Archives for posts with tag: Tony Wood

Martha Image


Hey everyone.


Tony Wood here, the Combat Theatre veteran and author of A Cudahy Caroler Christmas and Holiday Hell, as well as numerous short films and one-act plays. I’m seeking to collaborate with a composer to try and turn my new, full length play into a musical.


Martha and the Dark is a new, two-act fantasy written for young audiences. Inspired by Roald Dahl, The Wizard of Oz and The Phantom Tollbooth, it’s the story of a heroic girl setting out into the world to find her lost brother.  Accompanied by a handful of odd and outlandish characters, Martha has to save her brother before he becomes prisoner of the evil Administrator, a vile woman whose goal is to cover the entire Universe in The Dark.


Although light-hearted, funny and fatastical, at the heart of Martha and the Dark is a tale of loss, depression and addiction. And how we all need to turn to those we love to guide us through.


If interested, a sysnopsis can be supplied as well as the finished play. We can collaborate face-to-face, through the internet, or a little of both.


And of course, with any personal project—no money. Although I do have a relationship and three plays published with, the online play publishing company.


I would certainly split any future rights and residuals with the composer.


Interested? Email me at:





A new, live presentation of the sitcom Public TV will hit the Milwaukee ComedySportz Arena stage on Monday, November 21st at 7 pm!


From the warped and hilarious mind of Anthony Wood, creator of the hit Milwaukee holiday musical, A Cudahy Caroler Christmas, comes the comedy series about the uproarious goings-on at a local public television station.


The show, developed by Mr. Wood and his creative partner and wife, award winning filmmaker Claudia Looze, is based on their years working as freelance producers for Milwaukee Public TV. It follows the life of a young, naive producer as she starts her first days at the local PBS TV affiliate. The world of public television is not what she envisioned; as local Public TV is less about Downton Abbey and Nova, and more about sewing, yoga, model train collecting, pet care, pledge dives and hunting and fishing programs. We watch her hilariously deal with the bizarre personalities hosting the different shows she’s assigned to work on, and the mishaps that occur along the way.


The crew of the local station is also filled with oddball characters that include a production manager with severe sweat problems, a technical director with Tourette’s, a huge crew of doughnut loving technicians, and a handsome and witty producer who has vowed to make her his sworn enemy.  And let’s not forget Tim Conway!


The live reading, which will also be webcast worldwide, will be presented on the Arena Stage at ComedySportz, 420 S First Street in Milwaukee, at 7 pm. It will feature a cast of some of the Midwest’s finest acting talent, from American Player’s Theatre to First Stage Children’s Theatre, Next Act Theatre and ComedySportz. Notable names include Jim Pickering, Bo Johnson, Drew Brhel, Megan Kaminsky and Tim Higgins.


The show is free, first come first serve, with drinks and commiseration after the show in the ComedySportz Lounge.


Mr. Wood is available for interviews to chat more about the show and his creative history. Promotional materials and more info can be requested at:


Or call (608) 334-1980.


If interested, contact Tony at
Hey Jim;
I was wondering if you could put out the word on a project I’m involved with. A Milwaukee production company is producing 50 web videos for a large pizza company celebrating 50 years of pizza. We need 6 women between 25 and 45 years of age, all ethnicities. They are going to be very short, comedy pieces that I’m helping to write and direct. The dates are on and off between mid March and into late April or May.
If interested, they can email me head shots that I can pass along to the producer.
I have not been told what the fees are yet, but I’m sure he can let them know the details once they narrow down the choices.
Thank you, sir.
Tony Wood
Check out “Public TV”, the new comedy series written and created by Anthony Wood

Patrick Holland and Tony Wood are raising funds for a new film they are making. It’s called “The Strange Case Of My Sole.” It’s a bizarre, dark and hilarious tale about a man taken over by the power of a pair of boots. The film will shoot in Wisconsin and Chicago. It stars familiar Combat Theater regulars and alumni: Robert W. C. Kennedy, Angela Iannone, Sarah Sokolovic, Anthony Wood and Patrick Holland. They have a modest budget and are using IndieGoGo (kind of like Kickstarter) to raise funds. There are some really great perks for donating like: DVDs; Limited Edition Letterpress Posters; Advanced Screenings; etc. There are also some truly original perks: choose a song and Sarah Sokolovic will make a video singing it to you; Deacon Robert W. C. Kennedy will marry you; and a Beer & Cheese Tour with Tony & Patrick. Check out their pitch video that stars them and Zach Braff… well, kind of! Go to

Carte Blanche Stage Company presents stage adaptations of three episodes of the hilarious BBC sitcom FAWLTY TOWERS, created and immortalized by John Cleese. February 14 to March 3, 2013.

