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Theatre Gigante’s 2013 Holiday Newsletter


Dear Friends and Supporters!

We have just entered another holiday season, a time when we like to reflect on our escapades from the past year and, once again, share it with you. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to make art, to be in our 26th Season, to be able to look ahead to a future, and to have you by our side in all the exciting endeavors!

Looking back, we fondly remember last year – our 25th Anniversary Season – in which, upon returning from our five-city tour to Slovenia with THREE OTHER SISTERS, we embarked on a journey with the play DUST, by one of post-war Hungary’s most prominent literary figures, György Spiró. Directed by Mark and played by Isabelle and John Kishline, DUST was a two person dark comedy in which, as Paul Kosidowski of Milwaukee Magazine noted: The conversation—which takes place in real time around a kitchen table—takes many surprising turns along the way. Eventually, the voice of the playwright asserts itself with a radical proposal of sorts that will deepen the simple scenario. And the couple’s final act will keep you thinking about the hour you’ve spent with them long after you’ve left the theater.

Soon after closing DUST, Gigante hit the road, visiting schools with its PETER & THE WOLF & THE ONE MAN BAND, (presented through the Milwaukee Symphony ACE Program) to the delight of squealing and grinning first graders, who spent the latter half of the program dancing with each character to the delightful playing of Aaron Gardner.

In May, Gigante presented ELECTRA, adapted and created by Isabelle, based on the Hungarian movie Electra, My Love. ELECTRA received high critical acclaim. Third Coast Digest’s Matthew Reddin wrote: It works brilliantly. Theatre Gigante’s cast of 11 – nine actor/dancers accompanied by two offstage narrators – whirls about their Kenilworth studio space with fierce purpose, holding our attention for the intermissionless hour it takes to tell their tale and achieving the tricky task of performing this oft-told epic in an unorthodox yet fundamentally true way.

The beginning of June saw Mark perform ME, YOU, ART AND TROUT, at Grinnell College in Iowa. A perfect bookend since the 2012-2013 Season began with Mark’s monologue – his first in fifteen years, well worth the wait, as Mike Fischer pointed out in his Journal Sentinel review: … material this good and delivered this well is bound to sustain, long after the lights come down and we walk back out into the night, no longer alone. The solstice brought about packed houses during evenings of fun at Paddy’s Pub, featuring one of the world’s greatest accordionists Guy Klucevsek, artfully playing his own soulful, playful, exquisite music!

UWM’s Inova Contemporary Art Museum, as part of their Martha Wilson exhibition, commissioned Performance Artist Kim Miller and Isabelle to create a new piece, IN PUBLIC, which Isabelle and Kim performed in August to a full INOVA house!

Now we are in our 26th Season, Isabelle is performing in schools through the MSO ACE Program with four symphony musicians in their FOUNDATIONS IN MUSIC AND DANCE program, and we have just closed the highly successful BIG TOP production (Nov. 14–16), in which Selena Milewski of the Shepherd Express describes the performers and performance: Gaines unfurled an epic of love, lust, danger and good trumping evil set under the big top. The audience investment and co-imagination essential to this style of performance were happily given, to eerie and miraculous effect.
[In The Scottish…Play] Isabelle Kralj was brilliant as Lady M, Mark Anderson was both endearing and disturbing…becoming quite a convincing ghoul, and John Kishline rounded out the triad in the title role, paralleling the indecision and submissiveness of his Shakespearean forbear…It’s a real treat to see the classic tragedy, with its patent themes of insanity and greed, so precisely evoked through light-hearted clowning.

And, Russ Bickerstaff of the Shepherd Express wrote: …inventive imagination…a surreal fugue…It’s really a remarkable accomplishment.

Now, Gigante looks forward to the Spring in which the company will perform SPALDING GRAY: STORIES LEFT TO TELL in January at Grinnell College; Isabelle will work with Professor James Butchart at the University Of Wisconsin-Whitewater on their production of Into The Woods; Mark will perform a monologue in Chicago at Links Hall in February as part of a series of performances curated by Holly Hughes; the company will visit schools again with its Peter & Wolf; and we will present two new Kralj-Anderson creations, SCREWBALL LOVE (February 13-15) and MIDSUMMER IN MIDWINTER (May 9-17) at Kenilworth’s Studio 508.

Now, you’ve made it through this newsletter, and we’re ready to conclude, but not without thanking you for all your support and friendship.

We hope you will consider, at this gift giving time, a generous contribution to Theatre Gigante. Your donation will help sustain all the many successful, ongoing projects that Gigante contributes to this Community – making Milwaukee an arts-rich city with a uniquely Gigante niche of original, innovative and exciting hybrid theater.

May the Holidays and the New Year bring you much success, health, peace,
and, of course, more good Gigante theater!

Help make many more performances possible.
Join the fun and the celebration! Donate today, and watch your dollars turn into new art!

 May the Holidays and the New Year bring you much success, health, peace,
and, of course, more good Gigante theater!


Isabelle & Mark


to make a donation, click HERE
or mail a check to:
Theatre Gigante
P.O. Box 1999
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1999