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Partners at the Fox Cities P.A.C

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Exclusive Annual Partner backstage tour during Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage

As a nonprofit arts and educational organization, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center provides a diverse palette of shows every season; this would not be possible without the financial support of our Annual Partners!

Since opening, the Center has generated $200+ million of economic activity in the Fox Cities region. Imagine the impact you can make on the community by becoming an Annual Partner and supporting the growth of our community while creating meaningful experiences that influence your life. Through your support, people from all walks of life will be encouraged to gather, enjoy and participate in the arts.

For example, Annual Partners make a huge difference in the lives of students. Thanks to yearly donations subsidizing costs, the Bemis Company Education Series is able offer tickets for $5-7 to performances such as Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Curious George, and The Great Gatsby.

By investing in the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center as an Annual Partner, you can also receive great benefits such as backstage tours, invites to special events and access to the Partners Lounge which includes complimentary beverages, desserts and a private coat check. Benefits begin with gifts of $50 and vary based on giving level.

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2014 Presidents Luncheon

New benefits for the 2015-16 Season include:

2 drink vouchers as a $150 Supporting Partner

4 drink vouchers and a President’s Luncheon invitation as a $350 Contributing Partner

Partners Lounge access and an invitation to a wine tasting as a $500 Directing Partner

 

 

We value all the ways you support the Center as a Season Ticket Holder, ticket buyer, advocate, volunteer, and donor. Thank you to all of the individuals and businesses who support the Annual Partner Campaign! If you haven’t already, consider joining hundreds of others supporting the Center’s mission through the Annual Partner Campaign at a level that is meaningful to you.

For more information about Annual Partners and the assortment of benefits you can receive, visit http://www.foxcitiespac.com/annual-partners or contact the Annual Partner team at (920) 730-3782.

Broadway Fast 5: August

Broadway to movies, movies to Broadway and a new man in boots…it’s all in your Broadway Fast 5.

1_1741611. Wayne Brady enters the Land of Lola

When Billy Porter leaves his award-winning role in Kinky Boots on Broadway to join Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed funny man Wayne Brady will fill the shoes. Brady, who has won awards for “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and “The Wayne Brady Show,” is not new to Broadway having played Billy Flynn in Chicago in 2004 and appearing in Rent in 2010. We, for one, cannot wait for his high-heeled debut.

 

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2. Plan for a Matilda Movie

A plan for a new musical version of the Matilda movie, spun off from the major Broadway hit, may happen sooner than originally thought. Director Matthew Warchus confirmed he is already in pre-production for the film adaptation and according to The Sydney Morning Herald the movie will probably begin filming at the end of next year.

 

1.1681343. Sara Bareilles Musical will make its way to Broadway

Waitress, the musical based on the 2007 film, has confirmed it will make its way to Broadway. Currently running at the American Reperatory Theater, the musical features a score by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson. The show is scheduled to preview in March 2016 and officially open in April.

 

Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley & Common

Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley & Common

4. The Wiz rounds out casting

More great casting announced for NBC’s live production of The Wiz coming this winter. Grammy winner Ne-Yo, Oscar and Grammy winner Common and movie musical alum Elijah Kelley. The three will play Tinman, the Gatekeeper and Scarecrow, respectively. The new cast members join the previously reported trio of Grammy winners: original Dorothy Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em, Queen Latifah as the Wiz and Mary J. Blige as Evillene. Three-time Tony nominee and In Living Color star David Alan Grier will play the Cowardly Lion, Uzo Aduba and Amber Riley as Glinda and Addaperle and newcomer Shanice Williams takes on the role of Dorothy. No word yet if this cast is on board for the forthcoming Broadway revival of the show, which is set to open in the 2016-17 season.

5. Joseph…Dreamcoat may get 50th Anniversary staging1.168513

Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed that he is in negotiations with a London theater about a 50th anniversary production of his classic tuner Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The composer told The Stage that he and lyricist Tim Rice: “realized in May this year that it was 50 years since we met, so that means that Joseph, too, is nearly 50 years old. So we’re wondering if we should be doing something about it—it’s the most performed work of mine in America.” It was reported last year that Elton John’s Rocket Pictures had acquired the movie rights and is aiming to make an all-new animated feature of the musical. This wouldn’t be Joseph’s first foray into film—a straight-to-video movie starring Donny Osmond was released in 1999.

Fox Cities P.A.C. serves full generation of students

Did you know that the senior class of 2015 had access to the Center through our Bemis Company Education Series during their entire K-12 academic career?

