Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Grants recognize arts as part of Wisconsin economic engine

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsin has hundreds of performing arts groups, and the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has their many fans missing what they add to living in our state.The importance of the cultural attractions was especially noticed this year.The economic impact of the arts in Wisconsin has been recognized for decades by way of large studies. Overall, they say the impact is in the billions of dollars.In 2020, the awareness was ramped up to new levels in response to the damaging effect of the coronavirus on live performances. The government stepped in with special grants that were welcomed by recipients.Small companies like Play-by-Play Theatre of Green Bay received a bit more than $2,000. Large operations like Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton received the cap amount of $137,712.39. Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts and the seven University of Wisconsin campuses in Northeastern Wisconsin don’t qualify because they are state-owned.

Source: Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Grants recognize arts as part of Wisconsin economic engine

Announcing: Phoenix Forum Virtual Speaker Series

Learning never stops—even when it’s not in person. One silver lining of the pandemic is our ability to stay connected through technology to continually support alumni success. The Alumni Office is announcing the Phoenix Forum Virtual Speaker Series. Learn from UW-Green Bay’s expert faculty and staff. Each speaker event will be from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. with an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.

1/21/2021 – ECO-U: The Next 50 Years: Speakers are Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, John Katers and CSET faculty Mike Draney, Bob Howe, Emily Tyner, Kevin Fermanich and John Arendt

3/18/2021 – The Silver Lining:  Unexpected Pandemic Outcomes on our Perceptions of Coaching, Teaching and Learning: Speaker is Associate Professor of Education Tim Kaufman

5/20/2021 – Mind on Money & Money on Mind: The Behavior & Psychology of Money: Speaker is Assistant Professor of Finance, Preston Cherry

7/15/2021 – How to Foster a True Love of Lifelong Learning: Speakers are Associate Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Ryan Martin, Executive and Artistic Director of the Weidner Center, Kelli Strickland, and an English faculty member

9/16/2021 – Exercise is Medicine for Physical and Mental Health: Speakers are Psychology faculty Joanna Morrissey and Alan Chu

11/18/2021 – Get After It…Reaching Those Lofty Career Goals: Speaker is Director of Career Services, Linda Peacock-Landrum

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: ‘Only for Now’ keeps performance pulse going at UW-Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The revue “Only for Now: A Musical Revue” goes about business in new ways for University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance – like so many things for so many people in the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.The original creation is continuing online to Dec. 15. Some snapshots:

The 19 student performers introduce themselves – name, major, hometown and school, plus a tidbit about what makes them tick in performing.

The 12 songs in the show are mostly solos with piano accompaniment.

The selection is from Broadway shows.

The songs are of a person at an important moment – like now.

Lyrics and music give the performer the opportunity to create a character – build a soul.

Touches of costuming are part of the enacted singing.

Performances were recorded in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts’ Fort Howard Hall, the acoustics of which allow singers’ voices to flex freely.

The finale, a trio, works around the revue’s title, with lyrics being lush with meaning, heavily edited here: “Nothing lasts… Life goes on… Full of surprises… You’ll be faced with problems of all shapes and sizes… You’re going to have to make a few compromises… Only for now.”

Source: Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: ‘Only for Now’ keeps performance pulse going at UW-Green Bay

Reminder: Only For Now premiering Dec. 10

Only For Now is a musical revue featuring an ensemble of theatre and dance students. The revue is loaded with Broadway hits such as Avenue Q, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Hairspray, Les Miserables and more. The selections were chosen to highlight what it means to be a performing artist and inspire hope for the future.

*Please note, this performance contains strong language and adult content- recommended for mature audiences.

Only For Now will premiere on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 at 7 p.m. The performance will be available for viewing until Tuesday, Dec. 15. The performance can be viewed on the Weidner Center’s YouTube site.

Reminder: Faithfall performance available to view until Dec. 8

Faithfall, written by UW-Green Bay Theatre Professor Thomas Campbell, is available for viewing until Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. The performance can be viewed on the Weidner Center’s YouTube site.

*Please note, this performance deals with the issue of suicide and contains adult content – recommended for mature audiences.

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Viral ‘Faithfall,’ ‘Only for Now’ theater pieces set in Green Bay

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre and Dance will present two virtual performances in December. The first is a world premiere of an original drama, “Faithfall.” The showing is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. Pre-show interviews and a post-show discussion on the play’s themes will provide additional insights. The second production is “Only for Now,” a revue. It will show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.

Source: Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Viral ‘Faithfall,’ ‘Only for Now’ theater pieces set in Green Bay, WFRV TV

UW-Green Bay Theatre & Dance produce two original virtual shows in time for the holidays

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Theatre & Dance program will offer two virtual performances in December. The first, a world premiere of an original drama entitled: Faithfall will premiere on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. Pre-show interviews and a post-show discussion on the play’s themes will provide additional insights. The second performance, Only for Now, a musical revue will premiere on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. Both shows will be broadcast on the Weidner Center’s YouTube site free of charge.

