Archives for posts with tag: Katie Cummings

 

Pink Umbrella is going to do some great things for the city of Milwaukee. Get on board!

Fletcher

 

Accessible theatre for individuals who identify with a physical, intellectual or emotional disability.

 

Summer Class Registration Open

 

Pink Umbrella Theater is a safe and structured learning environment where people of all abilities are welcome. Its focus is on people in our community who have, or who identify with, intellectual, physical or emotional disabilities.  All classes, workshops and events will be held at the Plymouth United Church of Christ, at 2717 E. Hampshire Street, Milwaukee.

 

Musical Theater Classes for Adults 18+

Musical Theater is the art of combining singing, dancing and acting and this class develops each of those skills. Actors will create dynamic characters, explore dance technique and find their voice through a variety of theater exercises.  The cost is $50.00 for a total of 4 sessions, which take place every Tuesday from June 4 to June 25, 2019, from 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm.

 

Musical Classes and Performance for Students Ages 8-17

Students ages 8-17 will engage in a 10-week course in Musical Performance, taking inspiration from our favorite Broadway shows. Students will learn to sing, dance and act at the same time. This course will result in a performance opportunity on August 28. There will be a Meet & Greet on June 5 for both parents and students. The cost for this summer program is $200.00, for a total of 10 sessions. Class will meet every Wednesday from June 12 to August 28, 2019 (no class July 3 and August 14), from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Plymouth UCC.

 

Improvisation Classes for Adults 18+

In this class, we will form an ensemble that makes up stories together by listening to each other and saying “Yes, and…” We’ll play games that encourage our imagination, create new characters, together and most importantly, laugh. This class results in a presentation on our final day for friends and family. The cost is $50.00 for a total of 4 sessions, which take place every Tuesday from July 9 to July 30, 2019, from 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm.

 

Acting 101 Classes for Adults 18+

Through theater exercises and scene work, actors will gain a better understanding of self, enhance technique and engage the imagination. This class is a collaborative and creative way to explore the art of acting. Cost is $50.00 for a total of 4 sessions, which take place every Tuesday from August 6 to August 27, 2019, from 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm.

 

Movement for the Actor Workshop for Adults 18+

Join Karen Estrada for a workshop focused on movement for the actor. Being more flexible, reducing tension and learning to tell a story using your body creates a language all its own. Students in this class will learn new ways to express yourself through body language, become more expressive and create character. The cost $15.00 per workshop; two workshops are planned for June 17, 2019 and July 29, 2019, from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm.

 

Shakespeare Workshop for Adults 18+

Our goal is to demystify Shakespeare’s 400-year-old words and show why his works are as relevant today as they were in Elizabethan England. Jim Fletcher and Kayla Tillisch lead this exciting two-part workshop. The cost is $25.00 for two sessions on Monday, July 15, 2019 and July 22, 2019, from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. A single-session workshop is also scheduled for August 26, from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm, for $15.00.

 

FREE Playwriting Workshops for All

Whether you are new or returning participant, Jim Fletcher will guide you through exercises that inspire stories of strength, resiliency and accessibility. Family members and caregivers are welcome. Open to all ages and abilities. Workshops are scheduled for June 3, July 8 and August 5 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

 

FREE Meet & Greet Events for All
Curious about Pink Umbrella Theater or an upcoming class or workshop? Join us for an open house to meet the teaching artists and members of the company on June 10 and August 12 from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.

 

Register today at www.pinkumbrellatheater.org


Over the course of the thirteen years we have been producing Combat Theatre, there are any number of the plays produced that have deserved attention and a life outside of the single night they were produced.Certainly one of the highlights of all those productions was Patrick Holland’s The Cowboy.  Patrick’s play has been published in The Best American Short Plays 2011-2012 along with the likes of plays by such hacks as John Guare.  Well done, Master Holland!

Fletcher

Hey Fletcher,

 

Well the book is out! It’s so weird to me to see “The Cowboy” published especially in this particular anthology. I keep flashing back to writing it at three in the morning at a Starbucks for Combat! But I am so grateful to everyone from Combat. Without your support, this play would have never been written. And what a wonderful acknowledgement of the work we all do than to have it included in the “The Best American Short Plays Of 2011-2012.”

