Meet the CRAVE Cast and Musicians

ISABELLE KRALJ [Director and “C”] is the Founder, and Artistic Co-Director, of THEATRE GIGANTE and works as an auteur, director, choreographer, and performer.  Besides Gigante, she has directed and/or choreographed for, among others, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, First Stage, DBUS (Ballet Assn. of Slovenia) and Door Shakespeare.  Abroad, she has performed in Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Austria, and Germany.  Kralj received a New Choreography Award from the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the award of High Artistic Achievement from UWM’s Slovenian Arts Council, and grants from the US State Department, U.S. Embassy in Slovenia, and the Slovenian Ministry of Culture.  She has written/created over forty works, many of them in collaboration with Mark Anderson, who also happens to be her life’s collaborator.

MARK ANDERSON [“A”]  is Theatre Gigante’s Artistic Co-Director, and an artist whose work as a monologist and playwright has been seen in over thirty cities around the country, including three years touring with New York’s PS122 Field Trips.  In 1996, Anderson began working with Gigante founder Isabelle Kralj, and since then they have co-created over forty original productions.  He has worked with the JM Kohler Art Center, Theatre X, Present Music, Grinnell College, and the Pabst Theater, among others, and currently teaches at MIAD.  He has received numerous grants and commissions, including two Wisconsin Arts Board Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowships.  Mark is delighted to be onstage with such a wonderful group of performers, including my beloved Isabelle, longtime friend Jane, the wise and talented David, and the brilliant Aaron, Steve, and Sam.

JANE KACZMAREK [“M”] is best known for playing Lois on MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE for 7 award winning seasons.  Her television career began with THE PAPER CHASE and HILL STREET BLUES after graduating from the University of Wisconsin and the Yale School of Drama. In New York she’s  appeared both on and off Broadway and for 6 seasons at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, most recently with Alfred Molina in AND NO MORE SHALL WE PART.  L.A.credits include KINDERTRANSPORT,( Ovation Award ) RAISED IN CAPTIVITY ( LA Drama Critics Award) ,GOOD PEOPLE ( Ovation nom) , The Stage Manager in OUR TOWN with Deaf West Theatre and again with Mr Molina in A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE for BBC radio and  LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT. Ms. Kaczmarek’s foundation Clothes Off Our Back raised over 4 million dollars for children’s charities by auctioning celebrity apparel. A mother of 3 ,she serves on the Board of The Pasadena Conservatory of Music ,Pasadena Educational Foundation , Pasadena Playhouse and Theatre Gigante. A native Milwaukean,  Jane is delighted to be back where she belongs.

DAVID FLORES [“B”] has performed extensively with many Milwaukee theater, music, and dance companies including Alchemist, Boulevard, Cornerstone, First Stage, In Tandem, Milwaukee Chamber, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Off The Wall, Optimist, Renaissance Theaterworks, Skylight, Theatre X, Theatre Gigante, Windfall, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and Wild Space Dance.  Credits include everything from Albee to DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and Shakespeare to Sondheim.  He has also served as stage director for well-received productions with Boulevard, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and Windfall.  He was last seen with Gigante as the Mayor in ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.

AARON GARDNER [Saxophone] is a graduate of Berklee College of Music.  He spent ten years in New York playing, recording and touring with the band Ulu before moving back to his hometown of Milwaukee.  He now teaches at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and plays with local bands such as the Willy Porter Band, Milwaukee Hot Club, De la Buena, Strangelander, The Erotic Adventures of the Static Chicken and The Paul Spencer Band.  Aaron works on an ongoing basis with Theatre Gigante and is the “one-man band” in Gigante’s PETER & THE WOLF & THE ONE MAN BAND.

SAM WINTERNHEIMER [Bass] is a recent addition to the Milwaukee scene and is a bassist hailing from Indianapolis.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University where he studied with world-renowned bassist, Rodney Whitaker, and received his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Florida State University.  Sam then immersed himself in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans.  While there, he performed at many of the premier venues and festivals, including the Jazz Playhouse and the Bayou Boogaloo Festival.  He performs professionally in a wide variety of musical styles, as a leader and as a sideman, on upright bass and electric bass.  This is Sam’s first performance with Theatre Gigante.

STEVE PEPLIN [Guitar] is an eclectic composer/guitarist/singer from Milwaukee who can’t limit himself to a few bands or genres.  Consequently, he can be heard/seen in too many bands such as his own Strangelander and Dinosaur Rocket.  He is also a member of Matchstick, the De La Buena Quintet and Sextet, Amanda Huff, Choir Fight, Carlos Adames Trio, Invocation Trio, the Hush Ensemble, the Lawrence University Faculty Band, and others.  Steve serves as adjunct professor of jazz guitar at Lawrence University and is a full-time faculty member of the MATC music department.  This is Steve’s first appearance with Gigante.