Archive for shows

Gigante on Active Culture radio program

A PRISON MADE OF LIGHT is discussed on Will LaDuke’s Active Culture radio program, on Milwaukee’s Riverwest Radio.

If you’d like to hear playwright Thomas Simpson and Gigante Artistic Directors Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson talk with Will, CLICK HERE.

“A Prison Made of Light” Playwright Thomas Simpson

We’re very excited to be working with our friend,
writer/performer/translator Thomas Simpson,
on the upcoming reading of A PRISON MADE OF LIGHT.

Thomas Haskell Simpson (Phd University of Chicago, 1997) has performed in several Theatre Gigante productions, most recently as the onstage translator and alter ego of the main character in the company’s version of Noise in the Waters, which he translated from Italian. Formerly a professor at Northwestern University, Tom has translated many plays and numerous books and articles from Italian into English, including both classics (Pirandello, De Filippo, Goldoni) and contemporary works by Marco Martinelli/Teatro delle Albe and others. With Rita Filanti he has translated American poets into Italian, and he is the author of Murder and Media in the New Rome (2010), a study of a sensational trial that became a media circus in the first years after Italy’s unification.

September 16th at 7pm CST

This is a FREE reading of a work in progress, performed by Mark Anderson, John Kishline, Isabelle Kralj, Ben Yela.
The reading will be followed by a talkback, moderated by Michael Stebbins.

RSVP necessary. Dress optional. 🙂

Send us an email today at to reserve a Zoomspot!
We will confirm your reservation, and send you an invite on the day of.

Rehearsing for our first Zoom!

The Gigante company in rehearsal for our September 16, 2020 reading of A PRISON MADE OF LIGHT, by Thomas Simpson.

(clockwise, from top left) Isabelle Kralj, Mark Anderson,
Thomas Simpson, Ben Yela, John Kishline

Free reading of a work-in-progress
Wednesday, Sept 16 @ 7pm CST

to reserve:

The great musicians: Christine Zufferey


video links
La vie en rose  Ziaf reunion concert (2018)
Medley of Christine’s songs  solo concert (2010)
Mirror  concert at Olympia, in Paris (2019)
Padam, padam… with Catherine Capozzi – Gigante’s Studio Series (2015)

Christine Zufferey (aka Mary Zoo) is a Paris, France based singer/songwriter/musician. Originating from the Boston underground rock scene, the Swiss native is an enchantress in her own singular folk alternative style.  Her unique style comes to life as she performs songs in English and French, on her acoustic or twelve string guitar. Depths and colors of her subtle arrangements range from electric to floaty, melancholic to eerie and are evident in the acoustic, sober and raw quality of her performances. In addition to her original material, Christine interprets a set of Edith Piaf songs that she performs solo or with Catherine Capozzi, as a duo or as the band “Ziaf.” 

Theatre Gigante is wild about working with
the talented Christine Zufferey
and can’t wait for another opportunity to work with her again!!!

Gigante productions:

Studio Series Concert 
(2015) with guitarist Catherine Capozzi

In memory of Rick Graham

Theatre Gigante remembers Rick Graham with enormous gratitude, admiration, and respect.  A true artist, Rick created so many beautiful visual worlds for so very many companies and productions.  We, at Gigante, feel very fortunate to have been one of those companies.

We will be forever thankful.

May Rick Graham rest in our hearts.

Richard H. Graham was an innovative and exquisite lighting and scenic designer who touched just about every performance theatre company in Milwaukee.  For many years, Rick was Theatre Gigante’s Resident Designer, who also generously served as a Director on Gigante’s Board of Directors.  Professor of Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Rick was a Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre Company for five years during Nagel Jackson’s artistic leadership and Resident Lighting Designer for the Milwaukee Ballet Company for three years during Jean Paul Comelin’s artistic leadership. Rick has designed for theatre, dance and opera across the country, including New York and Chicago and for virtually every theatre company in Milwaukee as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Discovery World. He was resident designer for Theatre X for 14 years and a member of the company. His international credits include productions in Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, Slovenia, France, and China. He has designed multiple productions for Michael Pink’s Milwaukee Ballet, including LA BOHEME and PETER PAN, which was broadcast on PBS nationwide. He taught Design and Graphics at UWM’s Peck School of the Arts for 38 years.

A list of Theatre Gigante productions for which Rick designed lights and/or sets:
Between You and Me (2000)
My Elephant Dream (2001)
Petrushka (2001)
Dead Poets Theatre (2002)
Piaf (2003)
My Dear Othello (2004)
Museum of Life and Death (2006)
Down and Personal (2007)
Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell (2007)
Antigone (2008)
Three Other Sisters (2010)
Isadora & Nijinsky (2011)
Our Our Town (2012)
Me, You, Art & Trout (2012)
Three Other Sisters Slovenia Tour (2012)
Dust (2013)
Electra (2013)
My Dear Othello (2014)
Screwball Love (2014)
Terminus (2015)
Rumore di acque (2015)
Woyzeck (2016)
Tarzan (2018)

The Great Musicians: Little Bang Theory


video links
Clowning Around
Music video for “Laugh, Clown, Laugh.” Music composed by Frank Pahl,
performed by Little Bang Theory: Frank Pahl, Terri Sarris, and Doug Shimmin.
Film by Terri Sarris & Frank Pahl.
LBT at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Little Bang Theory performs in Joshua White and Gary Panter’s Light Show

“Sonic artist” is often the term used to classify Frank Pahl.  Within his stockpile is a collection of toy instruments, a fascination that has developed into the toy-pop chamber trio Little Bang Theory.