 

For the anthology William Demastes, the editor, wrote this about “The Cowboy”:

“The Cowboy by Patrick Holland is haunting in its own way. The work is perfectly crafted to present a collection of improbabilities leading to a fantastic accident that generates the feeling that the accident was no accident at all. The messy lives of three women come together in an unexpectedly appropriate manner, overseen by the silent hand of a character known as the Cowboy, begging the question: What forces lie beneath daily events beyond our control and even understanding?

Preview the first few pages:

But it on Amazon:


 


I’m very much looking forward to hearing this play and can use all the feedback I can get.  And Katie’s put a delightful cast together for the reading.  And it’s free!

Fletcher

Milwaukee, WI …True to its mission to nurture local artists, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) presents the Montgomery Davis Play Development Series staged reading of MORE LOSERS, by Milwaukee-based playwright James Fletcher

An unemployed and depressed dreamer, a barista with writer’s block, a young woman looking for love through sex, a simple man searching for understanding.  Four tales of people marginalized by society.  You’ll need to walk a few miles in their shoes before you label them “losers.”

Playwright James Fletcher is also the co-founder and artistic director of Milwaukee’s Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company, which produced his play LOSERS in 2007. MORE LOSERS continues the style and themes explored in LOSERS, giving patrons a glimpse into the lives of four more underdogs. Katie Cummings makes her MCT debut directing the new work featuring Alexandra Bonesho, Drew Brhel, Karen Estrada, Dan Katula, Emmitt Morgans.

MORE LOSERS  will be performed on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Skylight Bar & Bistro, located on the second level of the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.  Reading reservations are not required; seating is first-come, first-served. The reading is free of charge, with donations kindly accepted.  The Skylight Bar & Bistro will be open for dinner and refreshments beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Milwaukee Chamber Theatre at (414) 276-8842.


Milwaukee Chamber Theatre is doing a staged reading of one of my plays.  Katie Cummings is directing a stellar cast and I’d love your feedback.

Fletcher

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents

A Montgomery Davis Play Development Series staged reading

MORE LOSERS

by James Fletcher

Monday, September 17, 2012 – 7:30 p.m.

An unemployed and depressed dreamer, a barista with writer’s block, a young woman looking for love through sex, a simple man searching for understanding.  Four tales of people marginalized by society.  You’ll need to walk a few miles in their shoes before you label them “losers.”

Directed by Katie Cummings

Featuring Alexandra Bonesho, Karen Estrada, Dan Katula, Emmitt Morgans,  Anthony Wood

(Contains mature language and subject matter.)

BroadwayTheatreCenter’s Skylight Bar & Bistro

158 N. Broadway | Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward

Reading is free with donations kindly accepted. Seating is first-come, first-served.

The Skylight Bar & Bistro, operated by Indulge Wine Room, opens at 5:30 p.m. for dinner and refreshments.

For information, call 414.276.8842 or visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com


Rentmeester in The Triumph of the Still

Tami Rentmeester is one of the funniest actors I know.  She’s got the rare ability to send an audience over the edge with a single look.  She’s also got the guts to extend a pause further than it has a right to go.  It takes a special kind of actor to wait a gag out, let it get to that point where it’s not funny and the audience gets uncomfortable, go past the point where most actors break and give in and thus suffer the joke falling flat on its face.  Tami will wait until it’s funny again.  Then she’ll wait a little longer.  Then she’ll wait a bit longer until it’s hysterical.

As such, she’s a hot commodity at Combat.  Not that anyone has a choice, the actors are cast at random, but your day gets a little better when Tami’s in your play.  “Whether Tami is in a play of mine or not, she usually comes to mind during my writing process” says playwright John Van Slyke.  “She’s so versatile and fearless, Tami typically comes to mind for as at least one of the roles. And when she is picked for one of my plays, I know all will be well. Tami brings comfort with many exciting surprises.”