The ensemble Cast includes Tony Wood, Michelle White, James Dragolvich, Emily Craig, Chris B. Goode, Robert Zimmerman, Greg Ryan, Ed Barczynski, Margaret Casey, Teresa Drews, and Connor Zimmerman.

The troupe dramatizes three episodes, “A Touch of Class,” “Hotel Inspectors,” and “Communication Problems,  in the series is set in Fawlty Towers, a fictional hotel in the seaside town of Torquay, on the “English Riviera”. The plots center around tense, rude and put-upon owner Basil Fawlty (Tony Wood), his bossy wife Sybil (Michelle White), a comparatively normal chambermaid Polly (Emily Craig), and hapless Spanish waiter Manuel (James Dragolovich) and their attempts to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding and eccentric guests.

Performances are at Carte Blanche Studios, 1024 S 5th Street in Milwaukee on February 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, March 1 and 2 at 8:00 PM, and Sunday March 3 at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $20, and available online  at or call (414) 688-7313.

Kennedy as Bobby Galena 

Robert W.C. Kennedy is a man of many names.  The W.C. is a mystery to all but his closest friends and family, but his nicknames (all given with love) are well known: The Detective, The Department Store of Technique, The Golden Pharaoh, and of course, The Deacon.  And if you’ve been a patron of theatre in Milwaukee over the last decade or so, you’ve seen his work on any number of stages.

Master Kennedy been a huge part of the success of Bunny Gumbo having appeared in more Combat pieces than any other actor.  He’s also appeared in the Bunny Gumbo productions, ‘Losers’ portraying Kurt (a part that was written for him), and has the distinction of being the only actor to portray a part in all three plays of ‘Criminal Acts.’

Indeed, it’s hard not to run into Robert if you spend any time in Milwaukee.  He’s a lifelong patron of the Milwaukee Transit System, bartends at Irish Fest,  routinely shows up in short films made in the Cream City, and can occasionally be found supping at Real Chile with Bai Ling.  He’s a good guy to know, so let’s get to it.

Kennedy in Bialystock & Bloom’s production of “Search and Destroy” 

How did you first get involved in theatre?

My First Grade Thanksgiving pageant found me playing an apple. The producers admired how I peeled back the layers to get to the core of that character and cast me in the role of John F. Kennedy for some sort of patriotic revue that they were fond of in southern Indiana during the lead up to the U.S. Bicentennial celebration. (There is no way I was cast solely on name alone.) I enjoyed the chicks you got as JFK, and I was hooked. I played Bobby Shaftoe in “Babes in Toyland” a year or two after that, before taking a 10-year hiatus and moving north.

I didn’t take to the stage again until my senior year of high school, having spent the previous three primarily occupied with Dungeons & Dragons. During that year, I was in the chorus of “HMS Pinafore,” played Captain Ahab in a course stage version of “Moby Dick,” and Julius Caesar and others in the senior follies program.

I went off to college with big plans to major in anything but theatre.  I took one introductory course that covered all aspects of the theatre craft, from performance to the technical. When it came time for the final projects, my fellow students wanted to keep me far away from anything heavy or electric, and I was assigned the job of “actor.” So, I played the guy in a scene from “Same Time Next Year” while others did the important stuff.

The slightly older young woman playing opposite me wore a slip in the scene. I thought I might like to spend more time around women in their underwear, so I pulled a bit of a grift with the assistance of my older brother to secure one of the hard-to-get spots in an introduction to acting class. I still had no intention of taking this on as a major.

Kennedy in Skylight’s production of “The Music Man”

Well, it was just too much damn fun, and everyone seemed to appreciate me in that environment, including the instructor who suggested I audition for (what was then) the Acting Specialist program. I really wish I could remember what piece I auditioned with, but I found out much later that the conversation in the room after I left pretty much centered around “Does he always dress like that?” (Those who knew me then will understand…)

I guess I didn’t realize that I was actually taking Theatre and Drama on as a major, but that’s what happened. I didn’t have much ambition to take it on as a career though, so I grabbed a Communication Arts minor at the last minute (sometime into my fifth year…).