DSC_0217 That’s right! This past year’s graduating seniors were in kindergarten when the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center kicked off its Education Series, introducing an arts-focused way of learning for more than 250,000 students over the years in the Fox Valley and beyond. The Bemis Education Series hosts performances that tie into classroom lessons and meet the Wisconsin Academic Standards. Thanks to donors and sponsorships, these performances are made affordable for all students with scholarships available for students in need of financial assistance to attend this series.  Each performance is enhanced with study guides and tips for teachers on incorporating the performance into their lesson plans.

“The Center takes an active role investing in the next generation of arts enthusiasts by providing programming that will instill a passion for the arts, while teaching core classroom lessons in an engaging manner,” said Cassie Schroeder, Education Coordinator at the Center. “Whether sparking a love of ballet or bringing a Shakespearian text to life, the arts encourage students to develop and dig deeper in their educational experience. Having the opportunity to inspire students in our community is an honor for us and a goal that we do not take lightly.”

The series has also taken on popularity with area educators like Nate Kallies, Principal and 8th grade teacher at St. Paul Lutheran School in Appleton. Kallies said that as a teacher he’s enjoyed performances along with his students.

Photo credit: Ken Cobb

Photo credit: Ken Cobb

“The performances at the PAC bring our lesson plans alive!  Because the children of our school have enjoyed the PAC so much, it makes the teachers’ jobs that much more enjoyable in bringing the theatre—and how you can learn about history, music, etc. through the theater—to the children,” he said.

Growing over the years, the education component at the Center has expanded to include special Classroom Connections workshops for teachers on integrating the arts in their classrooms and unique opportunities to network with each other prior to performances at the Center’s Education Outlet events.

The Bemis Company Education Series will explore neighbors, communities and friends when it presents a season entitled “Together Through the Arts.” The stories of Junie B. Jones, Martin Luther King Jr., the Harlem Renaissance, Aesop’s Fables, Daniel Tiger and more will come alive on our stage as students in PreK through 12th grade explore their world through the lens of the arts.

Celebrating Our Volunteers

In the sea of maroon vests here at the Center you are almost guaranteed to find a helping hand, a smiling face and often someone who is willing to tell you how long they’ve been volunteering at the Center or what their favorite performance has been.

The sea includes 466 maroon vests to be exact, a number that amounts to the backbone of our Center. These volunteers put in more than 26,000 hours last season and what better way to celebrate them than by throwing them a very special dinner to say “thanks!”

DSC_0512Volunteers were treated to a “fairy tale” evening complete with glass slippers and pumpkin carriages along with an expression of thanks from the Center’s Manager of Volunteer and Audience Services  Steve Jahnke. They were also welcomed with a special message of gratitude from Terry Timm, a senior vice president with Thrivent Financial  and Fox Cities P.A.C. Board Member, who represented Thrivent as the continuing sponsor of the Volunteer Program.

Special awards were also given out to a handful of volunteers who stood out last season.

Golden Flashlight Award (Volunteer with most hours), Anne Jackson

Golden Flashlight Award (Volunteer with most hours), Anne Jackson

Ambassador Award (Volunteer who exemplifies the ideals of the Fox Cities P.A.C. volunteer program and also in the community), Robert and Mary Lou Jones

Ambassador Award (Volunteer who exemplifies the ideals of the Fox Cities P.A.C. volunteer program and also in the community), Robert and Mary Lou Jones

Standing Ovation Award (Volunteer of the year award): Bill Van Schyndell

Standing Ovation Award (Volunteer of the year award): Bill Van Schyndell

Rookie of the Year Award (Best volunteer in their first year): Todd, Sue and Lauren Volkman

Rookie of the Year Award (Best volunteer in their first year): Todd, Sue and Lauren Volkman

 

Thank you Thrivent Financial and thank you to all of our volunteers honored last night!

A special thanks also to the staff of Michiels Fox Banquets Rivertyme Catering

A special thanks also to the staff of Michiels Fox Banquets Rivertyme Catering

 

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The Back-to-School Playlist

As students everywhere begin to select new pencils and notebooks for the start of another school year we thought what better way to get in the mood to head back to class than with a playlist. And, what better playlist than one done by kids themselves?

Kidz Bop Kids “Make Some Noise” Tour is coming to the Center on Sept. 18, just in time to celebrate that first month back, and in the meantime, their versions of popular radio hits have us singing along.

Here are a few you won’t want to miss in your back-to-school playlist!

Everybody say…Kinky Boots!

Here at the Center we are getting ready to kick-up our heels and celebrate the start of a new season with the Wisconsin premiere of Kinky Boots!

However, in order to tell you what to expect….we needed to know ourselves! So a few weeks ago a small group of us from our development and marketing staff went to Chicago to catch a mid-week matinee of the huge-hearted production…and what we saw was amazing.

