Archives for posts with tag: James Fletcher

The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company in association with The Waukesha Civic Theatre is looking for young performers to participate in Combat Boot Camp: an evening of short plays written, directed and acted within 48 hours.  The time commitment is Friday, January 5 from 5-10 pm, and Saturday, January 6 from 10 am until 9:30 pm.  Performers must not have graduated high school as of yet and must be at least 13 years old.  There is no cost to take part in this program.  There are only a few slots left so act soon.  Sorry, but the writing and directing slots have already been filled.

Contact James Fletcher at


Artist tickets are available for all remaining shows of ‘Twas The Month Before Christmas, including tonight’s 7:30 performance.  Come on out and get some Christmas cheer!

For more information, click here: ‘Twas the Month Before Christmas

Come see these three Wise Guys in Doug Jarecki’s delightful Christmas play.

“Twas the Night Before Christmas runs December 15th through the 23rd at Next Act.  More info can be found here:

Oh, and Sara’s in it too.

And remember, $10 artist tickets are available for all shows.

Directed by James Fletcher

Featuring John Cramer, Lindsey Gagliano, Doug Jarecki, Mithch Weindorf and Sara Zientek

We’ve put the whole gang back together again for this fabulous show.  Two weeks only, December 15 through December 23.  Get on it, tickets are selling fast.

‘Twas the Month Before Christmas by Doug Jarecki

Directed by James Fletcher

with John Cramer, Lindsey Gagliano, Doug Jarecki, Mitch Weindorf and Sara Zientek

For more info and ticket reservations:



Hey friends, we just opened a marvelously entertaining new rendition of Robin Hood which is playing at the Todd Wehr Theatre and we’ve got a PWYC this Tuesday, February 20th,  at 7:00pm.–Events/2016-17-Season/Robin-Hood/?gclid=CjwKEAiAxKrFBRDm25f60OegtwwSJABgEC-ZM_QAA-l_Z9LC7NoipW1QFgeFriksR_wOao-3brhLEhoCF4jw_wcB



First Stage Theater Academy’s Classical Company Class Presents:
The Merchant of Venice
By William Shakespeare

Jim Fletcher, Director
Ro Spice-Kopischke, Assistant Director

What must one risk for love? For fortune? For friendship? And what is the cost of risking such things? Set in the highly polarized world of sixteenth century Venice, Shakespeare gives us no easy answers. How does one find justice in such a world where everyone is culpable? The questions Shakespeare posed four hundred years ago, are sadly ones we still face today.

Performance Dates:

Friday, August 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Admission is free! Come out to support the hard work of these incredible young performers!

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Our writers are already hard at work to create tomorrow evening’s shows.  They’ve picked their subjects and locations and they’ve got about 12 hours to write a play over night.  The actors and directors get another 12 hours to stage these new plays and then we put them up in front of a live audience. After the show is over we do it again…with less time.  That’s insane!


The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company presents Combat Theatre XXX.

8 Writers

8 Directors

30 Actors

1 Costume


Friday and Saturday, June 17th and 18th at 8:00 pm

The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC)

325 W. Walnut Street (on the corner of Walnut and Dr. MLK Jr. Drive)

Tickets are $18 available at the door only

Or buy the weekend package for $32

Bunny Gumbo: we do it because we can!


“Bell and Bliss,” a new play

Sunday, June 12 @ 4:30 pm and Monday, June 13 @ 7:30pm


Five-O-Eight Studio presents “Bell and Bliss,” a new play written by Fly Steffens and directed by Rebecca Holderness.

“Bell and Bliss” is set in the sweltering Washington, D.C., summer of 1881. President James Abram Garfield lies dying behind a curtain in the White House — Charles Guiteau has buried a bullet deep in the president’s belly, and Dr. D. Willard Bliss is trying desperately to find it. Enter Alexander Graham Bell, overwhelmed and exhausted by the success of his revolutionary telephone.

Both men seek greatness: for Bell, an invention that will redefine his success as a scientist; for Bliss, to be the ultimate medical savior of the nation. As Garfield slowly succumbs to sepsis, their failed attempts to save him fully charge the motivations of Bell’s assistant, Charles Sumner Tainter, as what he hears from Bell’s machine suggests what they’re searching for may not be a piece of lead.

The play is inspired by historical and primary resource materials that include not only the personal journals and letters of the titular characters, but also visceral artifacts such as President Garfield’s spine and the bullet that wounded him. The playwright interacted with these primary resources at institutions including the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and the National Museum of Health and Medicine, among others.