Kennedy as Deiter in Drew Brhel’s “Neibelungen-Lite”

The program eventually evolved into the Specialist In Acting Major (because the professor who took it over during my time liked being “the king of S.I.A.M.), and I re-auditioned for it every semester studying everything from Commedia del’Arte, circus skills, Kabuki and stage combat — they really tried to squeeze a lot of specialties into an undergraduate program. Anything but simple modern American scene study.

I was one of two members from my original class to finish the program.  The other one occasionally shows up Off-Broadway, in Coen Brothers movies and in multiple episodes of “Louis,” that Louis C.K. show.

Kennedy as Che in Michael Moynihan’s “Bang Bang, Gong Gong; The Re-education of Chuck Barris 

What’s did you go to school?

That grade school was St. Columba’s in Columbus, Indiana. I attended from first through fourth grade.

My next grade school was St. Sebastian’s in Milwaukee, in the area now called “Washington Heights.”

That high school was Marquette University High School. (I know what you’re thinking, but I worked in the kitchen to pay tuition.)

That college was the University of Wisconsin — Madison. I worked with rhesus macaques at the Harlow Primate Lab to fund that degree.

Kennedy as Brad Pit in Randy Rehberg’s “A Clean Sweep”

You’ve bounced around a bit.  Where did you grow up?

Born in Columbus, Indiana, which is a lot more like Kentucky than Indiana, although a county or two too north to be “Kentuckiana” proper. It’s the home of shoe genius Chuck Taylor, Ross and Don Barbour (of the Four Freshman, of course) and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. It’s also the architectural capital of the Midwest.  Seriously, ask an architect.

I moved to Milwaukee between fourth and fifth grade. I was in Madison for five years of higher education, with a brief stint in The Philippines, and have been back in Milwaukee since 1991.

Kennedy as Tony Soprano in Patrick Holland’s “Holy Big Pussy, Batman”

What was your first professional gig?

Live Bait Theatricals (associated with Live Bait Theatre in Chicago) produced a play called “Girls! Girls! Girls! Live On Stage, Totally Rude.” I played a sleazy strip club comedian, and I think we were paid $100 per week for four shows at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. It ran for about two-and-a-half months, until one of the cast members broke his leg rehearsing for another show. I had long hair then, and got my first favorable reviews in a major newspaper. That’s about all I remember about it.

Kennedy in Live Bait Theatrical’s production of “Girls! Girls! Girls! Live On Stage, Totally Rude”

Tell us about your upcoming performance in Ireland.

I’ll be brief, because I don’t want to jinx anything.

I’m playing the role of Nathanial Yeshov, a Russian-Chinese from Brooklyn, in Sebastian Barry’s “White Woman Street.” Milwaukee Irish Arts is producing this piece as part of the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival, which is being held at Axis-Ballymun in northern Dublin this year.

I’ve performed in this festival in Chicago, Toronto and Rochester, New York. I did a one-man, hour-long monologue about the  Euro ‘88 Cup and other matters at Irish Fest for this organization.

The play is sort of a Western that takes place in Ohio in 1916. Nathaniel is part of a group of outlaws planning to rob an army train. I have an insane beard. I have an accent. I have a bowie knife. I have a Colt revolver. We ride horses. We get covered in steam during a train robbery.

And they’re flying us out and putting us up in Dublin for a week for this thing.

I’ll stop now before I have to wipe my monitor and keyboard off.

Ask me about it after May 20… It’s gonna be cool!

Kennedy as Nathanial Yeshov in Sebastian Barry’s “White Woman Street” 

Robert has returned since I originally interviewed him and he has this to add:

Looking back at what I wrote in response to this question before we opened that show, it’s hard to believe that the experience could possibly have exceeded my lofty expectations. But it did.

We certainly saved our best performance for the festival, and it’s a good thing we did. We had the Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague in the audience. He loved it and even tweeted about it. There was spontaneous audience applause during one particularly “complicated” moment in the script, and a standing ovation followed. Pretty much everything you can hope for during a critical performance.

The show was so different from what they usually have at this festival that we were kind of media darlings over there, getting interviewed on RTE Radio 1 and getting our picture on the cover of The Irish Times.

