Gigante 2023 Holiday Newsletter

The year 2023

We are so grateful to be in our 36th Season!

We couldn’t have this long history without you, and we look forward to continuing to serve you with the creative, innovative, and unique productions Gigante has become known for!

As we approach 2024, we fondly look back at 2023, which has allowed us to return to live theater and operational and artistic normalcy!

Our 2022/23 season was our 35th Anniversary Season, and after a busy Fall, in which we presented the rarely screened Japanese movie, A Page of Madness, with live music by Frank Pahl’s Little Bang Theory and the narration of beautiful benshi, Nanako Yamauchi; Will Eno’s one-man play, Title and Deed, featuring talented actor, Michael Stebbins; and a delightful wine tasting event at Waterford Wines, we glided on into the year 2023!

The year 2023 brought more artistic shenanigans! We started off in March, performing in schools throughout Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties, through the awarded Milwaukee Symphony ACE program. We performed Gigante’s Peter & the Wolf & the One-Man Band for 1st grades, and Building Theater the Gigante Way for 3rd grades! The shows were seen by over 1500 engaged students, and the fun the performers and children had with each other was a delight to see!

In April, more fun was in store when we held our 35th Anniversary Bash, which took place at Matt Kemple’s Laughing Tap. Frank Pahl and Leslie Fitzwater entertained the guests with their musical talents, performing music from past Gigante shows, and Michael Stebbins, auctioneer extraordinaire, entertained us with his live auctioneering of many lovely donated items. A great time was had by all!

Moving on to May, Gigante presented one of our absolutely most favorite shows to full houses: Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell. The wonderful cast was joined by Milwaukee’s star, Jane Kaczmarek, and Spalding’s stories once again came to full-fledged life. What a brilliant monologist he was! We are so very grateful to Kathleen Russo, his widow, for this inspirational piece of theatre! Also In May, we were brought on board at St. John’s on the Lake, a senior living community, to prepare and present a play reading, performed by the fabulous St. John’s Players. Under the direction of Isabelle and the superb assistance of Mark Anderson, William Saroyan’s The Dogs, or The Paris Comedy was presented to a full house, and a wonderful new friendship was established between the St. John’s Players and Isabelle & Mark!

In July, the collaboration between Gigante and Teatro delle Albe was brought back to life, as Alessandro Renda, Isabelle and Mark, and awarded Slovenian author Rok Vilčnik, worked on a new script. After Covid, and the initial postponement of the project, we started with a brand-new idea for this piece. The title changed from In the Belly of the Beast to Where From, and we are currently preparing to do more work on the script and to begin rehearsals!

In September, we began our 36th Season with a bang, performing Three Other Sisters in Cleveland, where the Slovenian Consul General, Alenka Jerak, the Slovenian Ambassador from Washington D.C., Iztok Mirošič, and the Slovenian Cabinet Minister, Matej Arčon, were all in attendance, along with the French Consul Cedric Le Rouge. We traveled there with our terrific cast and crew, and had an absolutely wonderful experience! We then moved the production back to Milwaukee and into the 508 Theatre, where we performed to lovely and receptive full houses! What a treat! We couldn’t be more grateful!

November was very busy! We once again performed our two delightful school shows, Peter & the Wolf & the One-Man Band and Building Theater the Gigante Way to 1st and 3rd graders throughout our communities. And, we again worked with the St. John’s Players, presenting Isabelle & Mark’s adaptation of It’s A Wonderful Life, to a full house – kicking off this 2023 Holiday Season!

Whew … what a wonderful year it has been … Now, on to the further development of Where From!!!

As you can see, Theatre Gigante continues creating and presenting distinct thought-provoking work: work that might otherwise not be seen in Milwaukee.

Again, we say, WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!

We at Gigante thank you for 35+ years of friendship and support, and we enthusiastically and passionately look to the future and vow to – together with your help – continue serving and surprising the community with Gigante’s special brand of original, unique, boutique theater! Amidst the magic of December and the holiday season, may you enjoy a gigantic bounty of happiness, success, health, peace, and love, and may it continue into the new year … and beyond…

Happy Holidays! Happy 2024!

To make a tax-deductible donation, please click on this link
or mail a check made out to

Theatre Gigante, P.O.Box 1999, Milwaukee WI 53201-1999