Archive for November 24, 2014

Theatre Gigante’s 2014 Holiday Newsletter

Thanks To All Our Friends And Supporters,

2014 Was A Magical Year

With gratitude, we look back on the year:

In January, Theatre Gigante rang in the new year with an informal performance of Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell at the new Gigante Studio, located at the Pitch Project, 706 S. 5th Street.  Artistic Directors Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson were joined on stage by Deborah Clifton and John Kishline, with Milwaukee’s well-known, well-loved actor Jim Pickering, in the part of “Celebrity Guest.”

The production then traveled to Grinnell College in Iowa, where Gigante completed a successful one-week residency, teaching and meeting with theater and dance students and faculty.  The lively week culminated in a performance of Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell, during which Grinnellians got the added pleasure of seeing their Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Sandy Moffett, as the “Celebrity Guest.”

The month of February brought about two productions:  Peter & the Wolf & the One Man Band, which traveled to schools through the Milwaukee Symphony ACE program; and Screwball Love – a tribute to the zany trials and tribulations of that thing called love – featuring Leslie Fitzwater, Bo Johnson, Rip Tenor, Alyssa Rhode, Tim Karth, Isabelle and Mark.  Mark also appeared at Chicago’s Links Hall, performing his monologue White Clown.

The artistic duo spent March sequestered away writing, and gave birth to another brand-new Gigante piece — Midsummer in Midwinter!

In April, Gigante rehearsed Midsummer in Midwinter.  Under the direction of Isabelle, a playful, fun piece of theater emerged, as a talented cast of actors, musicians and dancers romped through the woods of Isabelle & Mark’s original take on Shakespeare’s farcical delight.

Midsummer in Midwinter entertained audiences and critics alike, with a two week run in May.

Gigante performers also made an appearance at Boswell Books: Evan James Koepnick, John Kishline, Deborah Clifton, Isabelle and Mark performed Isabelle’s adaptation of a chapter from The Serpent of Venice, a new book by Christopher Moore.  This acted as a prelude to Mr. Moore’s fascinating talk on his latest work.

Preparation for Gigante’s 27th Season took place in June, July and August.  Since its inception 27 years ago, Gigante has always operated in the black, an almost unheard of accomplishment for a professional theater, one that the Board of Directors and Artistic Staff are proud of — and most grateful to you for.

Rehearsals began in September for a reconstruction of 2004’s My Dear Othello.  Two new performers, Michael Stebbins and Tom Reed, joined returning artists Janet Lilly and Isabelle.  New music was composed by Seth Warren-Crow, and the designs of Artist Schomer Lichtner, Gigante’s scenic and lighting designer, Rick Graham, as well as costumes of Marion Clendenen-Acosta, were brought back to life for this new take on the original production.

In October, rehearsals continued up until the company traveled to North Carolina to complete a one-week residency at UNC-Greensboro, where Isabelle & Mark taught composition classes, and the company performed My Dear Othello to great audience and critical acclaim.

Upon returning to Milwaukee, My Dear Othello opened October 23 at Kenilworth Studio 508 theater.

My Dear Othello continued its run through November 8th with lively pre- and post-show talkbacks, student attendance, and stunning reviews!

After the show closed, Isabelle once again visited schools by way of the Milwaukee Symphony ACE program, performing Fundamentals and Structure in Music and Dance.

December will bring about some Gigante-style Holiday Cheer, with stories from David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice told by our own Michael Stebbins (seen as Othello in My Dear Othello).   There will be door prizes, an auction (Sedaris style), wines, sweets, and plenty of holiday cheer! [click HERE for more information]

Come celebrate the holidays with Theatre Gigante on Dec. 5 & 6 at 8pm and/or Dec. 7 at 2pm at Gigante Studio at 706 S. 5th Street in Walker’s Point.

December also brings us to our year-end gift request.  Won’t you consider becoming part of the Gigante clan by making a tax-deductible contribution?  Your support will help ensure a new year full of innovative and original artistic Gigante shenanigans!  We thank you for everything– your friendship, your attendance at our shows, for reading this long newsletter, and for supporting Theater Gigante!!!

Theatre Gigante wishes you

a Happy Holiday Season

and a New Year full of contentment and peace!



Help make many more performances possible.
Join the fun and the celebration! Donate today, and watch your dollars turn into new art!


to make a donation, click HERE
or mail a check to:
Theatre Gigante
P.O. Box 1999
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1999


My Dear Othello company Thanks You!

a big THANK YOU from the Board,
Isabelle & Mark, Cast and Crew,
for attending and supporting My Dear Othello






“…world-stage gem”                       John Sanford Friedrich, Avant Greensboro

Stebbins … gives us an Othello bound by his demons … He creates a character of immense depth.”                                          Dave Begel’s Blog

“Harold Bloom once memorably referred to Desdemona as a ‘miracle of sincerity,’ which isn’t a bad description of what Kralj consistently conveys, both on and off stage.”     Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Reed is masterful as the villain, Iago, catalyzed by personal rejection to frenetically manipulate everyone else.”

Selena Milewski, Shepherd Express

Lilly … stylish and more earthy — piquantly funny but also bitterly wise about what it means to be a frustrated woman living in a man’s world.”                                             Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“no one does Shakespeare like Theatre Gigante”

Paul Kosidowski, Culture Club


Kenilworth Studio 508 Theatre
1925 E Kenilworth Place
on Milwaukee’s fabulous East Side

Tickets on sale now:
phone: 1 800 838 3006