Archive for December 13, 2018

Theatre Gigante’s 2018 Holiday Newsletter


We at Theatre Gigante look back very fondly at our 30th Anniversary Season – which was wonderfully ambitious, successful, and full of interesting and innovative projects!

Beginning with August 2017, Gigante participated in Milwaukee’s 2nd Fringe Festival by presenting Frank O’Hara’s LEXINGTON AVENUE, set to music by clever, playful and talented Jason Powell, and charmingly performed by Jason, and Erin Hartman!

In September & October, Gigante’s production of I Am My Own Wife, written by Doug Wright, premiered under the direction of Isabelle Kralj, and was exquisitely performed by Michael Stebbins.  This one-man play, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, was a wonderful vehicle for Michael, who beautifully embodied Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, and some forty other characters in a tour de force performance!

November brought another triumphant performance, 7(x1) Samurai, created and performed by David Gaines, a graduate and former teacher of the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School.  David dazzled the audience with his one-man interpretation of Kurosawa’s film Seven Samurai, in which he deftly and hilariously played, not only many characters, but entire armies.  It was a marvel to behold!

January and February brought the world premiere of Metamorphosis, created and directed by Kralj, inspired by Franz Kafka’s novel of the same title.  Hailed by audiences as perhaps Gigante’s finest work to date, the stellar cast, which included dancer Edwin Olvera and actors Ben Yela, Selena Milewski, Hannah Klapperich-Mueller, and Ron Scot Fry wowed audiences with their superb and precise performance of this captivating hybrid work in Gigante’s typical style.  Performances were met with spontaneous standing ovations, and perhaps one of the longest post-performance talkbacks ever recorded J.  Stimulating, lively, and thought-provoking discussion with the audience lasted as long as the performance itself, inspiring all of us involved in the production!

February also brought about another season of Gigante’s ever-so-popular performance, Peter & the Wolf & the One Man Band, performed for 1st graders throughout Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties through the Milwaukee Symphony ACE (Arts in Community Education) program.

In March, Gigante delighted audiences with Slovenian playwright Rok Vilčnik’s Tarzan, performed by Kralj, Mark Anderson and Don Russell.  This wildly funny, yet incredibly poignant, play covered the whole gamut of human [and animal] issues and emotions, through the eyes and experiences of an aging Tarzan and Jane, and a talking hyena named Mike.  The Slovenian Consul General, Mr. Andre Rode, attended the opening night performance.  Rok Vilčnik made the trek all the way from Slovenia to be a part of the opening weekend festivities, which included a WUWM interview and a post-performance talkback in which he charmed audiences and performers alike!

March also initiated a brand new Gigante children’s show, performed for 3rd graders (also through the Milwaukee Symphony ACE Program), titled Building Theater the Gigante Way.  This program teaches children, through poetry, to look at theater with a more holistic approach, using the tools of text, music and movement in various combinations.  The schools liked it, and the show has now been added to the ACE roster of performances!

April was a good month for a reading of Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell at the dynamic and exceptional retirement community of St. John’s on the Lake.  The delightful reaction, and lively talk-back that followed, inspired the scheduling of Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell in this current 2018-19 Season!

June was rich and exciting, as Anderson performed one of his witty and clever monologues, Retrospeculative, at a reunion at Grinnell College in Iowa.  The engaged audience rewarded Mark with awesome and insightful post-performance commentary.  A good time was had by all!

A good time, in June, was also had by Kralj et al, as she participated in Door Shakespeare’s 2018 summer season.  Kralj choreographed the production, Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Joe Hanreddy under the able and loving eye of Michael Stebbins, the newly appointed Artistic Director of Door Shakespeare!  Also involved in the production was Gigante regular Ben Yela, who performed in Much Ado About Nothing and Comedy of Errors.

As you can see, the 2017-18 Season was productive, successful and wildly eclectic – reaching various audiences, of various ages, in various places.  This all comes about because of you!  Your contributions and attendance to our events make it all possible, and we are forever grateful that we have the pleasure and honor of creating and inventing new theater with you, and for you!

Please consider continuing to partner with us in the creation and presentation of original art by giving a tax-deductible donation in this 2018-19 Season!

Have a warm, cheery, peaceful, delightful, magical, graceful,
elegant, magnificent and beauteous Holiday Season!


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