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A Little Something for Everyone

Waukesha Civic Theatre’s decades of live entertainment

Sep. 6, 2016
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Of some 7,000 community theater companies in the U.S., only about 100 can boast continuous operation for 50-plus years. It may surprise some to know that one of those 100 is right up the road from Milwaukee. Waukesha Civic Theatre is about to embark upon its 59th season of live plays, musicals and other shows this fall—a decent go-to option for those seeking such offerings throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

Like many theater companies, the WCT’s first venue (1957) was a school auditorium—that of Waukesha High School. Eventually, they moved to a church and finally, in 1999, to their current facility: The Margaret Brate Bryant Civic Theatre Building on Main Street in Downtown Waukesha. The structure itself (a former movie theater) was donated to the WCT by local developer Bryce Styza. All this has proven highly successful: Having a major performing arts center and resident theatrical company in the heart of any community revitalizes, stimulates and, in a way, even legitimizes the community at large.

The WCT enriches the artistic life of the community and the people, in return, provide support—more than 10,000 have volunteered their time and energy over the years to help the Waukesha Civic Theatre thrive. The WCT grants a “Production Award” for every show throughout the season and public kudos through the “Featured Volunteers” part of their homepage. In addition, the WCT puts out an ongoing call for new staff members—scenic, lighting, sound and costume designers, carpenters and decorators. 

The Waukesha Civic Theatre offers would-be attendees several different options in terms of show packages. Rates vary according to purchaser (student, senior, military, etc.) Subscriptions are likewise flexible, with discounted tickets available for as few as three shows. There are also day-of-production savings available to students—ostensibly those who suddenly realize they nearly forgot a certain theater class requirement! Finally, the WCT has a “Pay What You Can” offer for those who can ill afford theater tickets at any price.

Want to give them a try? The Waukesha Civic Theatre is no slouch when it comes to variety—the current season counts more than 20 individual productions. A cursory glance at their extensive list finds such inviting titles as Gypsy, Illusions of the Night (magician David Seebach), To Kill a Mockingbird, an Elvis Presley musical revue, Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park.

For more information visit waukeshacivictheatre.org or call 262-547-4911.

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