In Frank Pahl’s words:  
I‘m from Wyandotte, and I collect a lot of Wyandotte Toys, … which for many years was the largest tin toy manufacturer in the United States. My father worked for them. I’ve tried to get some information from him on the history of the company, but he doesn’t think much of this toy collecting thing: “When are you going to get a real job?”
So for the past 10 to 15 years I’ve been collecting musical toys. I’ve written a little bit of music for toys, and I wrote a longer piece that I liked. One day, my partner Terri and my friend Claudette — I played them the music and I said, “We should all learn this, just as a whim.” At first it was a reason for friends to get together and learn a piece of music.
At the time it was 10 minutes long. Every week I kept adding more and more material. The piece, “Toy Suite 2,” is 26 minutes long. I ended up getting a Meet the Composer Grant to finish writing the music. Our second gig was a result of that grant. We performed at a music festival in San Francisco.
Little Bang Theory for some reason has worked a little less hard and gotten further [than my other projects], but maybe it’s because the reason we started it was out of friendship, and you can still see that when we perform. We’re having fun, and we hope the audience is having fun, too.
excerpt from interview by Bill Chapin]

The Group: Terri Sarris, Doug Shimmin, and Frank Pahl

Theatre Gigante loves this fantastic, clever, and whimsical group, and plans on presenting many more delightful movie nights with them!
Presented by Theatre Gigante:
Little Bang Theory – Films by Ladislaw Starewicz (2015)
Little Bang Theory – Laugh, Clown, Laugh (2017)

The Great Musicians: Seth Warren-Crow


audio link
composition for Hamlet
by Seth Warren-Crow


Seth Warren-Crow is a percussionist, composer, and sound designer based in Lubbock, TX. He has been playing for dance technique classes and composing for dance for the last 12 years. Seth was the Musical Director for the Department of Dance at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee from 2008-2013, and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University. Seth received an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College in California, where he received the Frog Peak Award for Experimental Music.  Seth’s sound design and composition has been featured at such prestigious venues as La Mama Experimental Theatre Club (NY) and The Harlem Stage eMoves Festival (NY), among others.  Seth frequently collaborates with performance artist Heather Warren-Crow as warren-crow+warren-crow, and their performances have been seen all over the world, including Czech Republic, Taiwan, Norway, and throughout the United States.

Seth has always been an inspiration to us at Theatre Gigante. You couldn’t ask for a more artistically sensitive and kind collaborator.  We miss him and hope to get him back here someday!

Gigante productions:
Man in a Magic Square (2009)
The Lears (2010)
Three Other Sisters (2010)
Three Other Sisters (2012 – Slovenian tour)
Electra (2013)
My Dear Othello (2014)

for more:

Remembering a dear friend and colleague


(1952 – 2011)

Allyson Green’s BETWEEN

performed by Ed Burgess & Isabelle Kralj


Theatre Gigante productions Ed was a part of:
10th Anniversary
(1998) BETWEEN
Between You and Me
Dead Poet’s Theatre (2000)
The Initial Urge To Suck
Down & Personal
Isadora and Nijinsky

The Great Musicians: Daniel Kahn


Children in the Woods, by Daniel Kahn

performed by Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird

I Shall be Released (in Yiddish) by Bob Dylan
translated and performed by Daniel Kahn

The Good Old Bad Old Days by Daniel Kahn
performed by Daniel Kahn and Jake Shulman-Ment

“Dan Kahn brings a powerful blend of intelligence and romance to his music.”

A Detroit area native, Daniel Kahn attended the University of Michigan where he studied acting, directing, playwriting and poetry, winning the University’s most prestigious writing award, the Hopwood, three times, and publishing Daylight Savings, a collection of his poems, with Ornithology Press. After finishing his studies he lived, played music, recorded, acted, directed plays and composed theatre music in New Orleans, Detroit, New York and Ann Arbor.  He moved to Berlin in 2005 and founded his band The Painted Bird, which went on to tour the world and win several awards with their 5 albums – They released the albums through German world music label Oriente Musik. Their music is described as “a mixture of Klezmer, radical Yiddish song, political cabaret and punk folk.”

Theatre Gigante loves Dan’s musical poetry, and would love to work with him again, but he’s so damned booked up … someday soon! …we, at Gigante, never give up!

Gigante productions:
Woyzeck (2006)

for more:

The Great Musicians: Borut Kržišnik


Love Song No2

used in Gigante’s METAMORPHOSIS, adapted/written/choreographed by Isabelle Kralj, inspired by Franz Kafka’s story, with music by Borut Kržišnik.

Love Song No1
an excerpt taken from the album A LIFE IN SUITCASES (Claudio Records, 2012), and Borut’s score for Peter Greenaway’s TULSE LUPER SUITCASES films and projects.

Borut Kržišnik is a Slovenian composer of contemporary music, based in Ljubljana.  He graduated in Psychology from the University of Ljubljana but devoted himself to music. Borut has a diverse, wide-ranging approach to music and he integrates live playing and music software on a computer platform, breaking free from the confines of specific methodologies. Intensity, diversity and exciting changes are the main characteristics of his music. Avant-garde or popular, underground or academic, tonality or atonality, these are the extremes between which he moves easily. Using a polyglot musical language, the composer weaves a thread through all these contrasts and introduces them to us with inspiring optimism.

We are always thrilled to have the honor of working with Borut’s music. It is exciting and inspiring and so often “just perfect” for the work!

Gigante productions:
Metamorphosis (2018)

I Still Don’t Know (2005)  work by Isabelle Kralj performed in Slovenia
I Still Don’t Know (2008)  appeared in Janet Lilly’s “Have A Seat” show in Milwaukee

for more: