Spring show offers peek into church basements

We are looking forward to our granddaughter Alison’s graduation from Carroll University in May. We are so proud of our dean’s list student. She will have lots of family in the audience. Ali is our first grandchild to graduate college and hopes to teach physical education and coach softball.

March at the Mielke Arts Center will be busy preparing for our delightful spring production, “Church Basement Ladies.” This popular show has been seen in northeastern Wisconsin venues in past years and is always a hit with audiences. The play is a celebration of the ladies who work in the church kitchen.

It features four distinct characters and their relationships as they organize the food and solve problems in their Minnesota church kitchen. From the experienced, elderly matriarch to the young college student learning the ropes, the show gives us a touching, funny look at their lives as we watch them handle a record-breaking church dinner.

You’ll probably recognize some of your own church ladies in these characters. The talented cast includes Miriam Nelson, Cheryl Folkerts, Alex Konen, Sue Kluge and Marie Kluge. Sue Kluge is the director.

We need some kitchen props dating from the 1960s including refrigerator, stove, chest freezer and table. If you can help us, please call Cheryl Folkerts at 715-745-6222 or email Sue Kluge at zuzklu2@gmail.com. Thank you.

Performance dates for “Church Basement Ladies” will be April 27-28 and May 4-5 at 7 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on April 29 and May 6. Note that there will be no Thursday evening shows.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for youth under 18. Reservations for general seating tickets will be taken at 715-526-2525 after April 2. Outlets for tickets will be the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce office in Shawano and B&H Fashions in Clintonville. Online, use Brown Paper Tickets through our website at shawanoarts.com, where easy order steps are outlined.

Our summer musical is “Annie” with auditions tentatively set for May 1-2, with callbacks on May 3. Char Stuewer will be directing, with Jen Green as musical director. You can call Char at 715-526-9330.

Our fall show has been chosen and it’s a comedy about ice fishing. You guys will love this one. “The Ice House” will be directed by Sue Kluge. Show dates are Oct. 5-7 and Oct. 12-14.

The 2018 holiday season will again be celebrated with the children’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” back by popular demand, with a new cast. Show dates are Dec. 7-9.

We listen to our patrons and appreciate your input. If you have an idea for future shows at the Mielke Arts Center, email me at bapella@frontiernet.net and I’ll forward your suggestions to our production advisory committee.

Looks like an exciting theater season ahead at the Mielke!

Ann Van Grinsven is the vice president of Box in the Wood Theatre Guild.