A Whole New World of Theatre

Every Fall UW-Whitewater’s Theatre/Dance Dept. puts on a children’s touring show. While the auditions are held the same semester as the performances, the process begins long before. Nine months before the tour leaves UW-Whitewater elementary schools are petitioned to become a stop for the show. They are sent letters explaining the show and what sort of moral lessons may be learned by it. Once the schools confirm they are interested to show the tour they are sent a study guide with everything from coloring pages to vocabulary and fill in the blank. The week before the tour is set to depart from UW-Whitewater the cast puts on a show at the University for local families and fellow students.

This season’s children’s tour is Aladdin:  the classic story of a young boy and his magic genie! When Aladdin is tricked into finding a magic lamp, he finds a genie inside, and soon is able to wish for anything he wants. However, his only real desire is to marry the Princess. Will Aladdin be able to use the power of his genie friend to impress the Sultan and win the heart of the Princess? Or will an evil magician destroy Aladdin’s plans and marry the princess himself?

There is a public performance with tickets available at the door in Arrowhead High School on Saturday Nov 3 at 1 or 3. Share in the magic of the lamp before it, like the genie, disappears in a puff of smoke!


Mother. . . . . . . . . . .Stephanie Ruch
Sultana. . . . . . . . . . .Lauren Goggins
Amber. . . . . . . . . . .Jacqueline Boelkow
Sultan. . . . . . . . . . .Logan Bydalek
Magician. . . . . . . . . . .Kyle Higgins
Tareye. . . . . . . . . . .Paul Trentadue
Tiger Lily. . . . . . . . . . .Grace Felion
Princess. . . . . . . . . . .Leah Wasylik
Genie. . . . . . . . . . .Jacqueline Dunderdale
Aladdin. . . . . . . . . . .Tim Janikowski

Production Team:
Director: Skip Grover
Stage Manager: Alexi Strullmyer
Costume Designer: Julia Boarini
Lighting Designer: Sean Jensen
Set Designer: Eric Appleton
Sound Designer: Thad Kraus
Props: Krissy Fisher
Technical Director: Steve Chene

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!

Show number two of this year’s Summeround season is off-Broadway’s second longest running musical, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. We interviewed cast member Madison McCarthy and lighting designer Lexie Strullmyer to get an inside look on working with theatre in the round. Here’s what they had to say!

Madison McCarthy – Actress

How is it different performing in the round? Do you have a preference?

It is very different because you have an audience in every direction. It’s a lot harder than a proscenium but I think it’s a great experience, for the actors and the audience.

Favorite moment of the show?

My favorite moment of the show would have to be when Peter Brian Kelly and Zachary Kunde dress up as pizza hut delivery men and sing in a ridiculous Italian accent. We actually took the line “We Love-a dis guy name Ken.” and put it on the back of our shirts. It’s a great scene over all full of fun and chaos.

a scene from I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

Why should people come see I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change?

I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a great comedy. Filled with relationship issues such as first dates, weddings, babies, and falling in love. Everyone can   relate in some way to every part of the show. The acting and singing are fabulous and we have all really made the show over the top. That is what the show is all about after all. You learn so much about yourself and will be able to understand a little bit more about love in the process.

Lexie Strullmyer – Lighting Designer

What got you started in lighting design?

I started working on stage crew in high school, and I really liked (well…and still like) working as a light board operator. I worked really closely with our lighting designer and after a while I just started to like and understand the artistic side of lighting too. I started out helping him with small projects and designing for things like our acting class showcases. It’s something that has always felt natural to me and was fun too.

How do you create a lighting design? What’s your process?

 A design always starts with the script – what the script requires and what I picture while reading it. Next I discuss my ideas with the director and the other designers. It is important that everyone is on the same page so that all of the designs are successful. Once my idea is approved I begin to turn it into a usable design. This involves turning the picture in my head into lights for a scene on stage and requires a lot of visual research as well as some sketching/painting. Finally I create a light plot which physically makes the design work.

Were there any difficulties in designing for theatre in the round? How was your process different in designing for the round?

Designing in the round was a new challenge for me. Usually I would create a system of front light, down light, side light, etc. that makes a performer look good from the perspective of an audience member. In this case the audience is EVERYWHERE! The design process and actual design work the same. The difference is that I have to pay careful attention to how an actor will look from every angle.


