Another year we will all remember for a long time to come!
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we hope you are staying safe and healthy. It has been – and still is – a bumpy ride, but we have our safety belts on and are determined to get through this, intact and stronger than ever! And we know so very well that we can’t do it without you!
Due to COVID, we’ve had to change our plans for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. We decided that we would take it one project at a time, not knowing what the future will bring regarding live theatre.
So, let’s take a look at Gigante’s projects in 2021:
In January and February, we worked on a virtual production, A Cosmic Fairy Tale A Day Keeps The Doctor Away: 31 wildly imaginative and curious fairy tales written by Rok Vilčnik, conceived and directed by Isabelle Kralj, visually and graphically designed by Justin Thomas, with music and sound created by Frank Pahl (with additional music by Jason Powell, Peter Mulvey, Kathryn Cesarz, and Christine Zufferey), and told by 31 storytellers from around the world, through 31 videos! This delightful array of tales was available from March through May. We held several lively Zoom talkbacks and had participants from around the world at the discussions.
In February, we presented our virtual production A PRISON MADE OF LIGHT to St. John’s on the Lake. Theatre Gigante was proud to be on their 2021 Fine Arts series. The stream was followed by a talkback. St. John’s on the Lake is one of our favorite gigs!
In August, Gigante returned to the annual Milwaukee Fringe Festival with a condensed virtual version of A Cosmic Fairy Tale A Day Keeps The Doctor Away!
October brought Gigante back to the theatre and we were so very excited to perform for a live audience! It felt like we were with family, once again. To celebrate, we programmed our fall productions around the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the December Holidays.
For Halloween, Gigante presented NOSFERATU w/LITTLE BANG THEORY – the classic German vampire movie NOSFERATU with live accompaniment by the fabulous toy band Little Bang Theory. We heard from many audience members that this was the first opportunity they’d ever had to see this film classic in its entirety – and how better to see it than with music played by a toy band!
In November, For Thanksgiving Day, we recorded a brand new monologue, THANKS A LOT!, written and performed by Mark Anderson, adapted and directed by Isabelle, with music written and performed by Frank Pahl, lighting design by Alan Piotrowicz, and videography by Dena Aronson. This was presented virtually, for all those who do not yet feel comfortable attending live performances, and is still available to those who contact us at email@example.com. We then presented THANKS A LOT! live at Kenilworth 508 Theatre and had an amazing time with a very responsive audience!
November also saw Gigante record our children’s production PETER & THE WOLF & THE ONE-MAN-BAND for the Milwaukee Symphony ACE Program. Live in-school performances were cancelled for fall of 2021 and, with this recording, the Symphony ensured that Gigante will nevertheless be able to present its popular show to 1st graders in schools throughout Milwaukee and surrounding areas. This was also the first time we were back working with a larger cast … and what a heartwarming treat that was! Thank you to Aaron Gardner, Leslie Fitzwater, Joe Fransee, Ron Scot Fry, A.J. Magoon, and newcomers to Gigante, Allison Larson and Kalista Roling!
Now, in the month of December, during our end-of-the-year fundraising campaign, we will live stream stories from David Sedaris’ HOLIDAYS ON ICE* read by Gigante’s long-time friend, collaborator, and Board President, Michael Stebbins. You will be able to stream these hilarious stories into the warmth and comfort of your own home on December 20th & December 27th at 7pm.
For a donation, in any amount, made online by December 17th, we will send you complimentary Zoom links to both dates so you can watch and listen to the entertaining stories — once or both times!
The links will be sent to you on December 18th.
To receive this live-streamed event, please make your contribution at www.theatregigante.org/support.
You can also mail your donation to: Theatre Gigante, P.O. Box 1999, Milwaukee, WI, 53201-1999.
HOWEVER, we cannot guarantee that we will receive your mail in time to send you the HOLIDAYS ON ICE links. To ensure that you receive the complimentary live-streamed event, please donate online – or contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to let us know that your check is in the mail.
Please know that none of Theatre Gigante’s productions and events would be possible without support … your support … therefore we are immensely grateful to you and to all the many other wonderful Gigante Friends!
We wish you a very happy, merry, cheery, jovial and glowing Holiday Season!
Stay safe and healthy! CHEERS!!!
Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson
*Read with the permission of Don Congdon Associates, Inc. From HOLIDAYS ON ICE by David Sedaris.