We walked away with a nomination for best production (getting edged out by a well-deserving production of “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me” from Calgary). And one of our cast won Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The festival participants, the hotel staff and the Ballymum neighborhood treated us like visiting royalty. And the camaraderie of the cast was epic.

The whole experience had a pretty profound effect on me. I took a little side trip to Belfast, and I remember thinking on the train up there that I might actually be achieving the best life for which anyone such as I could really hope. And the funny thing is that this all happened because I participate in this often-thankless hobby. I’m not even doing this for a living and here I am reaping a reward greater than anything money could buy.

It made me question my notions of commercial theatre, the role of performing arts in society, and my whole purpose in “the great hidden scheme.” Yep. Pretty deep thoughts between all of that Guinness and whiskey. Don’t ever ask me about it again; it will bore you to tears.”

Kennedy and the cast of “White Woman Street”

Do you have a favorite venue in Milwaukee?

It’s like a 20-way tie. Every space has its own little quirks, its limitations, and its charms. I fondly recall water bottles backstage at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts freezing in winter; all of the chaotic cafes and bars I performed in with Inertia Ensemble; the Boulevard Theatre back when the only commercial operation for miles of Kinnikinnic was the Big Beer Bar; the unsurpassable backdrops of the courtyard, lake, and grand hall of the Villa Terrace; and my mansion-away-from-home at the Brumbder. And there is nothing like the exercise in focus that is the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, with dancers stomping above you and pipers droning away next door. But they do have that great pub…

Oh, I suppose the Steimke, the old Off-Broadway, and the spaces at the Broadway Theatre Center are nice too. There just a little “refined” for my tastes.

And there is one little acoustically perfect spot on the main stage at UWM that is killer! (Anyone who has performed there knows what I’m talking about.)

Kennedy as Father in Tony Woods’ “Flaming Feet”

Why Milwaukee?

As I always say: “It’s a great base of operations.” I can live here affordably — damn-near opulently — and yet still get anywhere in the world without much hassle.

In the summer months, I hardly think there is a more entertaining place to live. And I’ve been a few places. If you have trouble finding something to do, you simply aren’t looking.

This goes the same for the other nine months out of the year. Just a few weeks back, I was trying to figure out how I was going to see and do everything that I wanted to with rehearsals, performances and this upcoming trip. I realized that there was just no way I could squeeze in everything that was being offered to me.

Whenever I hear someone say “there’s nothing to do in Milwaukee,” I laugh. And I cry. Because I know that person is lame.  I read this in some musician’s interview recently, and I couldn’t agree more: “There are two kinds of people who hate Milwaukee. Those who have never been here. And those who have never left.” (Sure it gets cold. Grow a pair, ya’ pussies!)

Kennedy as Brett Michaels in Tom Dillon’s “The All Access Pass to My Heart”

Has there been a favorite gig?

I’ve learned something from every single one, so I’m hesitant to even start listing them. I remember starting to put together a top 10 list for some reason several years ago, and it just kept growing and growing. I’m fickle.

I’ve enjoyed so many Combat experiences because of the people with whom I’ve had a chance to work and the roles in which I would never be cast anywhere else. But you don’t really live with those pieces long enough for them to stick with you in any deep, emotional way. Of course, the sumo wrestling / rodeo clown piece was memorable.

Kennedy as Siomoto in Tony Woods’ “Yipee-Kai-Yay-Yokihama”

Yeah, I’m not even going to start going into the productions I have done with different companies in the area because I simply cannot list how many good times I have had in Milwaukee theatre, and it would be unfair to leave any out. Even though they haven’t all been life-changing experiences, I can honestly say there isn’t a single gig that I regret doing. I even enjoyed the camaraderie aspect of traveling around to hotel conference centers throughout Wisconsin doing murder mysteries for corporate parties. The “theatre” wasn’t so memorable, but the friendships are.

But since this is a Bunny Gumbo interview, I don’t think I’m playing favorites in mentioning “Losers.” And anyone who saw it will know I’m not pandering either. That was just a solid production all around. Who doesn’t like working with their favorite performers and best friends on meaningful content in a collaborative environment with overwhelmingly successful results? Maybe there are people out there who didn‘t think that show was something special, but I haven’t met them yet.