I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change runs in the Hicklin Studio Theatre,  July 17-21 at 7:30 PM and July 22 at 2:00 PM. Don’t miss out on this fantastic show!

Videos from “She Stoops to Conquer”

What makes this show unique?

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What is your favorite line?

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What is your role?

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Stay tuned for 2 more videos.  And don’t miss “She Stoops to Conquer” performing April 24 – 28 at 7:30 pm in Barnett Theatre, Greenhill Center of the Arts.  Tickets can be purchased online or by calling Ticket Services at 262-472-2222, Monday – Friday 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.  Find out more on Facebook

DanceScapes ’12 – Behind the Scenes

A Sung Epic Story about Lust and Love


The Theatre/Dance Department and Department of Music is producing their tri-annual opera this semester,The Coronation of Poppea.  This opera’s theme, the power of love over mankind in all different forms and the power of lust is sure to capture your attention.  The opera will be performed February 26th at 2:00 p.m. and February 28th, March 1st, and March 3rd at 7:30 p.m.

This opera breaks down many misconceptions that people have about opera; being for the rich elite and in a different language.  These misconceptions were broken down by the director’s decisions. When approaching the production, stage director, Jim Butchart’s goal is to make it accessible and entertaining to the audience.  To accomplish this he, with the music director, Robert Gehrenbeck, chose to present it in English with the most modern translation available.  They also have used modern costumes but have given them Baroque touches to show that it takes place in that time period.  Even the instruments have a modern touch with the use of electric guitars.

The directors also choose to do this opera in particular because it breaks the other misconception that opera is always serious and/or boring.  This opera’s plot is all about lust.  “Lust for sex, lust for power, lust for knowledge, and even lust for death; making this opera very entertaining and even comical at points,” says Will Krieger.  These themes are easily relatable because it is human nature to have lust for people, objects, and intangible ideas as well.

So go out and see The Coronation of Poppea if you never have seen an opera before. It will be an opera that you will be able to follow along with, relate too, and have a couple of laughs

Dancescapes ’12 Entry

Take a look at Mackenzie Nilsen’s entry for Dancescapes ’12!

Dancer to Director

All of us in the Theatre/Dance department have to take classes that force us to step out of our comfort zone. For some it might be Acting One and for others it may be Contemporary Dance, for Kylee Flister (BFA Theatre Management and Promotions major with a Dance minor) it’s Directing. During this class students are asked to pick a short, roughly ten minute, scene to direct. Then the class holds two nights of open auditions in order to cast his/her scene. This semester the scenes will be presented December 4th and 6th at 7:00pm. Here is a look into Kylee’s scene.


What is your show and what is it about?

My show is called the Unwanted by Walter Wykes and is about a man who is trying to enter the dating world again after loosing his wife to suicide. It starts off with the male character, Dan approaching his date, Emma in his home. Things are going well before they get to the house but it changes because Dan cannot get his wife’s crude comments out of his head.

Why did you pick it?

I picked this play because, being a “new director” I wanted a play that embodied a full beginning, middle and end that would intrigue the audience and leave them questioning the motive of the main character. This is very present in this play because there is a constant question of “should I have sympathy for Dan or not”. Also, it touches on a very serious issue in today’s society, yet does so in a dark, humorous way.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge has been executing my ideas to the actors, mainly because I have never directed before and taking a vision and your head and putting it onstage is one thing, but putting it onstage well is where the challenge comes from.

What has been your directing process so far?

My directing process started out with a more lack-there-of, not intentionally but because I found it easier to let the actors play the character and move naturally during the scene, rather than try to explain what I want in my head. This worked well for the first few rehearsals when the actors were just becoming comfortable with the lines and the characters. Now that our scene is blocked and lines are memorized, I feel I can give more of a direction on where I want the play to go in the end. So I guess I gave more freedom in the beginning am now giving much more direction.

What have you learned about directing?

I have learned that I am not a director, nor do I intend to be but that its not an impossible thing to do. The key is having people that are willing to help and work with you to create a final product that we are all proud of.

