Blog Archives

MAD Corner: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

WCT is both proud and delighted to present the area premier of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame! Inspired by and using some of the music from the Disney cartoon, this incredible new musical brings Victor Hugo’s amazing story of Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Pheobus, and Frollo to life on stage, working with some of the darker themes of Hugo’s novel.  Guided by Mark E. Schuster, one of WCT’s premier directors, and featuring a lush and beautiful score played by a full orchestra and sung by 40 powerful voices, I am confident that our production will astound everyone who sees it.

I would like to thank everyone that supports WCT!  We wouldn’t be here without you. All of our volunteers help us out in any number of ways by acting, ushering, serving on the board of directors, providing maintenance or office support, or working on sets, costumes, props. Our patrons come to WCT see quality live entertainment, the fruits of our volunteers’ labor. Our donors help keep us financially sound by their gifts to the Annual Operating Fund, the Endowment Fund, or by including us in their planned giving.

The generosity of the Waukesha community astounds me, and I truly appreciate all the time, talent, and money that you give to WCT.

One way, and arguably the best way, to support WCT is to spread the word about Waukesha’s best kept secret.  It always amazes me when I meet someone in Waukesha who has no idea what a fantastic organization we have right here in the heart of the community.  Tell people about what we do and all we offer.

Enrich. Challenge. Entertain. That says it all, so keep watching, keep participating with, and keep supporting this cultural cornerstone. We couldn’t do it without you.

 

 

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

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60th Season Carl Thomas Memorial Volunteer Awards

Congratulations and thank you to the recipients of our 60th season Carl Thomas Memorial Volunteer Award! The Waukesha Civic Theatre recognizes the volunteers who have made the organization what it is. This award is named for Carl Thomas, a long-time volunteer who served on stage, backstage, on the board, and anywhere else he was needed. He truly exemplified the “spirit of community theatre.”

This award is given peer to peer for all Mainstage productions, in which each show’s cast, crew, and staff nominate the person involved in that show who they feel has best represented the spirit of community theatre with the highest levels of enthusiasm, energy, and involvement.

The administrative award is chosen by the staff and/or the board of directors and goes to someone who has given of their time and talent outside of the productions we produce.

 

SUE HERRO – JULY 2016 (Administrative)

Sue has been a patron, donor, volunteer bartender, and board director, serving as our board secretary for several years. She always has a smile and something sarcastic to share. Her attention to detail and commitment to fiscal responsibility is beyond compare. The board meetings we held on her pontoon were always the best! We appreciate your commitment and enthusiasm, Sue. Thank you!

 

MIKE BOHREN – AUGUST 2016 (Administrative)

Mike has been a patron, donor, and board director. He led our fund development committee for several years. His appreciation for the arts, combined with his wealth of knowledge and experience, made him an invaluable asset to us. Thank you, Mike, for everything you’ve done for WCT!

 

ANDY GRATKE – SEPTEMBER 2016 (Administrative)

Andy has volunteered as an actor and crew member. He’s a member of the Civic Senior Players, has helped at the audition registration table, participated during community event performances, and he helps with facility maintenance. Thank you, Andy, for your tireless dedication to WCT and the Waukesha Community!

 

JORDAN LEVENE – OCTOBER 2016 (Gypsy)

Jordan won the hearts of everyone in the cast when she stepped in to understudy the role of Dainty June. Not only had she joined the ensemble late, after another actor had to drop out of the show, but she learned the leading role in less than two weeks, and performed it for more than half the run. She was also a very helpful, positive, and optimistic presence backstage. One cast member said it best … “she is AMAZING!” Kudos, Jordan!

 

JIM SANTELLE – NOVEMBER 2016 (To Kill A Mockingbird)

Jim was a kind and enthusiastic member of the cast. He was always quick to volunteer throughout rehearsals for whatever was needed. He was generous, thoughtful, and full of praise for his fellow actors and crew members. Also … Jim brought food. Lots of it! Thank you, Jim!

 

CHRISTINE KULINSKI – DECEMBER 2016 (For Purely Elfish Reasons)

Christine was one of our “kid wranglers” for this show. She was always around to help out in any way no matter what, and always with a pleasant attitude. She kept everyone, adults included, organized and on track. She took on the difficult task of keeping the kids in the cast quiet, focused, and entertained when they were not on stage. “She was FUN!” Way to go, Christine!

