Blog Archives

Spotlight On The Board: The Little Prince

Now that summer is almost over, along with vacations and all of the summer activities, maybe it’s time to think about our entertainment schedules for the fall and on into next year. One great idea is to enjoy a change of pace, to be able to sit back and just enjoy a live stage performance put on by local actors. I am talking about the Waukesha Civic Theatre, located in the old PIX theatre building in downtown Waukesha. This non-profit organization puts on a variety of plays every year, and this is in addition to theatrical education programs, video showings, and much more.

When was the last time you went to live theatre? It’s much different than going to a movie or a sports event. Sometimes the plays just entertain you, sometimes they challenge your basic concepts. Whether you like a play or not, you have to be impressed with the time and effort our local entertainers put into the productions. So why not try something different this year and visit the Waukesha Civic Theatre? My wife and I are season ticket holders, and before that my parents were season ticket holders. I have to say that these plays are done as well as any I have seen from Purdue University to Milwaukee to Fort Atkinson.

This fall’s Mainstage lineup begins with The Little Prince, a play based on a book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince brings to life the story of an Aviator lost in the desert who learns what it is to be tamed. This show deals with the themes of love, loss, and friendship. This play runs from September 13-29, 2019. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office on Main Street in Waukesha or online via the Theatre’s website www.waukeshacivictheatre.org. If you go to the website, take time to look at all the things the Theatre does in our community, and if I were you, I would buy season tickets for the seven Mainstage shows.

Dean Danner

Board of Directors

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Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Alice In Wonderland JR.

Welcome to Alice In Wonderland JR. at the Waukesha Civic Theatre presented by our A.C.T. program. Join Alice as she chases the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole and journeys through a topsy-turvy world that gets “curiouser and curiouser.” Meet the Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, the Cheshire Cat, March Hare, Caterpillar, the flowers, Doorknob, Queen & King of Hearts and more unforgettable characters as they take to the stage.

This fun-filled tale is being performed by students aged 6-17 and they are having a great time. These students come to Waukesha Civic to experience participating in a Mainstage show. They get the experience of going through an audition process in a safe and encouraging environment. This program gives each student the opportunity to participate, as they are all guaranteed a role in the production. They are taught how to support their fellow actor friends and how to handle disappointment and to realize that all roles are important to make a show complete. Once casting is finished, the students go through a full rehearsal process and gain a better understanding and appreciation of everything that goes into a Mainstage production. This program wants every student to grow and gain confidence in their stage skills.

I have an older child that started in the summer A.C.T. Production shows about 5 or 6 years ago now. Her experience was amazing as she took to the stage and I watched her confidence grow. The support she received and the skills she learned are helping her in her current performances as well as helped shape her into the person she is today. So, it was no question to me when my next 2 daughters wanted to try acting as to where to send them. They are both in this Alice In Wonderland JR. production and once again the encouragement, skills training, and support from the directors and other kids is building their confidence and they LOVE coming to rehearsal 5 days a week in the middle of summer.

When I asked my 9-year-old daughter about her experience in the show, she said: “It is amazing! Just being here and being able to be a part of the show is amazing. You get to be someone else. You get to see a whole different side of yourself. And you get to try new things. Everyone in the show is so supportive which makes it fun and more comfortable.”

I realized, from observing my own children, that each of these kids may have overcome an obstacle to be on this stage today. They may have stage fright, extreme shyness, anxiety, or they might just be a natural performer who is working on enhancing their skills. This stage experience, along with the entire A.C.T. program at Waukesha Civic Theatre, is helping to shape their futures. Check out our theatre website for additional A.C.T. program opportunities.

 

Thank you for supporting the A.C.T. program. Sit back and enjoy the show!

Nancy McCaskey

Board Director

Spotlight On The Board: The Giver

When I was asked to write something about The Giver a couple months ago, I had mixed feelings. I didn’t want to admit that this title is the book I purchased many years ago and didn’t even read a page of it yet. Honestly, the cover with the old man on it made me apprehensive to read it. Then my middle school daughter told me it was her favorite book? So with this task at hand and the encouragement of my daughter, I dusted off my book and starting reading…and reading…and reading. I was so intrigued by the book that when I found out it is a series of 4 books, I had to get them all. I am currently on the third book in the series. The old man on the cover has taught me to truly never judge a book by its cover. My daughter and I are now anxiously awaiting to see this book come to life on the Waukesha Civic Theatre stage.

