is Patricia Gilman Graham.

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 Play Advisory Committee and Board Of Directors have completed the selection process for our 62nd Season and we are thrilled to announce that we will be producing these shows in our 2018-2019 Season, starting in September 2018:

The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940

      Billy Elliot The Musical
Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols
The Underpants 

   The Giver
Thoroughly Modern Millie
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?

And of course we are already four months into our 61st Season, with Season Tickets and individual tickets on sale now, so please join us for some great entertainment!

      The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
The House Without A Christmas Tree
The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged) 

   Clue: The Musical
Wait Until Dark
Father Knows Best

We also have our season ticket package for our Wisconsin Philharmonic Chamber Series (the Tremendous Trio).

Individual tickets for our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale now!

Wisconsin Philharmonic Chamber Concerts
Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe
The Four Guyz In Dinner Jackets
A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp
Singin’ In The Rain JR.
A.C.T. Live!
My Funny Valentine
Darn Yankees
Spring City’s Wild Card Saloon
A.C.T June Summer Showcase

Our PIX Flix Film series is also on sale now, including our new group rate!

Back To The Future

          The Princess Bride
It’s A Wonderful Life
Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Dirty Dancing
The African Queen
Apollo 13
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:

Patricia Gilman Graham
Christian Education Leadership Academy

      Waukesha South High School
Jack Pachuta
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!

Super Six Subscription Package – Save 26%
Fabulous Flex Pass – Save 22%
Festive Flex Four For $64 – Save 40%
Perfect PIX 3 – Save 19%
Tremendous Trio Package – Save 19%
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 – Name Your Own Price!

All subscribers also receive the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 18 downtown Waukesha restaurants.  And your ticket stub can save you money too!

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

Join WCT’s Text Club to receive exclusive offers and updates!  Text WCT to 51660.

On a personal note, my son Jude will be appearing as Deputy Governor Danforth in The Crucible at WSHS, with performances on November 10-11.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you at the theatre!

 

John Cramer
Managing Artistic Director

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Theatre Vocabulary

Theatre, like any other business, is full of jargon. If you’re onstage for the first time, will you know what to do when a director tells you to cheat out? Why is everyone talking about strike? Who is a choreographer and what do they do?

WCT has put together this handy list of theatre terms to help you out anywhere you might be, from the front of house to the green room.

ACTING

ARTICULATION: The clarity with which a person speaks. To speak with proper articulation is to speak clearly, pronouncing letters and words properly so the audience can understand.

BLOCKING: The actors’ movement and stage positions during a performance.

CHEAT OUT: When an actor turns his body so the audience has a better view. Two actors cheating out would not face each other directly, but turn enough so that the audience sees their faces and bodies instead of just their profiles.

CROSS: A move from one part of the stage to another.

CUE: For actors, the part of a script or show immediately before an actor’s line or action that signals the actor to proceed (i.e. entering, saying a line, answering the door, etc.)

CURTAIN CALL: The cast bow at the end of a show.

DICTION: The quality or style of speaking an actor uses to demonstrate his character. It includes elements such as accent, enunciation, and inflection.

IMPROVISATION: Acting done spontaneously and without a script; everything is made up on the spot. Often used in rehearsals to strengthen understanding of character.

PACING: The rate at which a scene is played.

PROJECTION: The volume at which you speak. If a director tells an actor to project, that actor is not being loud enough vocally to fill the space.

TECHNICAL THEATRE

COSTUME: The clothing worn by characters on stage.

CUE: In technical terms, the prompt (be it a line or an event) for an action to be carried out at a specific time. Lighting and sound cues are called for by the stage manager, following along in the script with the events of the show.

DESIGN: The plan or convention for the construction or creation of an element of a play. Sets, lighting, sound, costume, plots, and make-up all require designs.

LIGHTING: The deliberate use of light to illuminate the stage or convey a location or emotion.

PLOT: In technical terms, the plot refers to the design of the lights. The lighting plot maps out the color, location, brightness, and shift between lighting cues.

PROPS/PROPERTIES: The objects actors interact with onstage. Items such as books, knives, and parasols are props.

SOUND: The deliberate use of auditory effects, music, and voice to enhance the story told onstage.

STRIKE: At the end of the run of a show, when the set and all other technical aspects are taken apart, clearing the stage for the next show. Strike generally occurs immediately after the close of the last performance.

THEATRE PEOPLE

ACTOR: The person who portrays a character in a play.

CAST: The group of actors who play all the characters in a show.

CHOREOGRAPHER: The person who designs and teaches the dancing and other specialized movement such as stage combat.

DESIGNER: The person or persons responsible for devising and creating technicals aspect of the show such as lighting, sound, costume, make-up, or props.

DIRECTOR: The individual who oversees the mounting of a stage play. He or she is in charge of all designers, bringing everything together to a cohesive whole. He or she also oversees the actors and all action onstage.

DRAMATURG: This person deals mainly with research and development for plays and operas. He or she primarily deals with the historical and cultural aspects of the play.