 

JOHN HROBAR – JANUARY 2017 (Civic Broadway Singers)

John has been involved at WCT for many years as a performer, donor, and patron. He has been a member of the Civic Broadway Singers for many years. The joy he brings to CBS’s patrons is just as fulfilling for them as the joy he receives from them in return. John is not only very talented, but he is thoughtful, dependable, enthusiastic, and encouraging. He simply loves singing with the Civic Broadway Singers. Thank you, John!

 

MARY RYNDERS – FEBRUARY 2017 (Blithe Spirit)

Mary was a terrific asset to this production. In addition to her role as Mrs. Bradman, she was willing to help in any way possible. She provided rides to other cast members, helped with costumes and props, and pitched in backstage with costume changes and props management. Congratulations, Mary, and thank you for all you do!

 

LEAH TESKE – MARCH 2017 (33 Variations)

Leah gives selflessly to ensure a smooth, solid performance. Her help backstage was invaluable to the show. She was always ready and willing to do whatever was needed, with an extremely helpful and enthusiastic attitude. She always shared her many talents – she can do anything! Way to go, Leah. Thank you!

 

STEVE DEMBINSKI – APRIL 2017 (Administrative)

Steve has been a patron, donor, usher, and fund development volunteer for WCT for many years. His amazing attitude and willingness to pitch in and help is a joy to experience. He always has a smile and a positive word. Thank you, Steve, for everything you do for WCT!

 

MICHAEL SKOCIR – MAY 2017 (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Michael was always willing to help others, and became the unofficial spokesperson for the cast and crew; bringing up concerns, asking questions, and offering helpful solutions in an honest and respectful way. He always had fun comments which helped people feel at ease and enjoy the time together, performed several times with injuries, and also generously hosted a wonderful cast party. Thank you, Michael!

 

LLOYD MUNSON – JUNE 2017 (Barefoot In The Park)

Lloyd gave in every way, shape, and form with professionalism and enthusiasm. He picked up any task that was asked of him with gusto. His excitement and commitment are inspiring. He has been a joy to work with and we can’t wait for him to return to WCT time and time again! Way to go, Lloyd. Thank you!

MAD Corner: The Drowsy Chaperone

I had the pleasure of seeing The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway when it was brand new, and absolutely fell in love with it.  It has all the elements that make musical theatre the favorite genre of most theatre lovers. The show incorporates everything except the kitchen sink – mistaken identities, dream sequences, spit takes, a deus ex machina, an unflappable English butler, an absent-minded dowager, a Broadway impresario and his Follies production, comic gangsters, a ditzy chorine, a harried best man, and a “Drowsy” (i.e. “tipsy”) Chaperone, played in the show-within-a-show by a blowzy Grande Dame of the Stage, specializing in “rousing anthems” and not above upstaging the occasional co-star. As The Man In The Chair states in his opening monologue “that’s what the show is – fun!”  I hope you think so too!

Thank you to everyone that supports WCT! All of our volunteers help us out in any number of ways by acting, ushering, serving on the board of directors, providing maintenance or office support, or working on sets, costumes, props. Our patrons come to WCT see quality live entertainment, the fruits of our volunteers’ labor. Our donors help keep us financially sound by their gifts to the Annual Operating Fund, the Endowment Fund, or by including us in their planned giving.

The generosity of the Waukesha community astounds me, and I truly appreciate all the time, talent, and money that you give to WCT.

One way, and arguably the best way, to support WCT is to spread the word about Waukesha’s best kept secret. It always amazes me when I meet someone in Waukesha who has no idea what a fantastic organization we have right here in the heart of the community. Tell people about what we do and all we offer.

Enrich. Challenge. Entertain. That says it all, so keep watching, keep participating with, and keep supporting this cultural cornerstone. We couldn’t do it without you.

 

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

MAD Corner: Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit is one of my favorite plays of all time.  It is also one of the most produced plays ever, and there is a good reason for that … it is awesome.  Noël  Coward got the title of the play from Percy Shelley’s poem “To a Skylark.” “Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert.” The play was first seen in the West End in 1941, creating a new long-run record for non-musical British plays of 1,997 performances. It also did well on Broadway later that year, running for 657 performances. Coward adapted the play for film in 1945, and directed a musical adaptation, High Spirits, on Broadway in 1964. It was also adapted for television and radio in the 1950s and 1960s. The play enjoyed several West End and Broadway revivals in the 1970s and 1980s and was revived again in London in 2004, 2011, and 2014. It returned to Broadway in February 2009.