The Giver is the story where Jonas lives in a utopia with no pain, no fear – and no choice. Language is precise and sterile; emotions and other physical impulses are controlled. At age 12, children are assigned a vocation. As Jonas approaches this momentous occasion, he notices strange things happening to ordinary objects around him – which no one else seems to notice. He is assigned a special job – to receive and keep the memories of the community. But what happens when he learns the truth – that there could be choice, and love, and what it means for a person to be Released? Based on the Newberry Award winning novel by Lois Lowry.

You don’t have to read the book to enjoy this show. So join us at the theatre for The Giver May 2-19, 2019.

 

 

Nancy McCaskey

Board Director

Spotlight On The Board: The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940

I want to welcome you to The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940, the first Mainstage offering of our 62nd Season at Waukesha Civic Theatre! As President of the Board of Directors, I am delighted that you have chosen to spend a few hours with us to enjoy quality live entertainment.

Waukesha Civic Theatre offers a wide variety of performances and educational opportunities that enrich our community’s culture year round, from our Mainstage series, Random Acts of Entertainment, Education and Outreach series, and our PIX Flix movie series to our community partnerships such as ACAP PlayMakers, the Waukesha STEM Academy, the Waukesha Art Crawls, and our downtown restaurant partners.

With so many programs and activities geared for all ages… you are sure to find something to fit your particular interest. Conquer your fears and audition for one of our productions, satisfy your artistic abilities and help build a set, sew costumes or be part of a stage crew!  Showcase your vocal ability with the Civic Broadway Singers or the Civic Senior Players.

Sponsor a table or help behind the scenes with our Gala fundraiser The Shamrock Shindig on March 16, 2019!!

The realm of possibilities for involvement abounds and we invite you to take action and get involved! Pick up one of our 2018-2019 Season Calendars at intermission and I encourage you to speak to any Board member about how you can get involved in our community.

Become an ambassador for Waukesha Civic Theatre and help us to spread the word throughout our community about the excellent entertainment and educational opportunities that the theatre provides.

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

 

 

Kelly Vance

President

Board of Directors

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: The House Without A Christmas Tree

My Mom had a plaque that said: “All hearts come home for Christmas.” Now that plaque hangs in my home every December.

As the year comes to a close, my grown children will come home from Iowa, Indiana, and Oklahoma, and we will continue our tradition of enjoying the holiday offerings at Waukesha Civic Theatre.

I’m thrilled that our theatre is offering a brand-new play; I predict it will become an instant classic, heartwarming and funny in equal measure.

The House Without A Christmas Tree is adapted from a popular 1972 made-for-TV movie of the same name. The Jason Robards film was shown regularly on CBS for five years and inspired several sequels.

Civic’s own Doug Jarecki wrote the play. A professional actor, Doug has been a linchpin in the success of this theatre, creating an Education and Outreach program that is second to none. His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is a genuinely good human being. Oh, and he’s my homeschooled kids’ favorite teacher.

Enjoy!


Angela Penzkover

Past President, Board Of Directors

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: The Princess Bride

In a 2013 interview, Mandy Patinkin confessed that his favorite line in The Princess Bride is not the immortal words of his character, Inigo Montoya: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you keeled my father, prepare to die.” Rather, Patinkin’s favorite quote comes from the end of the story, when the heroes are escaping the castle, and Inigo prepares to jump from the window to ride off on one of four magnificent white horses. He pauses and says to Wesley: “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.”

To Patinkin, this is what it is all about. “The purpose of revenge is completely worthless and pointless and the purpose of existence is to embrace our fellow human being … and turn our darkness into light.”

In today’s world of cynicism, political strife, and discord, Patinkin’s words were never truer. I own multiple copies of The Princess Bride and have seen it, beginning to end, at least 30 times, and yet, if I happen upon it while channel surfing, I immediately stop and luxuriate in the perfection of this movie. It is a classic. A movie that knows what it is. Perfectly cast, beautifully filmed, heartwarming, irreverent, hilarious, and imminently quotable, The Princess Bride is like a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold day.

The beauty of this film is that it is familiar and fresh all at the same time. The story lines are ones we know: a grandfather spending time with his grandson; a son avenging his father; miracles; and, of course, true love. But the movie is intertwined with such joy, humor and unexpected quips, that it surprises and never gets old. No matter our age, gender, background, or mood, The Princess Bride is always the perfect fit.

