To Kill A Mockingbird could easily borrow a line from Dickens that said… “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This cinematic classic is based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel about innocence, strength and conviction. Experience one of the most significant milestones in film history…nominated for 8 Academy Awards and starring screen legend Gregory Peck as courageous Southern lawyer Atticus Finch. Peck’s Academy Award winning performance was hailed by the American Film Institute as the greatest movie hero of all time.
There are so many life lessons to be taken from this classic story…from Scout’s perspectives on growing up as seen through adult eyes as Jean Louise narrates the story. It truly is “the best of times” as we witness the adventures of Scout, Jem and Dill and they dare to discover the legend of Boo Radley. Through Atticus’ wisdom the children learn that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”
As the story develops “the worst of times” is portrayed when an angry mob attempts to take Tom Robinson from the safety of the jail…only to be stood down by Atticus and Scout in the end. The angry hatred and racism incited by Bob Ewell toward Tom Robinson leading up to and throughout the trial provide some intensely dramatic moments.
The highlight of my 40 plus year community theatre acting career has to be delivering Atticus’ closing argument monologue in defense of Tom Robinson. Very powerful and emotional even now as I reflect on that scene.
This is one of my personal all time favorite movies. However, my affection for the movie begins with the classic novel and stage play. As I pen this blog I am drinking coffee from a mug that says…
What would Atticus do?
A present from the young actress who played Scout onstage at WCT in November 2016. It was truly a blessing and honor to portray Atticus finch with an amazing ensemble cast. I will always remember the final scene of the stage play when looking across the stage to see young Scout returning home from escorting Boo Radley and making brief eye contact with the adult Jean Louise as it becomes clear to her that Atticus knew that she was “already beginning to stand in other peoples’ shoes!”
Please join us on Monday, January 7 at 6:30 pm, sit back and enjoy every classic minute of this cinematic treasure as we present…
Board Of Directors
As WCT wraps up 61 historic years we look forward to our 62nd season and start our summer off with a cornucopia of awesome art!
Our seventh and final Mainstage show of the 61st season, Father Knows Best, opens TONIGHT and performs through June 17.
We still have room in our New York City Theatre Adventure, but you need to book it NOW. The deadline is today, June 1, but I can accept registrations up to next Tuesday, June 5. If you are interested and want more information let me know and I can send you the registration and tour description.
I am also offering beginner-to-intermediate Tap Dance Classes over the summer. There will be 16 75-minute sessions from June 5 through August 21. You can pay as you go, one class at a time, or pre-pay for five, ten, or all 16 sessions. If you are interested please let me know and I can send you the information.
Our twelfth PIX Flix film of the season is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Monday, June 11 at 6:30 pm. Join us for John Hughes’ brilliant comedy starring Mathew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Gray, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein, 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 POPCORN from Pop’s Kettle Corn!
Come see Waukesha’s future stars strut their stuff in our A.C.T. June Summer Showcase on Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Our current featured artists in the Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery are The League Of Milwaukee Artists through June 25.
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.
June is the final month of our 61st Season, with one Mainstage show, one PIX Flix Film, and one Education & Outreach show. Fabulous Flex Passes are still available for our Mainstage show!
Father Knows Best
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase
And don’t forget about all the ways to save on quality, live entertainment. WCT’s Ticket Promotions can’t be beat!
Fabulous Flex Pass – Save 22%
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 – You Name Your Savings
All subscribers also receive the Subscriber Benefits Card with discounts at 17 downtown Waukesha restaurants. And your ticket stub can save you money too!
And our 62nd Season is going to be spectacular! Season tickets for our Mainstage series are on sale now and individual tickets and group sales will go on sale on July 1st. Individual tickets for all of our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education & Outreach shows, PIX Flix Films, and Fundraising Events are on sale now as well.
We are looking for Production Staff to fill out the full season, including Stage Managers, Music Directors, Choreographers, Scenic Designers, Costume Designers, Lighting Designers, Sound Designers, Properties Designers, and more, so if you are interested please send me a letter of interest and your resume.
Our Mainstage Season includes:
The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940
(Directed By Carol Dolphin)
Billy Elliot: The Musical
(Directed By Mark E. Schuster)
Candy Cane Tales And Holiday Carols
(Directed By John Cramer and Kelly Goeller)
(Directed By Phil Stepanski)
Thoroughly Modern Millie
(Directed By Jim Padovano)
(Directed By Katie Lynne Krueger)
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?
(Directed By David Kaye)
Individual tickets and group sales for our Random Acts Of Entertainment, Education And Outreach shows, and Fundraising Events are on sale now!
The Music Man JR.