Steven Booth and Kyle Taylor Parker in Kinky Boots Photo by Matthew Murphy

Steven Booth and Kyle Taylor Parker in Kinky Boots
Photo by Matthew Murphy

The show, with a catchy score by Cyndi Lauper, amazing choreography and direction by the legendary Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious book by Harvey Fierstein, amazed even our theater-crazed staff.

The production, with it’s larger-than-life characters, costumes and energy, takes a unique story and follows a touching tale of familial relationships, the importance of acceptance and the value of friendship in a funny, thoughtful and fabulous way.

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We couldn’t help ourselves! We had to snap a photo booth picture!

Lola and the Angels, Lola’s Greek Chorus of fabulous drag queens in search of sturdy stilettos, might be the flashiest part of the production, but the main heart of the story focuses on Charlie and Lola coming to terms with who they are – as friends, as sons, as men. The relationships that develop between them and the other characters in the show leave audiences with the feeling that you can change the whole world when you change your mind and accept people for their unique differences.

We could not be more excited to bring this production to the Fox Cities! Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. but Season Ticket Holders and groups of 10 or more can order tickets now! For more information on the show, visit our website and be sure to click “behind the scenes” to connect with Kinky Boots on social media!

Spotlight On: Amy Gosz

amyHave you ever wondered about what it takes to put together a season?

Amy Gosz, Director of Programming and Community Engagement, has been with the Center since 2002 and coordinates the Center’s programming. She works with a programming team to select the artists that will be the best fit for the Center to present after much research and discussion. To identify potential artists she thoughtfully considers patron suggestions, attends conferences, talks with colleagues and attends performances.

Amy also oversees the Center’s education and community engagement programs, such as Family First Nights and residencies such as it gets better. Her position allows her to combine her two passions, education and the performing arts!

We asked Amy three questions to understand her job a little better:
1. Part of your job involves booking artists. Do you get to meet a lot of awesome acts? 
Although I attend a variety of performances throughout the year, my role of booking performances is centered around the relationships I build with agents, artists, other presenters and community members. Through those relationships with artists and agents I am able to learn when tours are coming through our area, who has a new project, determine artist compatibility and fit with our size venue and explore potential education program opportunities. But it is just as important for me to learn from other presenters what artists they are having success with and what kind of performances the community has enjoyed at the Center and is interested in seeing. It is the information I gather from these relationships that help shape our programming each season.

2. How do education and community engagement tie into what performs on stage?
As an organization, our goal is to provide diverse programming that entertains, inspires and educates. In addition to those artists who are easily recognizable, we strive to introduce the community to the rich variety of world-class dance companies, theater productions and musicians to our stage. Those performances then provide the context for our education and engagement programs. Our Community First Community Engagement Activities provide opportunities to further engage with performances including interactive dance demonstrations, historical presentations and family activities.

3. What is your favorite act you’ve booked at the Fox Cities P.A.C.?
I have many, so some favorites include Montana Repertory Theatre’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Cheyenne Jackson and Yamato: The Drummers of Japan.

Let Amy know what you’d like to see at the Center by commenting below!

Broadway Fast Five: July

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Summer on Broadway means many announcements about upcoming projects, casting changes and of course…some odd stories. It’s all in your Broadway Fast 5.

 

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Broadway.com

1. The Wiz anticipation builds

The NBC live broadcast gets more exciting by the day as casting is announced for The Wiz. Stephanie Mills, the original Dorothy, had already been announced but this week Queen Latifah has been announced as The Wiz and Mary J. Blige as Evillene. Oh, and there’s that little rumor going around about Beyoncé

 

Photographer: Bruce Glikas, © Broadway.com

Photographer: Bruce Glikas, © Broadway.com

2. The name on everybody’s lips is going to be…

Rumor Willis. The daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore and most recent winner of “Dancing with The Stars” will make her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in Chicago, taking over the role from Brandy starting Aug. 18.

 

Photo by: Bruce Glikas

Photo by: Bruce Glikas

3. Presidential Influence at Hamilton

Still only in previews, Lin Manuel-Miranda’s new musical Hamilton is attracting a lot of attention. Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made separate stops to see the show celebrating the 1st Secretary of the Treasury.

 

Broadway.com

Broadway.com

4. Patti LuPone and her phone drama

In case you missed the story, Patti LuPone taught everyone a lesson in stage etiquette this month when she took a cellphone from an audience member to make a point…no texting in the theater!

 

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Broadway.com

5. Misty Copeland

It’s worth recapping from this month that inspirational dancer Misty Copeland became the first African American to be named a principal dancer at American Ballet Theater. It’s also worth mentioning she will appear in On The Town, making her Broadway debut as Ivy Smith for a limited two-week engagement. Copeland has an interesting background story and was profiled this month by Broadway.com