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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: Casting a net around the Internet, part 15


Checking on the area arts scene

Robert Lee Brault Playhouse of Green Bay Community Theater was illuminated recently in support of “Red Alert Restart” that recognized theatrical workers. (Green Bay Community Theater)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Like so many things, Northeastern Wisconsin’s performing arts scene is caught in uncertainty because of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Developments often are wait-and-see.

Casting a net around the Internet, here are items of note among recent developments:

– In Green Bay, Green Bay Community Theater, which normally would be opening the run of a live play this week, instead plans to open an “Off-Stage Season” with the webinar, “Scenic Design for the Stage,” from 7-8 p.m. Sept. 17.


Space is limited.

According to a message to patrons: “Beiswenger is a departmental sceneographer/design professor. She earned an master of fine arts in theatrical design from West Virginia University and a master of arts in theater arts from Villanova University.

She has worked professionally for many theaters. She has been a resident scene designer/technical director at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown, Pa., and scenic charge for Peninsula Players Theatre in Fish Green.

Beiswenger designed the scenery for the St. Norbert College summer Music Theatre production of “Mary Poppins.” She is assistant artistic director and co-founder of Theatre Z.

Beiswenger also exhibits art at the Godschlax Art Gallery on the St. Norbert campus and has had pieces accepted into the Neville Public Museum’s annual juried show.

– In Green Bay, Kelli Strickland, executive and artistic director for the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, appeared on the center’s website with this report:

“I’m sure you all know, the ecosystem around live performing arts has been very unpredictable for the last few months due to COVID-19 concerns. The Weidner Center is among many venues that have paused live events at least through the end of 2020. So it remains unclear when we’ll be able to welcome our audiences back. We continue to work preparing for the future and adapting some of our offerings for the near term. The Weidner Center will be launching a new website that is dedicated to hosting livestreamed events and some digital bite-size performances with opportunities for the viewers to interact directly with the artists.”

Strickland encouraged following information on the center’s website,

“When the time comes, we look forward to opening our doors and welcoming our audiences safely back,” Strickland said. “In the meantime, we wish you all good health and implore everyone to stay safe.”

– In Sheboygan, Sheboygan Theatre Company announced on its website that it has a new executive director.

According to the site: “Genesee Spridco is a Wisconsin-born and raised producer, actor, designer and educator of theater arts who has worked nationally and internationally. She started in theater very young acting and working in technical roles in community and pre-professional theaters around Madison including CTM Theatre and School, Middleton Players, Madison Area Technical College, First Banana Productions, Madison Theatre Guild and Madison Opera.”

Spridco trained at Viterbo University in La Crosse, earning a bachelor of fine arts degree in directing and a bachelor of science degree in theater education. She earned a master of fine arts degree in ensemble devised physical theater from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in California. Spridco teaches mask and movement for the bachelor and masters acting programs at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

“(Spridco) is an advocate for actors creating their own works and bringing marginalized voices to the space of the stage. She currently serves as co-vice chair of the National Playwriting Program and head of the Devised Theatre Initiative for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Region 3. She created and served as founding artistic director for Chicago-based Suitcase Shakespeare Company who created 60-minute adaptations of the bard’s works. Genesee adapted three productions and directed five in her four years. She also currently helps lead a circus theater ensemble called Imaginez that creates original theater productions and spectacle based event entertainment featuring fire performance, aerial arts, mask work, contortion and more.  Her most recent adaptation of “The Tempest” called “Miranda: One Woman’s Tempest” is performed with two actors using aerial silks, masks, shadow and dance and debuted at the Kansas City Fringe Festival. 

– In Fond du Lac, the Fond du Lac Concert Association has postponed all performances for the fall concert season – September to December – due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“When it becomes safe again to attend concert performances – hopefully as early as the winter of 2021 – perhaps as late as the fall of 2021, the concert associations will make every effort to reignite their series,” the Fond du Lac organization says.

Affected are concerts The Letterman, Sept. 15; Will Martin, Sept. 24; and Janoska, Nov. 17.

“With the expanded CDC’s directive to avoid large gatherings, Allied Concerts has made the difficult decision to cancel our April 28 concert featuring Beginnings. We hope to reschedule the Classic Nashville Roadshow.”

The association is an all-volunteer organization that has hosted performances since 1927. Programs have included symphony orchestras, classical, jazz, big bands, pop, folk, dance, vocal and instrumental soloists and groups, chorale, ballets, popular musicals, show bands, ethnic and cultural ensembles of national and international performers.

– In Appleton, Trout Art Museum normally presents a season of “Jazz at the Trout” on Thursdays starting at this time of year, but that is on the back burner.

However, in visual art, “Seventeen Weeks” has opened. Starting every Tuesday and continuing to Feb. 7, the museum is presenting a week-long exhibit by an artist who makes the Fox Valley home. Info:

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