Rentmeester in Fiddler

She’s also a favorite amongst directors.  Katie Cummings has had the opportunity to work with her several times.  “Some of my favorite moments of Tami in Combat are her portrayal of  the madam in the whorehouse that Maclay was interviewing for PBS, playing Sesame Street’s Ernie in Patrick Hollands, “Scalp Those Muppets” and Floyd the Barber in Tony Woods “Triumph of the Still.”  Katie adds, “She’s genuine, she’s the real deal, she has the ability to transform into any character she chooses and she works hard.  Bottom line, she is beautiful inside and out and I can’t imagine doing a Combat without her.”

So who doesn’t like working with Tami?  Just one person: John Maclay.  “I don’t like being in scenes with Tami because she is really quite a bit funnier than I am and I don’t like getting shown up at Combat Theatre.  Each Combat morning I sit and pray that she will be cast across Bo Johnson or Doug Jarecki as she is also funnier than them.  And I have no problem with them getting shown up.”

So enough of the love, let’s have Tami speak for herself.

What first got you involved in theatre?

My folks used to take my brother & me to see the high school musicals when we were little, which is an inexpensive way to introduce your kid to the arts.  I saw Brigadoon when I was only about 4 years old and I was BIT.  HARD.  Plus, we had a ton of cast albums that I listened to all the time.  When I was 12 or 13, a friend’s mom was directing a children’s play for the local community group, and I was cast.  I never really stopped after that.  Weirdly, during high school, I was too chicken to audition for the school shows, but I was continuously doing community theater on the side.

Where did you grow up?

Greendale, Wisconsin.  Or, “The Bubble” as all residents between the ages of 13 and 19 refer to it.

Where did you go to school?
Greendale High School.  No college.  Well, a little bit of UW-Oshkosh for seasoning.  No theater/drama/acting school.  I got all that training in the trenches.

What was your first professional gig?

I was in the chorus of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” for Milwaukee Opera Company.  Which has since changed names a whole bunch of times and may not even exist anymore.  I think I made around $40 or $45.  Woot!  I did a few more shows for MOC, then some Music Under the Stars.  It was a while before I made much more than gas money.  But hey – at the time, $45 bucks filled my Horizon more than 3 times.

Why Milwaukee?

It’s just home.  I’ve never strayed, apart from a brief period travelling for regional stuff.  When I decided  a) It was time to stay in one place.  b) That place will not be New York; it just made sense to stay here.  I like it here.

The first time I met you was on the docks outside of Skylight (I was doing something in the other theatre and we were having a smokey treat).  What show were you doing then?

Ooooh, what was I doing?  I think it had to be A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  Mr. Bo Johnson was in that show, and I believe he is the one who introduced us.  I beat him up every night in Funny Thing.  And my wig was made of yak hair.  Awesome.

Michelle Smith, Bo Johnson and Tami Rentmeester in Forum

You’ve got a great singing voice, were you trained?

Yes, I was trained.  I started out lucky – just accidently sang correctly when belting out Loverboy’s “Get Lucky” album in the living room after school.  But I knew that in order to advance in musical theater I needed real training.  I studied classical technique privately with Patricia Nelson for several years.  I even did the regional Met Auditions.  Holy carp, that was terrifying.  But rewarding.  But seriously terrifying.

Rentmeester as the Fairy Queen in Skylight’s Iolanthe

You’re a great comedian, do you prefer comedy to drama?

I do.  I enjoy drama as well, but comedy’s just more fun.  (Duh)  Plus, I think I’m better at comedy.  I think I’m more believable in funny situations than dramatic ones.  (Or so I assume.  I know people who think I’m hilarious when I’m angry.  I hate them.)

What was your favorite gig?

Am I a brown-noser if I say Combat?  ‘Cause I love that.

Playing Fruma Sarah in Fiddler at the Skylight fulfilled a childhood dream.  I loved doing Honk! at Music Theatre of Wichita, being Ruth in Pirates of Penzance and Sr. Mary Hubert in Nunsense.  ONE real favorite?  Impossible.

Rentmeester in Honk

What was your scariest gig?

