We’re finalists for Shepherd Express’s Best of Milwaukee 2016!

For the second year in a row, we are honored to be finalists in the category of “BEST THEATER COMPANY” in the Shepherd Express’s Best of Milwaukee Awards!

It is a tremendous honor for us to be finalists in each of our first two seasons. Our organizational mission is to provide local actors and artists with a stage on which they can thrive, and expose more local audiences to plays and musicals they might not otherwise see. This sort of recognition shows to us that this mission is resonating with our audience, and we are so thrilled.

The other outstanding nominees include First Stage Children’s Theater, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Renaissance Theaterworks.

We would very much appreciate your vote! Click HERE to vote in the category of Arts and Entertainment.

While you’re voting, be sure to cast your votes for AIP actors Amber Smith (The Last Five Years, Dogfight, The Wild Party, AIP board member) and Doug Clemons (Little Shop of Horrors) in the categories of Best Stage Actress and Actor!

An Interview with “Manhood” Director Michael Stoddard

Michael Stoddard [Clare View Photography]

Michael Stoddard
[Clare View Photography]

Michael Stoddard has developed a reputation in the MIlwaukee theater community for directing and acting in outstanding productions. With a highly successful tenure at Divine Savior Holy Angels high school, the development of DSHA’s Community Theater Works program into a major summer event and recent acting credits as Leo Frank in Greendale Community Theater’s Parade and All In Productions’ The Last Five Years, Michael has a tendency to turn everything he touches into something special.

That’s why we were thrilled when he came to us and volunteered to direct our fundraiser show. Under his direction, Best Half Foot Forward and Pillow Talk are sure to send audiences home with laughter-induced belly aches.

We asked Michael a few questions about the show. Here’s what he had to say. And be sure to  get your tickets today and come laugh with us! It’s a two-night-only show, so don’t miss it!

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Q: You came to AIP and pitched the idea of putting on these two one-acts. What made you choose them?
When I was 21 years old I had the privilege of performing in both these shows by Peter Tolan.  Fifteen years later they are still one of the funniest experiences I have had on stage.    Peter Tolan is a genius at writing and capturing the realistic banter of men as they interact behind closed doors.   The situations may be heightened, but the awkward male ego is captured by Tolan in a perfectly hilarious way.   I can still hear the audience’s laughter filling the small theatre we performed them in.  I knew it would be a hit for AIP and I am delighted to direct them. 
 
 
Q: The theme for the evening, “Manhood,” was also your idea. What do you think these shows tell us about manhood and the way we perceive it?  
The tile Manhood jumped out at me because of its clear double meaning.   “Manhood” is a slang term often heard when a man is talking about his own “area”, but also refers to the unspoken competition men face in our society.  Like wild animals, men fight for dominance to see who’s king of the pack and in some cases, “whose manhood is bigger than whose.”  
 
BEST HALF FOOT FORWARD, deals with four men who are stir crazy at the end of a week’s vacation in a secluded cabin.  The audience gets an exciting glimpse into their insecurities of friendship and masculinity which drive the men into outrageous acts of competition which culminates in one of the funniest moments I have seen on stage.  PILLOW TALK, deals with two heterosexual men, Aaron and Doug, who are traveling across country and are forced to share a small bed in a tiny bedroom of Aaron’s grandmother’s mobile home.   Fueled by Doug’s insanely phobic fear of physical intimacy to share a bed, the characters are forced to examine their feelings about friendship and each other.   
 
Q: These shows don’t have a whole lot in terms of set or props to set up the shtick — they take place in confined spaces, and the laughs are mostly in the script and the actors’ delivery. What kind of challenges/opportunities does that give to a director/actor?
That is another reason I love these plays so much.   They really showcase the actors.  The plot lines are simple and the dialogue flows organically.  It is up to the actors to create believable characters routed in individual insecurity that culminates in hilarious moments of stage tension.     
 
 
Q: What do you think people are going to enjoy most about these shows?  
Burning calories laughing.  It’s the AIP weight loss plan. Tolan writes a sneak peek into the neurosis and insecurities men face regarding their masculinity in such a believable way you have to laugh. Watching men behave this way is the reason women wonder whether male evolution is only a theory…
Secondly, the actors. The six gentlemen we have performing in both productions are some of Milwaukee’s finest actors and comedians. Whether you are male or female, you will appreciate the ridiculousness of this show. 
 
Q: Give us your most ridiculous pitch for why people should come out to MANHOOD.
If you enjoy laughing then you should come.  If you like to be miserable…then stay home and make sure no one steals your garbage cans. Heterosexuals sharing tiny beds, drinking beers and comparing endowments.  Sounds like a party to me.   Grab a drink, support AIP and have fun with us. 

Announcing Our First-Ever Fundraiser Event: MANHOOD

Manhood cover

All In Productions has a lot of great stuff planned for our second season, but to make it happen, we need your help. Therefore, we are pleased to announce our first-ever fundraiser event: MANHOOD.

The event will take place on May 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Comedy Sportz Garage in Milwaukee. It features two hilarious one-act plays by Peter Tolan centered on the themes of “manhood” and “masculinity:” Best Half Foot Forward and Pillow Talk, directed by the one and only Michael Stoddard, who has been a fixture in the Milwaukee theater community for years. Stoddard is known for his highly successful tenure as theater director at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School.

The casts for the two plays are as follows:

BEST HALF FOOT FORWARD

DAVE – Jonathan Wachala
PETER – Tyler Stanley
PATRICK – Sam Pickart
MARTIN – Eric Pfeiffer

PILLOW TALK

AARON – Mitch Weindorf
DOUG – Brad Novak

While the two plays are the centerpiece of the evening, there is a whole lot more fun in store for the event. We will have several performances by AIP actors highlighting our first season, as well as a silent auction featuring some great items donated by local businesses and organizations.

Tickets for the event are $20 each, or $120 to reserve a full table of eight.

This promises to be a fun-filled evening with a whole lot of laughs. We hope you will come out and support our growing organization as we build toward the rest of our season!