The development of “Bell and Bliss” is made possible by a grant from the UWM Graduate School and support from Spooky Action Theatre, Washington, D.C.

Bell and Bliss
Written by Fly Steffens
Directed by Rebecca HoldernessFor Two performances only:
June 12th at 4:30pm, and June 13th at 7:30pm.

Admission is free. The show is being staged at the studio theater on 1915 E Kenilworth Place

Join the Playwright and Director for a workshop on responding to historical artifacts, documents, and ephemera:

An Artist’s View of History: creating from Primary Sources
Tuesday, June 14th at 6:00pm
Hosted by:
Max Yela, Head of Special Collections
Rebecca Littman, Head of the UWM Music Library

Golda Meir Library, Special Collections: 4th Floor
2311 East Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53211

Artist Bios:
Fly Steffens – playwright

Fly Steffens is a playwright, dramaturg, and musician. Fly received her BA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from Peck School of the Arts, where she was also an Associate Instructor of Theatre before traveling across the United States on foot and bicycle. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Generative Dramaturgy at the University of Arizona in Tucson. As an artist and an educator, Fly has worked with Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, The Alchemist Theatre, Playhouse on the Square (Memphis, TN), Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA), Spooky Action Theater (Washington, DC) and The Drama League (NYC), among others. Fly is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Rebecca Holderness – Director

Rebecca Holderness is an artist whose work has been acclaimed as passionate, physically compelling and visually beautiful. In 2013, Professor Holderness was named a Zelda Fichandler Award finalist for her invigoration of Milwaukee Theatre. She most recently directed King Lear at Shakespeare and Company, The Last of the Whyos, The Wedding Dress, Kafka on the Shore, and Einstein’s Dreams at Spooky Action (Washington, DC), and Ruined at Burning Coal (North Carolina). The Battery Factory, an arts accelerator located in Milwaukee, is her ongoing passion. Working as a director, choreographer, producer and professor, Holderness has been associated with Lincoln Center Theater and Institute, The Public Theater and Joes Pub, The Culture Project, 45Bleeker, TheaterTweed/Ohio Theater, Julliard, and her own company in NYC, Burning Coal Theater, NC, Spooky Action, DC, and The Choregies D’Orange in France. Directing at UWM includes Les Liaisons dangereuses, Hayfever, 1001, Of Mice and Men, Ghost by Zakiyyah Alexander, Mr. Melancholy, Einstein’s Dreams, and From These Green Heights. Plays and Musicals created in process include The Road North and Meet Me at The Avant Garde at UWM, and More than 16 Kisses at The Drama League in NYC. Rebecca was script consultant and director for the national tour of The Clothesline Muse in 2015.

James Fletcher, (Alexander Graham Bell)
Fletcher is a theatre professional who wears many hats in the city of Milwaukee. After receiving his MFA in acting from the Professional Theatre Training Program at UW-Milwaukee, he headed west to Los Angeles for a few years. There he was a member of The Sacred Fools Theatre Company and had his play, The Big Schlep produced. Upon moving back to Milwaukee, he started The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company and serves as its Artistic Director. Later this month Bunny Gumbo will produce its 30th incarnation of Combat Theatre. Directing credits include Bye Bye Baby, Losers, ‘Twas The Month Before Christmas, Our Country’s Good, The Lark, Two Shakesperean Actors, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Hamlet, and this summer he will be directing First Stage’s Company Class in The Merchant of Venice. Fletcher’s plays include Losers, More Losers, Give Until It Hurts, Blue Stella, Sweet Dreams and his latest endeavor, The Four Hamlets. He teaches everything from movement to Shakespeare, is a Certified Actor/Combatant who has designed fights for many of the theatres in Milwaukee, but is not a singer. He can carry a tune, sure, but not a show. Fletcher is an ardent supporter of new works of theatre, and as such, is delighted to be participating in this stage of a new play.