See above re: Met Audition.  Not really a gig though.  This:  Michael Wright cast me in “A My Name is Alice,” and he gave me a pretty sizeable monologue.  I was perfectly comfortable standing alone in the middle of the stage to sing.  But to TALK?  It was the first time I was expected to actually TALK that much.  Scared the crap out of me. (thank you for kicking my butt, Michael)

Is there a dream role out there?

I consider myself mostly retired now, so I doubt I’ll ever do it, but there was I time I would have hurt someone for the chance to play Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd.

What’s your day job?

I’m a secretary.  I get in trouble when I use that word, but I prefer it.

I’m officially Executive Administrative Assistant in Communications & PR and Assistant Vice President at Baird, a financial services company.  I really love it.

Besides Sheepshead, what else do you enjoy?

I read like it’s a sickness.  I’m such a book nerd that I set myself ridiculous reading challenges with spreadsheets to track & calculate how I’m doing.  It’s embarrassing.  Don’t tell anyone that.

Tami playing Sheepshead with the boys


It is that time of year – time to apply for teacher & TA positions for Summer Academy.  We would love to receive applications from qualified individuals who might be interested in working with us.  Instructions follow…

Theater Academy Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Summer sessions are full time Monday through Friday. Professional actor/educators interested in working as teachers should send a cover letter, resume, and sample lesson plan to Ken Williams, First Stage Theater Academy, 325 W. Walnut Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212 or e-mail to kwilliams@firststage.org. College students and recent graduates interested in teaching assistant positions should fill out the form found here, http://www.firststage.org/jobs/jobopportunities.asp


Welcome to City Anywhere, USA.  Oh it might be just a town or it might be a thriving metropolis.  Size doesn’t matter; not in this story.  Joy has left this city, at least for the women.  They go to work at unsatisfying jobs, to gyms as much to stave off  boredom as stay in shape, they stop at grocery stores to pick up meals for one and they go to clubs hoping to find a companion if only for a night.  And so goes their routines, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Yes, nothing much of anything happens here in Anywhere USA and no one seems to mind.  And time, it does seem to pass.  But there’s a warm wind blowing through the streets of Anywhere, and it’s bringing something with it.  The change is subtle at first, nothing more than a little dust blowing through the streets, hardly worth mentioning.  But then the tumbleweeds begin to roll through.  Strange as that may seem, the citizens of Anywhere take no note of the change, or at least most of them don’t.  Seems there are these three women, three women who have never met each other, Linda, Kim and Amanda, and they do indeed see what is happening.  All three of these women set out to find the source of this strange wind and find…

…The Cowboy!  Patrick Holland brings us the uplifting tale of a man who isn’t what he appears to be.  A man who has one mission; to bring joy to the women of Anywhere, USA.  The Cowboy strikes up a relationship with each of these women, opening up their minds and their hearts.  He brings bliss where all hope was lost.  But can it last?  What happens on the fateful day when they all run into each other?  Will they continue to live out their new lives, or will they go back to their old ways?  Or is it all some kind of joke?  The answer can only be found in one place and on one night.

The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company presents The Best of Combat Theatre…so far!
8 of the finest plays from the last decade.
Saturday, December 17th at 8:00 pm.
The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC)
325 W. Walnut Street, on the corner of Walnut and MLK Drive

Tickets for this benefit show are $25 and available at the door only.

Bunny Gumbo: We do it because we can.

For more info visit us at http://www.bunnygumbo.com


We’re getting close and we’re getting excited.  And when you take a look at who’s performing, you’ll get excited too.  Here’s the lineup:

Logan Adams, Diana Alioto, Libby Amato, Brad Bingheim, Drew Brhel, John Cramer, Katie Cummings, Leah Delaney, Kelly Doherty, Karen Estrada, Susan Fete, Donte Fitzgerald, James Fletcher,Reva Fox, Jeff Frank, Maretes Hein, Tim Higgins, Patrick Holland, Matt Huebsch, Angela Iannone, Pat Ivansek, Doug Jarecki, Bo Johnson, Allison Katula, Robert W.C. Kennedy, Joel Kopischke, Amie Losi, John Maclay, Brittany McDonald, Steve Midthun, Ed Morgan, Emmitt Morgans, Alan Piotrowicz, Nate Press, Diane Rector, Jazz Reed, Randy Rehberg, Tami Rentmeester, Brian Roloff, Cheryl Roloff, Jennifer Rupp, Shannon Sloan-Spice, Charles Sommers, Jeana Stillman, Ted Tyson, Jim Thibodeau, John Van Slyke, Matt Whitmore, Ken Williams, Rachel Williams, Tony Wood and Sara Zientek.

