1. WHERE ARE YOU FROM? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN MILWAUKEE?
I’m originally from the Wausau area in Central Wisconsin. I moved to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University and fell in love with the area. I went on to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison but moved back to Milwaukee in 2008 and have been here ever since. I continue to enjoy all of the things about Milwaukee that I fell in love with while at Marquette; great restaurants and theatre, festivals, events and many opportunities for outdoor activities.
2. HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE?
Fellow board member Mickey Ripp, father of a good friend of mine, invited me to the final show of the 2014-2015 MCT season. We saw JEEVES TAKES A BOW as part of a group coming from the Wisconsin Club. We had dinner first and then took a shuttle over to the theatre. It was such a fun show and a great experience to go with the group. I remember the show was in the Cabot Theatre. I thought the venue was really spectacular because you wouldn’t expect what it looks like from the outside. It has a little bit of an “old world feel” to it. We sat up in the dress circle balcony and had a unique view of the performance. I’ve even kept my subscription seats in the same spot. This past season, I hosted my own group outings to BOEING BOEING and FALLEN ANGELS. I invited friends to meet at the Milwaukee Athletic Club for drinks and appetizers and then go see the show together. It has been really nice to share the kind of experience I had with Mickey Ripp. I try to take care of the logistics for people, make it an event, and let them enjoy the night. My guests have really enjoyed this, and they are already excited for next season’s theme of “Misfits.”
3. FAVORITE PLAY OR PLAYS?
My first play as a board member was BOEING BOEING. It was such fun show with great characters, bright colors, and a real “crowd-pleaser.” The whole group of friends that I brought for an after-work event on a Thursday evening thoroughly enjoyed it.
4. FAVORITE ACTOR/ACTORS?
I liked the real-life married couple Tami Workentin and James Pickering in LOVE STORIES this past season I thought that it was such a neat premise that they were acting together and injected their own life into the performance. I also liked the two women in FALLEN ANGELS. All the dialogue back-and-forth between them was terrific.
5. YOU ARE A NEW BOARD MEMBER AT MCT. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN THE BOARD?
I’ve enjoyed all different kinds of performances and theatre in Milwaukee since moving back here. When I was invited to join the board, I thought it would be a great chance to get involved in the city’s artistic culture from the inside and contribute more personally to the arts in Milwaukee. My hope is to help keep the theatre scene vibrant here and bring new people to MCT who might not otherwise come. Personally, this is the first board that I’ve sat on. I’m enjoying the interaction with a diverse group of people and getting the chance to meet the actors on occasion. This is something outside of my work and existing circles, kind of a “branching out” experience for me and getting to know more of Milwaukee. As a new board member, I am also enjoying the chance to read the plays before the performances. Often, what comes to mind while you’re reading is so different from how the story comes to life onstage.
6. WHAT DO YOU DO PROFESSIONALLY?
I’m a pharmacist for Aurora Healthcare. I have been working for Aurora since 2008. I’m based at a retail pharmacy that is part of a clinic in Glendale and have managed the location for the past five years. I enjoy the interaction with patients and the relationships I form with them. I’ll typically see patients once a month when they come to pick up their prescriptions, much more frequently than they see their doctors. It’s a nice opportunity to make a difference on a pretty regular basis. I have actually worked in pharmacies since high school. I always liked math and science, and knew that this was a track I wanted to stay with for my career. I have a Pharm.D degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
7. WHAT YOU DO FOR FUN? ANY HOBBIES?
I love being out and about in Milwaukee and trying new restaurants. I enjoy running and biking in the summer along the Oak Leaf Trail. I also love to travel. I try to go on an international trip every year. Argentina has been on my list for a while now, and I am planning to go to this fall. I have enjoyed trips to Barcelona, France, Mexico and Italy in recent years. This past May, I was able to travel to Italy with my parents, brother and sister-in-law and my boyfriend. I had been there before but it was a great experience to travel as a family, and take my parents who have always wanted to go to Italy. Rome is one of my favorite cities. I just love the old next to the new, history everywhere you look, always a gelato stand in striking distance and amazing food. It’s beautiful and walkable, and lovely to do the stroll in the evening past all the iconic fountains and monuments. I also enjoy visiting friends and family in the United States, including a cousin in Seattle. Pike Place Market, with the amazing seafood, is a favorite spot
8. FAVORITE WISCONSIN SPOT THAT NEVER GETS OLD?
Door County has always been a special place for my family. We grew up going there every weekend in the summer and had a permanent spot at a campground. We had our bikes, our campground had a pool, tennis court and we explored all around. The Eagle Trail at Peninsula State Park was one of our favorite hiking spots, wrapping right along the limestone bluffs around the edge of the peninsula. During holidays in the summer, our extended family often joined us. Now, I try to go at least once a year, and sometimes in the off season in the winter when it’s a little less crowded. It’s a nice getaway experience and still a favorite place to go. My aunt and uncle just finished building a home there and are going to retire in Door County, so we’ll be able to continue the tradition of going up there as a big family group.
9. FAVORITE SUMMER FESTIVAL IN MILWAUKEE?
Polish Fest. I’m a closet polka dancer. We grew up polka dancing in my family. Although I’m not Polish, I’m 100 percent German, we would have polka bands at my aunt and uncle’s weddings when I was growing up. We liked it and everybody had fun dancing. There are not too many polka weddings anymore, so it is fun having the chance to dance at Polish Fest. Polka is faced-paced and lively with a lot of hopping and spinning. Watching other talented dancers is almost as much fun as dancing yourself. I remember at a recent Polish Fest, there was a band with mother, father and six or seven kids performing together. Everyone was playing an instrument, they were really good and all having a good time performing. The dancing and music, with good food and beer, makes a good time for all.
10. FAVORITE PLACE TO HAVE DINNER BEFORE AN MCT SHOW?
I enjoy Hinterland on Erie Street. They have the option of doing the full restaurant or having a smaller bite in the lounge. They are friendly when you walk in and always coming up with something new on the menu. They also have a great bed and breakfast, the Whistling Swan in Door County, which I highly recommend.
11. ANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS THAT YOU’RE A PART OF THAT YOU ENJOY AND WHAT WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT?
I am a member at Saints Peter and Paul Parish on the East Side. We do some great things for the community, like our collaboration with the Riverwest Food Pantry. We collect donations weekly and offer fresh produce grown at our community garden in the summer and fall. I am also a member of the Evening Mass Choir. We sing at the 7 p.m. mass on Sundays. I enjoyed singing in the Liturgical Choir while I was at Marquette University, and am now enjoying the musical outlet of our casual, small group choir on Sunday evenings at Saints Peter and Paul.
12. BACK TO MCT: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE IN THE AREA TO KNOW ABOUT THIS THEATRE COMPANY WHO MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH IT?
I think a lot of people have seen shows at some of the bigger theatres in the city, like the Marcus Center, and may not know about us. I feel our smaller size makes MCT more accessible and offers more interaction with the audience, especially with the Studio Theatre. It’s a more intimate experience there. There is also a broad range of shows each season featuring local actors. I like that we have a theme that ties all of the shows together.