We hope you enjoy this classic comedy, and that it raises your spirits!

Thank you to everyone that supports WCT!  All of our volunteers help us out in any number of ways by acting, ushering, serving on the board of directors, providing maintenance or office support, or working on sets, costumes, props.  Our patrons come to WCT see quality live entertainment, the fruits of our volunteers’ labor.  Our donors help keep us financially sound by their gifts to the Annual Operating Fund, the Endowment Fund, or by including us in their planned giving. 

The generosity of the Waukesha community astounds me, and I truly appreciate all the time, talent, and money that you give to WCT. 

One way, and arguably the best way, to support WCT is to spread the word about Waukesha’s best kept secret.  It always amazes me when I meet someone in Waukesha who has no idea what a fantastic organization we have right here in the heart of the community.  Tell people about what we do and all we offer. 

Enrich.  Challenge.  Entertain. 

That says it all, so keep watching, keep participating with, and keep supporting this cultural cornerstone.  We couldn’t do it without you. 

Cramer John 2006John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

Spotlight On The Board Of Directors: Annie Get Your Gun

There’s no business like show business

Like no business I know

Everything about it is appealing

Everything the traffic will allow

Nowhere can you get that happy feeling

When you are stealing that extra bow

Welcome to the Waukesha Civic Theatre’s Production of Annie Get Your Gun and our historic 59th season. Irving Berlin couldn’t have said it any better. Community theatre can take us to a place like no other. Since joining WCT first as a performer and now also as a Board Director, I relish in the opportunity to share this wonderful theatre and its efforts with you. The commitment of our staff, board, performers, volunteers, and crews to put on quality productions is beyond compare. I am honored to be a part of it. But we wouldn’t be able to do what we do if we didn’t have you, the patrons, sitting in these seats and supporting us. For your attendance, and your support, I am truly grateful.

Since its debut in 1946, Annie Get Your Gun has masterfully maintained its popularity. With hits like “You Can’t Get a Man With A Gun” and “Anything You Can Do,” you are sure to leave the show smiling and humming a tune. And if you are so inclined, please help spread the word and encourage others to attend! We rely on your word of mouth and your help—you are our best marketing tool! Take advantage of the many opportunities available to you to support our theatre, including donations, and volunteering! Enjoy this amazing production!

Bagley Elizabeth 2014Elizabeth Bagley

Board Director

 

In The MAD Corner…

The spotlight is clearly on the PIX during this, our histCramer John 2006oric 58th season!

We have 80+ entertainment options throughout the year, with great benefits to our subscribers (up to 40% off!), including our partnership with 16 downtown Waukesha restaurants offering great discounts to all WCT subscribers.

We also have a year-round theatre arts education program with offerings for students of all ages, including adults.

I would like to thank everyone that supports WCT!  All of our volunteers help us out in any number of ways by acting, ushering, serving on the board of directors, providing maintenance or office support, or working on sets, costumes, or props.  Our patrons come to WCT see quality live entertainment, the fruits of our volunteers’ labor.  Our donors help keep us financially sound by their gifts to the Annual Operating Fund, the Endowment Fund, or by including us in their planned giving.

This fall we are also shining the Spotlight On The Future, a major gift campaign with a goal to raise $750,000, providing capital for upgrades that will enhance the theatre experience, increase advertising revenue, decrease operating expenses, and provide for building maintenance.

The generosity of the Waukesha community astounds me, and I truly appreciate all the time, talent, and money that you give to WCT.

One way, and arguably the best way, to support WCT is to spread the word about Waukesha’s best kept secret.  It always amazes me when I meet someone in Waukesha who has no idea what a fantastic organization we have right here in the heart of the community.  Tell people about what we do and all we offer.

Enrich.  Challenge.  Entertain.  That says it all, so keep watching, keep participating with, and keep supporting this cultural cornerstone.  We couldn’t do it without you.

John Cramer

Managing Artistic Director

Gratitude Committee, We Are Grateful For YOU!