Faithfall is the story of Whitney Long, a young woman struggling with grief over the suicide of her estranged sister, a nun. Following the funeral, Whitney meets Father Michael, the young priest who knew Whitney’s sister. With Father Michael’s guidance, Whitney embarks on a journey to gain a greater understanding of her grief, beliefs, and relationship with her sister. A poignant story of faith and love in times of crisis, Faithfall was written by UW-Green Bay Theatre Associate Professor Thomas Campbell. The production is being directed by John Mariano and will feature Allie Lent as Whitney Long and Sean Stalvey as Father Michael. Lent is a senior from Albany, Wis. majoring in theatre. Stalvey is a senior from Manitowoc, Wis. majoring in theatre. Earlier this year, Faithfall had a staged reading at the Texas A&M University-Commerce but this will be the world-premiere production of the show.

The broadcast of Faithfall will include pre-show interviews and a post-show discussion. The pre-show talk feature playwright Thomas Campbell discussing his inspiration for the story and insights into his writing process. The post-show talk will be a panel discussion with psychology and mental health community leaders and professors. The panel will discuss coping with grief, suicide prevention and stress management and offer professional opinions and information on community resources.

The second production, Only for Now, is a musical revue featuring an ensemble of theatre, dance students. It will premiere online on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. The production is being directed by Laura Riddle with musical direction by Courtney Sherman and choreography by Denise Carlson-Gardner. The title of the show is also the closing song of the revue and is from the Broadway musical Avenue Q. According to director Laura Riddle, the title is also a nod to the current nature of education and theatre during a global pandemic. In addition to the song from Avenue Q, the revue will also feature songs from a wide variety of Broadway shows including: Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Hairspray, and Les Misérables. The selections in the revue were chosen to highlight what it means to be a performing artist and inspire hope for the future. Cast members include Mason Amidon, Connor Anderson, Isabelle Austgen, Jasmine Christyne, Hayley Eastman, Alyssa Hannam, Faith Klick, Grace Kolb, Rhean Krueger, Cory J. O’Donnell, Autumn Rettke, Aisa Rogers, Liesl Sigourney, Annie Skorupa, Olivia Smith, Audrey Soberg, Aubrey Stein, and Ally Stokes.

Out of concern for the health and well-being of the audience, actors, and production crew, theatre and dance performances for the semester are being filmed and presented for viewing rather than livestreamed or presented as a traditional live performances. Please be advised that Faithfallfocuses on issues of suicide and has adult content and themes. Only for Now contains strong language and adult content. Both productions are recommended for mature audiences.

Faithfall will premiere online on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. with the recorded pre-show beginning at 6:30 and is part of the Common CAHSS: Beyond Sustainability virtual conference. The production will then be available for viewing through Tuesday, Dec. 8. Only for Now will premiere online on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. and will be available for viewing through Tuesday, Dec. 15. There is no charge to view the productions but donations in support of scholarships for Theatre & Dance students are welcomed and can be made by visiting: https://www.uwgb.edu/theatre/become-a-theatre-first-nighter/.

About the Weidner Center

UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts is known for its elegant design and the acoustic excellence of its 2,000-seat main hall, Cofrin Family Hall. It also houses two smaller performance spaces, the Fort Howard recital hall and the Jean Weidner Theatre, along with a dance studio and Grand Foyer. The Center is a home for UW-Green Bay Music and Theatre and Dance productions, community events and productions, and performances by visiting artists and touring companies. The Weidner Center has a distinct benefit in being part of a leading institution of higher learning. Beyond the large-scale touring productions that grace the stage, the Weidner Center also focuses on scholastic development, programming and an impactful education series – Stage Doors. The Stage Doors Education Series serves more than17,500 students from 63 cities throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula every year. For more information on the Weidner Center, visit www.WeidnerCenter.com, 920-465-2726, 800-895-0071, or follow the ‘Weidner Center for the Performing Arts’ on Facebook, Twitter (@WeidnerCenter) and Instagram (@weidnercenter).

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to more than 8,500 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, D-I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: Weidner Philharmonic brass serve a smorgasbord

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A buffet is a lot of different food. A smorgasbord is a lot of different food made with a flair. The definitions are right here in my dictionary.Served Monday evening in a special livestream concert was a varied menu of music for brass quintet. The smorgasbord included, in order in the program below, works that could be labeled regal, inventive, sweet, sacred, jaunty and mucho gusto. Versatility marked the concert “Brass Musicians of the Weidner Philharmonic” – versatility in programming and performing. The event was part of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s “6:30 Concert Series,” which has become a virtual offering since the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has throttled most live, in-person performances.

Source: Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: Weidner Philharmonic brass serve a smorgasbord

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘The show must go on’ in new ways in Northeastern Wisconsin

The famous line, “The show must go on” is getting new meaning these days. Northeastern Wisconsin performance folks are coming up with answers to limitations caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘The show must go on’ in new ways in Northeastern Wisconsin, WFRV