I’m all a tingle!

Friday and Saturday, June 3rd and 4th at 8:00 pm.  The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut.

Single night, $18, Weekend package, $30.

8 Writers, 8 Directors, 30 Actors

16 Plays in 48 Hours

We do it because we can!

http://www.bunnygumbo.com




Go see Little Women today!  March 5th, is in fact the last day you can see the show.  It is showing at MYAC (the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center) which is at 325 W. Walnut Street.  The shows tomorrow are at 3:30 and 7:00 pm.

For those of you who are not aware, these shows are cast from among the Young Company at First Stage.  In case this puts you off at all, these are not just good shows made up of teenagers, these are not just good shows made up of incredibly talented First Stage students, these are good shows period.  No, they dont have the budgets or the sets of the professional theatres in town, but in many cases they are much more entertaining, and such is the case here.  Katie Cummings has done a temendous job with this cast, and with $10 tickets you just can not go wrong. 

Support this great show!


First Stage Theater Academy’s Young Company presents

a musical version of the Louisa May Alcott classic

LITTLE WOMEN

Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott

Book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, music by Jason Howland

Directed by Katie Cummings

Music direction by Adam Baus 

Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St . , Milwaukee

March 4-5, 2011 

For everyone ages 10 and up. 

First Stage Theater Academy’s Young Company presents a musical version of the Louisa May Alcott classic LITTLE WOMEN, Friday March 4 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 5 at 3:30 and 7 p.m. at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St. in Milwaukee.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, and are available at the door one hour prior to the start of the performance.  First Stage subscribers receive free admission. 

The treasured classic comes to life on stage in this inspiring musical.  LITTLE WOMEN tells the story of the four March sisters as they grow up in Civil War America .  The sisters – brassy, tomboy-like, aspiring writer Jo; romantic Meg; pretentious Amy and kind-hearted Beth – tell a timeless story that deals with issues that are as relevant today as when they were written. 

Young Company members performing in LITTLE WOMEN are Eric Schabla (as Professor Bhaer), Kira Gaudynski (as Amy/Troll), Gretchen Mahkorn (as Meg/Clarissa) and Lisa-Marie Rieckhoff (as Aunt March/Mrs. Kirk) of Milwaukee; Rachel Schmeling (as Jo) of Brookfield; Laura Mesrobian (as Beth/Rodrigo 2) of Whitefish Bay; Allie Babich (as Marmee/Hag), Garret Kim (as Mr. Laurence/Knight) and Andrew Oppmann (as Mr. Brooke/Braxton) of Hartland; and Mitchell Bultman (as Laurie/Rodrigo) of Wauwatosa.  Stage Manager Laura Troshynski is also from Whitefish Bay . 

The Young Company is First Stage Theater Academy ’s advanced, pre-professional training program for students ages 15 and older.  Students receive advanced actor training in the form of coursework, master classes and performance in Young Company productions and New Play Workshops.  In 2010, Young Company members competed in the Utah Shakespearean Festival/Southern Utah University Shakespeare Competition in Cedar City , Utah .  The team of 15 students won First Place overall for its division, as well as placing First for its Ensemble Scene, First in Monologues and won the Larry Lott Award for Best Actor in an Ensemble.  The students participated alongside more than 2,500 young people from over 90 schools from Utah, Nevada, Arizona , California and Idaho .  First Stage teens traveled the farthest to participate in the competition

For more information on the Young Company or other programs of First Stage Theater Academy , call (414) 267-2970, email academy@FirstStage.org, or visit www.FirstStage.org/TheaterAcademy.