Elliott Bales, (Dr. D Willard Bliss/Charles Guiteau)
Elliott Bales works as a theater and film actor based out of Washington DC. Most recently he appeared as Egeus in A Midsummer Nights Dream at Folger Theater. Other recent theater credits include: Theater Alliance – SFC Miles in Occupied Territories (2016 Helen Hayes Award Nomination – Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Play) and Victor/Argument in The Wonderful World of Dissocia (2015 Helen Hayes Award – Outstanding Play, Outstanding Ensemble Nominee); Compass Rose Theater – Sir in Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd; 1st Stage – Dr. Chumley in Harvey; The Welders: Frank Riley in Not Enuf Lifetimes and Mike Ritter in The Museum of Our Unforseen Tragedy; ); Unexpected Stage: Romeo in Romeo and Juliet: Love Knows No Age; Spooky Action Theater – Ruby in The Last of the Whyos;. EDUCATION: BA, Drama, Abilene Christian University; MS, Strategy, National War College. He served as a US Army Officer, retiring after 26 years of service. UPCOMING: This summer, Elliott can be seen as General Thomas Gage in Fox News Channel’s Legends and Lies: Patriots, and he will reprise the role of SFC Miles in Occupied Territories on Martha’s Vineyard.

Michael Kevin Darnall, (Charles Sumner Tainter)
Michael Kevin Darnall is an actor based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. He has performed at Constellation Theatre Company: Metamorphoses, The Fire and The Rain, Journey to the West; Round House Theatre: Father Comes Home From The Wars; Studio Theatre: Animal; Theater J: Yentl; Spooky Action Theater: Last of the Whyos (Helen Hayes nomination: Outstanding Lead Actor), The Wedding Dress, Optimism! or Voltaire’s Candide (Helen Hayes nomination: Outstanding Ensemble); The Hub Theatre (Company Member): Failure: A Love Story (Helen Hayes nominations: Outstanding Supporting Actor, Outstanding Ensemble), Big Love; MetroStage: Savage in Limbo, The Sand Storm. Upcoming: Jitney at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Television: HBO’s The Wire. Michael has a BFA in Acting from SUNY Purchase—Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

With Scenic and Properties Design by Vicki Davis

Vicki R. Davis is a freelance Designer based in New York. Her work has been nominated for the 2015 Henry Hewes and the 2016 Helen Hayes Design Awards. Recent projects include scenery for the Mint’s Women Without Men which received multiple 2016 Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Nominations. Select Off Broadway credits include: The Mint’s The Fatal Weakness, Katie Roche, Rutherford and Son, Temporal Powers, Wife to James Whelan, The Fifth Column, for Folksbiene: Shpiel, Shpiel, Shpiel, Pirates of Penzance, Songs of Paradise, Yoshke Muzicant, Adobe’s Meanwhile…On the Other Side of Mount Vesuvius, LaMAMA’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, ‘Til The Rapture Comes, The Occupation, Slasher, Out To Lunch and Relative Values. Projects for HB Studio, Lincoln Center Institute, The Ontological, Henry Street Settlement, Kings County Shakespeare, Bronx Opera, Bel Canto Opera, Playhouse 91.
Her set design for Of Mice and Men was most recently seen at Manitoba Opera, Austin Opera and Tulsa Opera. Regional companies include Laguna Playhouse, Arena Stage, The Alliance, Milwaukee Rep., Dallas Theater Center, Spooky Action, Starlight Kansas City, Madison Rep., The Barter, Capital Rep., Passages, Georgia Shakespeare, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Utah Opera, Kansas City Opera, Omaha Opera, Theater of the Stars, Boston Lyric Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, and Music Theater North. The recipient of a TCG/NEA Design Fellowship, Thomas S. Kenan Institute Breathe Grant, she is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.


After entering World War II, two female aviator units were formed and more than 1,000 women participated as civilians attached to the U.S. Army Air Forces. In August 1943, they merged into a single group, forming the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. One year later, the WASPs were disbanded due to political pressures and the increasing availability of male pilots. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

After entering World War II, two female aviator units were formed and more than 1,000 women participated as civilians attached to the U.S. Army Air Forces. In August 1943, they merged into a single group, forming the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. One year later, the WASPs were disbanded due to political pressures and the increasing availability of male pilots. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Everyone always waits until the last week to see a show in this town.  Well it’s the last week for this show.  $10 artist tickets are available for all shows including the 1:00 matinee tomorrow (Wednesday, April 20th)  Do it!


“President Roosevelt speaks of every American’s rendezvous with destiny… he was not thinking only of American men but the women who serve – and those women are you.”


During World War II, an elite group of female pilots became pioneers, heroes, and role models. They were the Women Air Force Service Pilots; the first American women to fly military aircraft.

Their biggest battles were fought on the ground; the women struggled daily with sexual harassment, discrimination, and sabotage. Based on real incidents, the play tells the story of four of these young women, and the cost of their commitment and patriotism.

The performance run time is approximately 120 minutes.

Wednesday, 1:00 and 7:30

Thursday, 7:30

Friday, 7:30

Saturday, 4:00

Sunday, 2:00