by Max Seigle
1. WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN MILWAUKEE?
I’m originally from Madison. I spent my college years in Milwaukee at UWM and lived in Austin, Texas for a while. I moved back to Milwaukee in 2013 after Baird recruited me for a job here. I love being back in Wisconsin because I’m close to family and friends again, and it’s amazing to see how Milwaukee has grown since my college days.
I learned about MCT through UPAF (United Performing Arts Fund). I joined the organization’s Next Generation Council and a staff member referred me to MCT’s producing artistic director, Michael Wright, and managing director, Kirsten Mulvey. When I met them, it was just a really good fit right away and they made the decision to join the board an easy one.
I also became involved because theatre has always been a big part of my life. I studied classical theatre and production stage management at UWM and spent college summers working behind the scenes in theatre companies in the Madison area. It’s important for me, as well, to serve the arts community. I genuinely believe giving my time and financial support is a privilege.
3. FAVORITE PLAY OR PLAYS?
MASTER CLASS (2014-2015) was definitely a favorite. As board members, we get a chance to sit on an “Adopt a Show” committee and work to fill the seats during a show’s run. MASTER CLASS was the first show I did that for and we nearly sold out opening night. I remember the standing ovation; you could feel the energy in the crowd! I just have beautiful feelings about that night.
I am now looking forward to GREAT EXPECTATIONS in the upcoming season. I think that is going to be an amazing production because everybody has an attachment to that play, and I think it will be a great way to close out the season.
4. FAVORITE ACTOR(S)?
Angela Iannone, who played Maria Callas in MASTER CLASS, was incredible.
I love James Pickering. He was in LOVE STORIES last season and I just think he’s a local gem.
I am also a big fan of Doug Clemons and Adam Estes. They were in a show last December called THE STORY OF MY LIFE that was a partnership between MCT and the Milwaukee Opera Theatre. Clemons and Estes are probably two of Milwaukee’s strongest vocalists, and to see them in the same show together was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
5. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS BEING A PART OF MCT?
I really enjoy sitting at the board meeting and looking around the table. It’s an incredible group of people, everyone from community leaders to business professionals that have helped build Milwaukee. We have a growing group of young professionals, too.
I’m very proud of the way the board embraces a new person that joins and really tries to play to their strengths. We help them find their place and I think that’s what makes them stay with us.
6. WHAT DO YOU DO PROFESSIONALLY?
I am a retirement specialist and financial advisor at Baird. I have been in that role since moving to Milwaukee three years ago. I have an office in Waukesha and spend a few days of the week serving clients in Madison. I love the work because it allows me to blend my financial background with my ability to connect to people well. It’s really important to me that I’m there to guide my clients through this kind of critical life planning. I’m also passionate about closing the gap in financial education for women, and this role allows me to do that.
7. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN? ANY HOBBIES?
My husband and I are big “foodies.” We even plan vacations based on restaurants we want to try.
We also love to travel. We like to do those get in the car and see the country kind of trips. One of my favorites was five years ago when we drove to Yellowstone Park. When we arrived, it was dusk, you could see the fog rolling in and there were two bison at the main gate. It was just breathtaking. I didn’t even know something like that existed in the United States.
One other big love of mine is promoting dog rescue, especially senior dogs. My husband and I have rescued two of them. We have a Corkie-Chihuahua mix named Winston, and a Pug-Chihuahua mix named Elsie. We take them everywhere with us. If I could bring them to work, I would!
8. FAVORITE PLACE TO GRAB DINNER BEFORE A MCT SHOW?
Onesto in the Third Ward. I love their mushroom gnocchi. I also love Merriment Social in Walker’s Point. They have great tapas and a gastropub menu as well.
9. FAVORITE WISCONSIN SPOT THAT NEVER GETS OLD?
My husband, George, and I love to go to Door County in the fall. It’s just a really incredible place to disconnect. There is so much to see there experiencing Wisconsin at its best. And it’s a fun drive to go there and pass through the Green Bay area, it’s very pretty.
10. FAVORITE SUMMER FESTIVAL IN MILWAUKEE?
Festa Italiana. I like the food, music and people there. I feel like it’s a smaller version of Summerfest and not quite as crowded. It’s really family-friendly, too, and I really enjoy that part of it.
11. ANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS THAT YOU’RE A PART OF THAT YOU ENJOY AND WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT?
I sit on the Next Generation Council with UPAF. It is made up of leaders from various Milwaukee companies, large and small. We focus on promoting and engaging the next generation of philanthropists for the Milwaukee arts scene. We want to keep it thriving for years to come. This group is really the next generation of leaders in the city and I just feel privileged to be a part of it.
I am also the board president of the Capital City Theatre in Madison. It’s a new musical theatre company, now in its third year. They have an amazing group of talented, hardworking individuals. The group most recently featured Gypsy and the show was a huge success.
12. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE IN THE AREA WHO AREN’T FAMILIAR WITH MCT TO KNOW ABOUT IT?
I think the biggest thing you need to know is that MCT is a gem of classical theater and new works. It’s really a beautiful, intimate experience, and once you go see one show, you’re going to be hooked!
This upcoming season is the perfect time to check us out. There will be a little bit of everything. Artistic director Michael (Wright) has really created an amazing 2016-2017 season.