As you may know, we added a new committee around the middle of our 57th season. The Waukesha Civic Theatre Gratitude Committee is determined to make sure our many volunteers, patrons, donors, and staff know just how much we here at WCT appreciate all the hard work that too often goes un-lauded, though never unnoticed. Char Paulbicke and Debi Mumford are co-chairing this committee. IF this sounds like something you’d like to be involved in, please contact Katie Danner at kdanner@waukeshacivictheatre.org for more information.

One of the things the committee does to celebrate our outstanding volunteers is the Civic Super Star Award. If you want to nominate someone as a Civic Super Star, please fill out a card and deposit it in one of the Super Star Suggestion boxes located in the lobby, green room, and upstairs rehearsal hall. Here are all the Civic Super Stars announced so far:

Becky Miller: Becky is one of our Bartenders.  She had the most successful bar in WCT’s history during, “I Got Yule, Babe!”  She did an amazing job keeping up with the thirsty patrons and helped make the night a smashing success!  Thank you, Becky!

Sean Downs: Sean is one of our Bartenders, Box Office/House Managers, and all around great guy!  Thanks to Sean we have booster seats for our family friendly venues, and a time clock in the concessions area to make sure our shows run as efficiently as possible.  He has contributed so much to WCT.  Thank you, Sean!

Barbara Johnson and Sandy Zingler:  Barbara and Sandy have organized the Learning in Retirement, (LIR) theatre/dinner gatherings.  They have organized groups to attend WCT productions followed by dinners at restaurants, their homes, and at church often including informative programs.  They encourage and welcome new people to enjoy the theatre.  On top of all of that wonderful work, Barbara and Sandy have also ushered for WCT for several years and are often called last minute to lend a helping hand.  Thank you, Barbara and Sandy!  You two are amazing!

Emmie Wendorf:  Emmie is a senior at Waukesha North High School and one of our fantastic ushers.  During one of our Comedy Tonight performances Emmie stepped up to the plate and helped sell raffle tickets for The Great Gatsby Speakeasy.  She stepped outside her comfort zone, offered information, raffle tickets, and a beautifully contagious smile.  You are a star, Emmie!

Lee Piekarski: Lee is definitely one of the Civic’s brightest Super Stars!  When she isn’t helping out at her church or performing with The Civic Senior Players, she is sewing costumes, washing costumes, arranging the costume room, repairing costumes . . .

Thank you for all the hard work that you do, Lee!

Margaret Kennedy: Margaret ushers, is one of our bartenders, house manages, covers the box office, and is one of the first to step up and help out.  Weather she is covering shifts for others, grabbing lunch for co-workers, or maintaining her positive attitude during stressful times, Margaret is a silent source of strength and support!  She was also our first DOUBLE nominee! You are amazing, Margaret!

Emilie Grunfelder:  Emilie stepped up to cover for Katie Danner in the box office over the summer while Katie is taking care of the new Danner, Talia.  Emilie is willing and able to take on any task assigned.  She is a bright light in the office!  Thank you for your hard work and dedication, Emilie!

Another thing this committee does, to recognize our volunteers who have been with us the longest, is the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dexter Meise has been a volunteer at The Civic for over 50 years!  He has ushered, done set work, and has been a priceless asset to WCT.  He was presented his award on Friday, March 15th.  Congratulations, Dexter!

The Gratitude Committee also makes sure that important milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, and births aren’t overlooked. They do this in the monthly newsletter, available in our lobby and here on this blog. That’s also where our award winners are announced. Be sure to check it out the next time you’re at the theatre! Here’s an example of an announcement:

Katie Danner, our Box Office Supervisor, has a beautiful new addition to her family.  Talia Amani!  She joins her father, Jon, and her brother Byron in the Danner clan!  Katie would like to extend a special thank you to John Cramer for covering for her during her Maternity leave. A very special thank you also goes out to Mary Dembinski & Anthony Ventress for taking over management of Friday Night Live and  Farmers’ Markets.  Congratulations Danner Clan!

Picnic 6

Elle & Chris, just goofin’ around

Picnic 2

Some of the Gratitude Committee members, enjoying a beautiful day!

Picnic 3

Volunteers, soaking up the love!

 

Finally, the committee puts on events for our WCT Family. The most recent event was the Dog End Days Of Summer Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, this past Sunday, August 24th. We owe this committee a deep debt of gratitude! Special thanks to Jenny Erato, for sharing these photos with us on Facebook!