And I guess I’ll always have a soft spot for that one-man production of “In High Germany” I did at Irish Fest a few years back. Only two performances of a monologue, basically about soccer, but my father got a chance to see it and later said it was the first time he realized how really good I was at this stuff. Critics, audiences and directors can say what they want about me from that point forward. I ain’t even hearin’ it.

Kennedy as Kurt in James Fletcher’s “Losers”

Has there ever been a gig that scared you?

They’re all pretty scary if we stop and think about them too long — and maybe this one is just coming to mind because it was so recent — but I had nightmares about that goddamn train scene in The Music Man. It became one of those things I looked forward to doing every night and wanted to do again the moment it was over, but there was just such potential for disaster, me being the only non-musical theatre person in the bunch. My natural rhythms are just not of the Meredith Wilson middle-America type. But it was such a rush as it took off each time and barreled forward, taking everything in its path with it. And when it was on, it was so on. The audience loved it and people still give me credit for being a part of that. While I’m usually pretty humble, I’ll take all the kudos I can get for living through that one. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, sit bolt upright in bed and scream, “No it ain’t. No it ain’t. But you gotta know the territory!” The horror, The horror…

Kennedy as Lionel in John Van Slyke’s “Sweet Smell of Silence”

Any dream roles out there?

Nah. I don’t read enough dramatic literature to know what is available out there, and I can’t look at any individual performance and say “I’d really like to give that a shot some day.” There are shows I’d like to be in, sure, but I’d probably be totally inappropriate for them. I try to just take what is offered to me and make it my own. I’m not setting out to define any character or put my stamp on anything. And I guess when I become aware of or see someone else tackling a really challenging role I just think “Good for him. Looks like a lot of work.” I think I try to treat whatever role I’m working on as “the one I’ve been preparing for all this time.” I think I’d get depressed if I was always thinking that a better role was coming after this one. That sounds a little counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?

Kennedy as Van in Randy Rehberg’s “Fangs for the Memories”

What’s your day job?

I’m a corporate communications specialist, responsible for internal communications at an area utility company employing approximately 4,700 people. My role is to engage a diverse workforce in the organization’s mission, to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in providing essential energy services to our customers.

I didn’t just pull that off of a job description. That’s actually what I do. I ask questions. I conduct interviews. I research projects and I research technologies. I teach. I do a lot of writing. I examine challenges and try to come up with the simplest solutions to barriers of understanding. And I go to too many meetings.

If all works out, employees understand what their company is doing, how they contribute to it, and they want to do it better. And when a customer flicks a switch and a light goes on, they don’t ever have to think about the small miracle that we just made happen.

The Deacon will be escaping this weekend to join Bunny Gumbo for another round of Combat Theatre.  For more info go to: Bunny Gumbo

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.


Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents

A Montgomery Davis Play Development Series staged reading


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

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

Get your Combat on!

It only comes around twice a year.  Your chance to get your fill of Combat madness is this weekend.

8 writers, 8 directors, 35 actors and 1 pianist coming together to create 16 new shows over the course of 48 hours.

The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company presents Combat Theatre

Friday and Saturday, June 1st and 2nd at 8:00 pm

The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC)

325 W. Walnut St. (on the corner of Walnut and MLK Drive)

Tickets are $18 and available at the door only

We do it because we can!

Ah, the holidays.  Shopping, food, drink, travelling, family, friends, office parties, football…and heartburn, lots and lots of heartburn.  That time between Thanksgiving and the New Year seems to fly by and sometimes we forget to simply take some time to relax and be entertained.  So in the spirit of giving, we wish to give you an evening of pure entertainment.


The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Company proudly presents The Best of Combat Theatre…so far!  One night, and one night only, you can revisit 8 of the best plays from the last decade.  8 gifts which will be presented one last time before they are put away forever.


The Cowboy by Patrick Holland

Desperately Seeking Septums by Michelle Hoffman

Heartbeats and Hoofbeats by Jim Thibodeau

Love Bites by Doug Jarecki

Pee Wee’s Fan Adventure by Randy Rehberg

So-So Sorenson Saves the Day by John Van Slyke

To Pee or Not to Pee by Julie Pandl

Triumph of the Still by Tony Wood


Saturday, December 17th at 8:00 pm

The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC)

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

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


In addition to this fine evening of entertainment there will be many items up for grabs at our silent auction, so bring your checkbooks.


Bunny Gumbo; we do it because we can!