Rhonda has been managing theatre departments in an educational setting for nine years after studying at UW-Milwaukee and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has had practical experience as a performer and director in New York and has been present in exploring many avenues in Wisconsin Theatre, including directing, teaching, performing, producing, and designing at Divine Savior Holy Angels, University Lake School, Waukesha Civic Theatre, Sunset Playhouse, The Milwaukee REP, and Skylight Music Theatre.
Rhonda has a love for Waukesha Civic Theatre and the City of Waukesha, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and their beloved pets. She believes that Community Theatre is about building a team of individuals who show-up for one another – to create, to build, to plan, to dream, to clean, and to work – combining the efforts of paid and unpaid artists to create something beautiful. Rhonda looks forward to building a team that will look to the future and longevity of the Waukesha Civic Theatre.
The staff and Board Of Directors at the Waukesha Civic Theatre are excited for Rhonda to join us as we continue to enrich, challenge, and entertain both participants and audience members through our quality, live theatre performances and educational opportunities.
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!
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!
Managing Artistic Director
Since its inception 60 years ago, the Waukesha Civic Theatre has sought ways to enrich, challenge, and entertain the Waukesha community. We have done this through our theatrical productions, education and outreach programs, and community partnerships. We have a vibrant production schedule, including 7 Mainstage productions each season and, this season, 29 Random Acts Of Entertainment! We have had an educational component to our programming from the beginning, offering summer camps, one-day workshops, after school classes, and outreach at several area schools. We have gone through many changes over the past six decades. We started out as a small group of thespians with a passion and a mission. 17 years ago, we moved into the old PIX theatre in the heart of downtown Waukesha. Look for our new marquees next time you drive down Main Street! This season, we are thrilled to partner with Waukesha Reads to promote community engagement with the NEA Big Read book, To Kill A Mockingbird.
We are also presenting To Kill A Mockingbird as our second Mainstage show in our 60th season. This American classic is directed by Rhonda Marie Schmidt and runs October 28-November 13, 2016. In addition to our 11 regular performances, we are offering 3 weekday matinees for school groups. We will offer talkbacks after the Sunday matinee performances and after each of the weekday matinees for schools. The talkbacks will feature cast members and community scholars, coordinated by Waukesha Reads. There are still seats available for school groups – call our box office for more information!
Here’s the schedule of performances:
Friday, October 28th at 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 29th at 7:30 pm (Pay What You Can)
Sunday, October 30th at 2:00 pm
Thursday, November 3rd at 9:30 am
Friday, November 4th at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 5th at 3:30 pm
Saturday, November 5th at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 6th at 2:00 pm
Wednesday, November 9th at 9:30 am
Thursday, November 10th at 8:30 am (SOLD OUT!)
Friday, November 11th at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 12th at 2:00 pm (Pay What You Can)
Saturday, November 12th at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 13th at 2:00 pm
We have several ways for you to save on live, quality entertainment here at Waukesha’s cultural cornerstone!
If you are going to buy 4 or more tickets to a Mainstage show, get a Fabulous Flex Pass. This includes 4 tickets, which you can use in any combination to a Mainstage show, and then any other ticket you buy for the rest of the season is at the subscriber rate of $21 per ticket.
If you are a student at any level, you can take advantage of our Student Rush rate. Student Rush tickets are available at the box office on the day of the performance and are a 50% savings!
We also have two Pay What You Can (PWYC) performances for each Mainstage production. On these dates, (which are always the first Saturday evening and third Saturday matinee of a production run) if you buy your tickets at the box office that day, you can name your own price! There’s no better deal in theatre!
We consider a group to be 10 or more patrons attending the same performance. If the group is school-related, Girl Scouts, or Boy Scouts, they qualify for our Educational Group Rate – a 63% savings!
Our ticket price structure for Mainstage shows is:
$24 Student/Senior (60+)/Military
$21 Subscriber/Group (10+)
$13.50 Student Rush
$10 Educational Group (10+)
If you like what you see, bring your ticket stub back to see the show again at half price! Use it yourself, or pass it along to a friend who hasn’t seen the show. This is our Terrific Tickets deal and it’s a great way for friends and family to take advantage of the quality live theatre we have right here in the heart of downtown Waukesha.
Tickets are available at the box office Tuesday-Friday, from noon to 5 pm or 24/7 online! Call our box office at 262.547.0708 or visit us at www.waukeshacivictheatre.org for more information. We hope to see you soon at Waukesha’s cultural cornerstone – a hidden gem in the heart of downtown!
When the 2016/2017 Waukesha Civic Theatre season was announced and I saw that To Kill A Mockingbird was on the list, I knew that I would clamor and claw for the opportunity to direct this play. I have taught the novel to my freshman World Literature class, and year after year, it sparks a vibrant conversation of race, equality, poverty, violence, innocence, desperation, and hope. It is a story that speaks to my heart and screams to my conscience. I see myself in Scout – in her compulsion to stand up for what’s right, and to be the voice for those who are too scared or unable to speak up. I even named my daughter Harper in tribute to Ms. Lee. It is a dream of mine to direct the stage play of Mockingbird – to bring this conversation to life as only theatre can, and I am deeply humbled to be trusted to tell this story with an incredible team of actors and designers.
I am thrilled to see Harper Lee’s novel bringing our community and schools together, in partnership with the Waukesha Reads program. To Kill A Mockingbird is an intelligent and timely choice for Waukesha Civic Theatre at this point in history. With tensions high, the conversation of the racial divide in America is vital as ever. Voices are raised, fires are burning, and yet voices are going unheard. We need to hear one another and listen to the singing of the “mockingbirds,” so that we can find understanding. In this play, the echoes of slavery are heard in the deeply-rooted segregation of the South, just as the echoes of segregation are heard in towns across America today. Mockingbird not only serves as a reflection of the past, but it mirrors today’s world and provides a lens through which we can look into the future. While you can look for villains in this play, they are hard to pin down. Even the apparent villains are victims of circumstance, aren’t they? Ignorance, poverty, culture, and fear stand in the way of progress in Harper Lee’s 1934 Maycomb, Alabama as they continue to do today across America. If I had to guess, I would say that Harper Lee would never have imagined just how relevant her story would be in the year 2016, and I have to wonder if she would how discontented she would be. My fervent hope is that in my lifetime, this play will become antiquated; it will become a piece of history we will use to look back with gratitude on a time before things changed.
I hope that you find truth here today – that you find laughter, and that you find heartache; I most certainly have found all of these things in building this show with our team. I would like to thank John Cramer for giving me the opportunity to direct Mockingbird, my incredible cast for trusting me and one another, and bringing with them a goodness of heart that moves me, and my production team of artists and organizers who make this show possible. I am forever grateful to my supportive and loving family, Aaron (lighting/sound designer), Jaxon, and Harper. Please help us spread the word and fill this house each performance. We are so glad you are here.