Br!NK New Play Festival
A.C.T. August Summer Showcase
DISABILITY: The Evolution
You’ve Got A Friend
An Evening Of Holiday Tales With John McGivern
Joel Kopischke’s I Got Yule, Babe
A.C.T. Combat Boot Camp
Waukesha STEM Academy’s Fame JR.
My Funny Valentine
The Wizard Of Oz Unplugged
The Shamrock Shindig (A Gaelic Gala)
Our Favorite Things
A.C.T. June Summer Showcase
Our PIX Flix Film Series individual tickets and group sales are on sale now! Get a Flix Mix and SAVE on the whole season!
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Singin’ In The Rain
North By Northwest
Muppet Christmas Carol
To Kill A Mockingbird
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
Field Of Dreams
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 to our Curtain Call Club
* 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 wife Kelli will be performing in The Queens Of Country at the Sunset Playhouse June 14-17.
Happy Father’s Day!
I’ll see you at the Theatre!
Managing Artistic Director
Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s historic 60th season!
Proof that To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a beloved classic of literature, cinema and theater is that I have a nephew whose cat’s name is Atticus and a good friend whose cat’s name is Scout.
How many people were inspired to become lawyers or understand social justice issues better because of the incredible moral role model of Atticus Finch?
How many childhood memories have been triggered by the touching point of view of Scout who looks at the world initially through innocent eyes?
That dedication to the wonderful characters in Mockingbird is why WCT is thrilled to collaborate with the 10th anniversary of Waukesha Reads whose programming you can learn about at waukeshareads.org.
What a fantastic opportunity to read (or reread) the novel, see the electrifying live performance at the Civic Theatre, and watch Gregory Peck in his iconic role on November 13 at Dinner & a Movie.
Enjoy this historic pairing! Don’t forget to visit waukeshacivictheatre.org to see how you can save 19 to 26% on future WCT shows and score a Subscriber Benefits Card.
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.
The last we saw of Atticus Finch, when the Oscar winning performance of Gregory Peck’s film followed the release of the novel, he was sitting in the corner of injured son Jem’s bedroom, the warm arms of his cardigan sweater wrapping and re-wrapping around the clinging figure of his daughter Scout, the three of them recovering from a painful experience of racism, hatred, and violence, and the often lonely cost of standing against it.
I have a feeling that many of us, both on the stage and in the audience, whether fans of the book or film or both, join Scout and her older self Jean Louise in waiting to see Atticus again.
The play strikes a chord for me as I had a very Atticus-like father, a dead ringer in both looks and mannerisms and as I grew into an adult and journalist, I had the opportunity to see lawyers and judges in action at the county courthouse in Virginia. And just as I still get that experience today covering trials today in rural Wisconsin, I also have witnessed the conflicts of race and prejudice all too recently near us in Milwaukee and through the nation.
Like Scout at the start of the play we wait for Atticus to return from the courthouse. Like Jean Louise at the end we look back through the window, and through the decades, wishing we could go back to him, to speak to him and finish the lessons. Lessons of putting ourselves in others shoes, and realizing that even as we rail against what isn’t right, we are not alone as others quietly do the uncomfortable business of protecting Mockingbirds be they a Tom Robinson or a Boo Radley.
I suspect those of us who were graced with a great father miss him; and those of us who didn’t miss and yearn for such an experience.
Fortunately Christopher Sergel’s play gives us that opportunity in an up-close and live setting not to be missed. It’s been said that in some ways To Kill A Mockingbird is a love letter from novelist Harper Lee to her father. Of the several Sergel versions of the play that exist, the one being performed at Waukesha Civic Theatre comes closest to depicting that moment, and lifetime of reaching out to Atticus.
It’s a safe bet you’ll feel him reaching back and holding you safe.
Written by Jim McClure, who plays Judge Taylor in To Kill A Mockingbird at the Waukesha Civic Theatre
Waukesha Civic Theatre has been awarded $500 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct donations in the total amount of about $2 million each year.
Theatre arts education and community outreach has been a part of the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s mission since its inception, 60 years ago. These funds will help cover the costs of offering daytime performances of To Kill A Mockingbird for school groups.
Created in 2012, the 2 Million & Change program is a philanthropic initiative created by Staples Foundation which allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations of their choosing that are focused on education or job skills. The program encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.
In 2015, associates globally directed more than $2.5 million of Staples Foundation grants to 875 non-profit organizations.
“For 30 years, Staples associates have been making a difference in their communities around the world,” said John Burke, chief culture officer, Staples, Inc., “We’re thrilled that the 2 Million & Change program lets our associate make an even greater impact on the organizations they are passionate about.”