I first saw The Princess Bride the year it was released (1987). Just a year out of college, it charmed me and made me laugh. Years later, I introduced it to my soon-to-be-husband who immediately fell under its spell. When our children came along, it became a family night favorite and, as they have grown, the jokes have become funnier, the subtle humor more appreciated and the lines more quotable.  On more than one occasion I quoted Miracle Max as they headed out of the house “Have fun stormin’ the castle!”

When released, The Princess Bride was not a blockbuster hit. It wasn’t until release on VCR that it truly hit its stride and became popular. It is now universal. Test this yourself. Ask people you know what their favorite line is from The Princess Bride. You will be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t have a quote or who hasn’t seen the film. In a 2012 interview in New York Magazine, Patinkin said that his most famous line from gets quoted back to him by at least two or three strangers every day of his life. Patinkin told the interviewer that he loves hearing the line and he also loves the general fact that he got to be in “The Wizard Of Oz of our generation.” What an apt description. Like The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride is a celebration of storytelling! So let’s celebrate its 30th anniversary at the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s PIX Flix on Monday, November 13, 2017 – 6:30 pm.

What’s MY favorite quote? Meet me at the Theatre on the 13th, and I’ll let you know!

 

 

Jane Klett

Board Director

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Dead Poets Society

 

“O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills” ~ Walt Whitman

Dead Poets Society is our third PIX Flix in our 61st season! Robin Williams called this one of his favorite performances of all time: “it had some sort of amazing… there’s something in that movie that affected people beyond just a movie.” Join us as we help celebrate his legacy! Get inspired by joining us for this extraordinary film on September 25th at 6:30 pm! Tickets are $5 for everyone – you won’t find a better deal than that!

As in all his roles, Robin Williams lent a certain genius to this film. Playing a new English teacher, John Keating, he sets out to encourage his students to cast aside normality and chart their own course through life. Learning of his colorful past, his students resurrect the unsanctioned Dead Poets Society, and sneak off to explore their own individuality. What follows is a foray you won’t want to miss!

“The poem by Henry David Thoreau that is featured on the front page of the poetry book Neil receives is not an original poem by Thoreau. Rather, it is a rearrangement of sentences from his work “Where I Lived,” Chapter Two from his seminal work, Walden.” ~IMDb

 “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, …” ~Henry David Thoreau

Dead Poets Society won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Tom Schulman). Peter Weir received a nomination for Best Director and the film itself was nominated for Best Picture of 1989. Robin Williams received his second Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination and it has since been widely recognized as one of the actor/comedian’s best roles. It also won the BAFTA Award for Best Film.

For only $5, join us on September 25th to celebrate the legacy of Robin Williams, Tom Schulman, poetic inspiration, and our 61st season all at once! See you at the PIX!

 


Jonathan Danner

WCT Board Secretary

 

“Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

~John Keating

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Citizen Kane

What would possess a left-leaning 24 year old from Kenosha, WI to co-write, direct, produce and star in a motion picture intended to skewer the oligarchs who controlled the American media in the 1930’s? In Orson Welles’ own words, “Ignorance.” Having already achieved critical acclaim as a theater actor, playwright and director, perhaps it is this audacity of scope combined with the fresh technological innovations of the silver screen that led Welles to create what is now almost universally agreed to be one of the greatest films ever made.

 

Citizen Kane, a fictional biopic of the newspaper magnate Charles Kane, is Welles’ first film and employs numerous experimental techniques developed for this movie. Many of these contributions to style and cinematography have entered the movie making lexicon. Today these remain as fresh and important to the story as when Citizen Kane was released in 1941.

 

Charles Kane, played by the young Orson Welles, is transparent in life and mysterious in death. Welles and his co-writer, Herman Mankiewicz, ask the viewer to share in the detective work of newsreel reporter Jerry Thompson, played by William Alland, to discover Kane’s deepest secrets by investigating the mundane meaning of the final utterance on his deathbed: “Rosebud.” This thinly veiled misdirection provides the audience the opportunity to approach and receive the film on numerous levels. Today, the parallels to our culture remain as strong as they did 76 years ago with just as much opportunity to be challenged and entertained.

 

With a handpicked cast, many of whom such as Agnes Moorehead and Joseph Cotten would go on to storied careers, Citizen Kane represents a high watermark in cinematic storytelling. Whether you are a fan of film, student of history, have interest in the media’s role in modern politics or simply want to share this experience with friends and family, the Waukesha Civic Theatre invites you to join us at 6:30 pm on Monday, June 5th to watch and celebrate this Hollywood masterwork.

 

Brian Goeller

Board Director