Come support the student directors (and actors) December 4th and 6th! Admission is free so bring your friends!

World Premiere

The Edwin Booth Company Presents… written and directed by Angela Iannone has given students the opportunity to participate in a world premiere show. Click the link to watch the video The Edwin Booth Company Presents…

Three Days of Drama (The Good Kind)

Every year the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival is held at a UW campus and every other year it is UW-Whitewater’s turn to host. Students and professors alike are asked to volunteer their time and efforts to help with this massive event. The festival spans three days in which high schools throughout the state are invited to our campus to perform, learn, and observe theatre.

The Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival was established by the Alliance for Wisconsin Theatre Educators, the Wisconsin Forensics Association and the UW System Department of Continuing Education.  The festival revolves around 40 to 46 one act plays that have qualified to perform. There are also two full length plays called showcases, one scheduled for this year is The Phantom of the Opera. During the festival high school students can watch their peers perform or they can attend workshops.

There are several different workshops available for high school students and teachers to participate in. Each workshop focuses on an aspect of theatre and helps to enhance theatre education. This year’s line-up includes make-up, Salsa dancing, portfolio building, auditioning, stage combat, stage managing and many more. The workshops are often hands on with a qualified instructor.

So, who will be named Best Performer? Which high school will take home the title of Best Ensemble? Stop by the Center of the arts and see for yourself! The festival will be held November 17th-19th. One acts will be performed in Barnett Theatre and Light Recital Hall while showcases can be found in the Young Auditorium.

Additional information can be found at http://www.dcs.wisc.edu/lsa/theatre/hstf.htm.

Do the Set Design, Cinderella. Do the Painting, Cinderella.

As I recently found out in Introduction to Design, designing a set is tough. Even more difficult then taking in the considerations for a conventional set though, is creating one that can be loaded up into a truck and hauled off to various elementary schools in Southeastern Wisconsin. No one knows this better than Keenan Minogue a  BFA in Scenic Design and set designer for this year’s Theatre/Dance Department production of Cinderella! Cinderella!. I got a chance to observe Keenan while he worked on his set and get some insight into his design process. 

How did you begin your design process?

I of course began by reading the script multiple times. Even within the first few pages it was easy to see that this was not the “traditional” Cinderella we are used to. Thus it required a special attention to detail. The design had to maintain some aspects of the Cinderella story audiences have come to expect, yet still has to serve the script in a very apparent and practical way.

 What are your responsibilities as a designer?

My responsibilities can differ from show to show. Cinderella required me to produce a vartiety of technical drawings and renderings all meant to convey the design idea to the Technical Director and construction crew and scenic artist. Because painting has such a high impact on how a set works; set designers often aid in the painting of the set, as was the case with Cinderella! Cinderella!

How often are you in the scene shop working on the set, is it important to you to be a hands on designer?

I have been in the scene shop nearly every day since the construction began, even more so once the painting started. Painting is an especially important process in this set as it consists of mostly two dimensional flats.

Since Cinderella! Cinderella! is a traveling show, what did you have to consider during your design?

The fact that this show travels was a definite consideration in the design. When accounting for such things a designer must be careful not to let restrictions inhibit the creative process. I believe that this set makes the best of the travelling limitations. Through careful measurement, the entire set fits within the back of a truck!

 Which elements of design are most apparent in your set?

I believe size and value were the most apparent elements in this design. This is because all of the scenes incorporate what is called forced perspective in some form. Put simply, this technique creates a sense of depth through angles and shadow.

Did you have a design metaphor?

Regardless of the fact that this show is meant for a younger audience, there still remains a very important lesson to be learned. Thus, the set is meant to reflect the variance Cinderella’s experiences. Furthermore, it follows the more universally noticeable idea of “things are not as they are seem.” The set changes are an excellent example of this.

Are you designing any more shows in the future?

I’m not currently assigned to design any more this year. However, I work as a scenic artist for most of the productions every semester. It’s very likely that I will be designing again next year academic year.

Interested in seeing Keenan’s set design? Come see it before it hits the road! Cinderella! Cinderella! will be in Barnett Theatre on October 29, 2011 at 2:00pm. For tickets call (262) 472-2222, go to the box office in the Center of the Arts, or click this link to order online