HOUSE MANAGER: The person in charge of the front of house, including ushers, concessions, playbill distribution, etc.

PLAYWRIGHT: A person who writes plays.

STAGE/RUN CREW: The people behind the scenes who keep the play running. They change scenery, control the elements that fly on and off the stage, help actors with quick changes, and more.

STAGE MANAGER: This person has the overall responsibility of making a show run smoothly. He or she is in charge of all of the stage crew and technicians once the show begins, calling cues and overseeing scenery changes, etc. During rehearsals, the stage manager often acts as a prompter, keeping track of the script for the director and actors.

STAGE DIRECTIONS

STAGE DIRECTIONS

CENTER / CENTER STAGE: The center position of the stage. Generally considered the most “powerful” position on the stage.

DOWNSTAGE: The section of stage nearest to the audience.

DOWN LEFT: The front left of the stage, when facing the audience.

DOWN RIGHT: The front right of the stage, when facing the audience. After center stage, this is generally considered the second-most powerful section of the stage as it’s the first place audiences trained to read from left-to-right usually look.

STAGE RIGHT: The section of stage to the actor’s right as he faces the audience.

STAGE LEFT: The section of stage to the left of an actor as he faces the audience.

UPSTAGE: The section of stage furthest from the audience.

UP LEFT: The back left section of the stage, when facing the audience. Generally considered the ‘weakest’ position on stage as it is the last place the audience is likely to look.

UP RIGHT: The back right section of the stage, when facing the audience.

THEATRE BUILDING

BACKSTAGE: The wings, or the parts of the stage off left and off right, unseen by the audience.

BOX OFFICE: The place where tickets are sold.

CONTROL BOOTH: Often in the back of the theatre behind the audience, this is the room where lights and sound are controlled.

COSTUME SHOP: The room where costumes are designed, built, altered, and mended.

DRESSING ROOMS: The rooms where the actors get into their costumes and make-up.

GREEN ROOM: A room backstage for actors to gather, relax, and prepare before or during a show.

HOUSE: The place where the audience sits to watch the performance. A “full house” means every seat for that performance is sold.

LOBBY: An entrance hall or area outside the theatre and house where audiences can wait before a show begins or during intermission.

MAINSTAGE: Usually the largest performance space in a venue and the place where bigger productions are staged.

SCENE SHOP: The place where play sets, scenery, and props are built and prepared for a show.

STUDIO THEATRE: A smaller performance space, often used for experimental productions.

 

Director’s Note & MAD Corner: Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get your Gun tbt

My very first community theatre show was Annie Get Your Gun in 1976 when I was 13 years old, and now I am directing it in 2016 for the community theatre that I have been leading for 13 years. Talk about full circle! I know I say it about every musical I direct, but this really is one of my favorite shows, if not my all-time favorite! In addition to being my first community theatre show, it was one of the first shows that I directed when I was fresh out of college in 1986, and my wife played Annie in Drury Lane Oakbrook’s production in 1996, winning a Joseph Jefferson Award for her performance. Kelli and I performed “Anything You Can Do” at the WCT Gala in 2006, and now our daughter is playing Annie in 2016 – one more full circle moment? Maybe. Maybe.

Based on the amazing and inspirational true story of Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, Colonel William F. Cody, Sitting Bull, and Major Gordon W. Lillie, and featuring one of the best musical scores ever written by one of the greatest American composers, it truly is a masterpiece. I’m a history buff, and I thoroughly research every show I direct. As I reacquainted myself with Annie’s story, I fell in love with her all over again. She was an amazing woman, and way ahead of her time.

The creators of the show did take quite a few liberties with the facts … this is afterall musical comedy! The show takes place over a span of ten months, and a lot of the story is based on actual facts, but the truth is that most of what you see in the show actually took place over a span of decades. Annie and Frank didn’t actually meet Buffalo Bill until 1885, ten years after they met in 1875. When they met each other Bill was 29, Sitting Bull was 44, and Pawnee Bill was 15. In 1885 when Annie and Frank joined Buffalo Bill’s show Annie was 25, Frank was 38, Buffalo Bill was 39, Sitting Bull was 54, and Pawnee Bill was 25. When Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill merged their shows Buffalo Bill was 62 and Pawnee Bill was 48. Annie and Frank were no longer with Buffalo Bill’s show, having left it seven years earlier. In the program I’ve included a timeline of some prominent moments in her lifetime.

I can’t thank the cast, crew, and staff enough for all of their hard work, focus, patience, creativity, and humor. We have had a marvelous time putting this incredible show together and I hope each and every one of you enjoys it as much as we have.

Our Spotlight On The Future is still active, and still needs your help! So far we have raised 45% of our $750,000 goal and have already put these donations to good use, implementing upgrades that enhance the theatre experience, increasing advertising revenue, decreasing operating expenses, and providing for building maintenance. Current improvements include 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 have already 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!

Cramer John 2006John Cramer

Director / Choreographer

Managing Artistic Director