Announcing the Cast of Circle Mirror Transformation

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We are thrilled to announce the cast of Circle Mirror Transformation, coming this April to the Alchemist Theater in Bay View!

Here’s the cast list:

MARTY: Jennifer Grundy
JAMES: Joe Krapf
THERESA: Abby Stein
SCHULTZ: Matthew Scales
LAUREN: Sarah Caveney

We are very excited to work with this team, which is entirely new to All In Productions! We were also excited to have an excellent turnout of talented actors. Casting for such a small show is always difficult when it comes to turning people away, but we are grateful to be able to have such a high level of talent consistently show up for our auditions.

Tickets for Circle Mirror Transformation are now on sale, so get yours today! The show runs April 6-15 at Alchemist Theater.

Announcing Our Next Show and a February Fundraiser

We are thrilled to announce that our next show will be the play CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION by Annie Baker!

When we were talking about shows we wanted to do this year, we knew we wanted to focus more on humanity and interpersonal relationships and the things that bring us together in a time in which there is so much discord. Circle Mirror Transformation is a wonderful, genuine, well-written story of a group of seemingly average yet fascinating people. It gives us a great character study of how people interact and perceive each other, and how they fall in love in even mundane circumstances, such as a community acting course.

The director of the play is Mitch Weindorf, who has worked with is previously in our MANHOOD fundraiser and as Burrs in THE WILD PARTY. There will be eight total shows, from April 6 to 15.

While we do not officially have audition times nailed down yet, they will be happening within the next couple of weeks, with rehearsals to begin immediately after. Stay tuned for an official audition notice shortly. Here are the roles being cast for the show:

MARTY (55, Female), The co-executive director of the community center and the teacher of the community acting course featured in the play.
JAMES (60, Male): An Army brat, James traveled extensively as a child but ended up at UC Santa Barbara. Marty’s husband.
TERESA (35, Female): Teresa is a new resident of Shirley, Vermont, having moved into her condo five months
SCHULTZ (48, Male): Recently divorced, Schultz is shy, genial, and unused to being alone.
LAUREN (16, Female): Shy, self-conscious, and uncomfortable in her body

Announcing our February Fundraiser: Let’s Love

In another important bit of news, we are holding a fundraiser this February, which we are calling Let’s Love.

This season, we are focusing on sharing stories of ordinary people who relate to each other in different ways. We are exploring friendships, love, relationships, families and inner crises. This is why we named our season theme Let’s Talk. We want to get talking about the things that bring us together and ways we can better relate to each other, rather than the things that divides us.

On February 1, we are kicking off our Let’s Love campaign on GoFundMe. February is, of course, the month of Valentine’s Day, so what better way to spread the love than to be a part of our mission to bring people together through theater? Our goal is to raise $5,000 in the month of February. 500 donations of just $10 would allow us to hit our goal, so any support you can provide, whether it’s financial or by spreading the word, would be greatly appreciated. This $5,000 would not only cover the rest of our performance rental space for Circle Mirror Transformation, but will also allow us to purchase the rights for our summer musical, so as soon as we hit our goal we’ll be able to announce our next show!

So this month, as we prepare for our next show and the discussions of how we perceive each other and form relationships that are certain to come out, Let’s Love as well, and give these stories the ability to be shared with our community.

We’ll post a link to the GoFundMe when it’s live on February 1st!

2017 Season Theme Announcement

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2016 was a great year for AIP, and we’re looking forward to our 2017 season!

Our first two years at All In Productions have been unforgettable. After opening with The Last Five Years in December 2014, we continued with our 2015 season, Dreams versus Reality, with The Shape of Things, Little Shop of Horrors and Dogfight. All of these shows were bound together by the theme of characters who are either oblivious to the realities around them because they are caught up in their dreams, or characters who make their dreams into a reality.

Our 2016 season featured two shows, Ordinary Days and The Wild Party, as well as our first-ever fundraiser, Manhood. We chose not to stick to a theme this past year, opting instead to do shows we felt were meaningful and unique to the area, and once again featuring entirely local talent in the process.

Now, we are excited to announce the theme of our 2017 season: Let’s Talk.

2016 was a year of social and political turmoil. We watched in horror as racial violence and tension escalated across the nation. We continued to see debates about gun violence, about gender equality, and many other issues that are all too familiar. And most recently, we witnessed a presidential election that divided the nation more starkly than ever.

As the dust settled after the election, there seemed to be only one thing most people could agree on: it’s time to talk, and to listen to each other.

Theater has, for its entire existence, been both a means of escapism and a vehicle for critical discussion. It is tempting for theaters to push topical, “edgy” repertoire in an effort to make a larger impact on their communities. But now, in a time in which mass communication and media have made these types of broad-stroke discussions more accessible than ever before (for better and for worse), what society is craving are honest, genuine discussions about humanity itself. We are coming to a collective realization that if we truly want to change minds, we have to start by changing hearts, and that can only happen by focusing on what makes people think, feel and act the way they do.

So in 2017, Let’s Talk about what it means to be human, what it means to love, what it means to be a family, and why we are the way we are. Let’s crank down the noise, and begin to understand each other.

We currently have three shows planned for this year, two plays and a musical, which we will announce throughout the year. Each show focuses on human relationships, families and emotion, and each has been chosen to espouse intimacy and honesty. We are excited to share these stories with you and to continue our journey as a theater company.

All In Productions Board

Tim Backes
Niko King
Robby McGhee
Alex Scheurell
Amber Smith

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

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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!

 

Announcing our next show: Ordinary Days

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We are pleased to announce our next show, ORDINARY DAYS.

“From one of musical theatre’s most exciting new composers comes ORDINARY DAYS, a refreshingly honest and funny musical about making real connections in the city that never sleeps (but probably should at some point.) ORDINARY DAYS tells the story of four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. ORDINARY DAYS is an original musical for anyone who’s ever struggled to appreciate the simple things in a complex place. With equal doses of humor and poignancy, it celebrates how 8.3 million individual stories combine in unexpected ways to make New York City such a unique and extraordinary home.”
– Rodgers and Hammerstein show description

Performances will at In Tandem Theatre on March 25-26 and March 30-April 2 at 7:30 P.M., with 4:00 P.M. matinees on March 27 and April 3.

Auditions for Ordinary Days will be held on December 12th and 13th at the Underground Collaborative in Grand Avenue Mall, 161 W. Wisconsin Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day at 10-minute intervals. Actors wishing to audition should email allin.mke@gmail.com to schedule their time. All auditionees should bring a headshot and resume to their appointment and prepare a musical theater piece in the style of the show of no longer than five minutes. An accompanist will be provided.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS (From Wikipedia)

Claire

Claire is in her 30’s and is embarking on a new stage of her life with boyfriend Jason. The decision to share an apartment is the catalyst for Claire to face her past. Her cathartic “I’ll Be Here” provides the audience the final clue to her arc.

Required vocal range: Soprano

Jason

Jason is in his 30’s and is the boyfriend of Claire. A romantic at heart, he spends the bulk of the musical attempting to further his relationship, at first by moving in (“The Spaces Between”) and then by proposing. Claire consistently resists his attempts leading to the central conflict of their story arc (“Fine”).

Required vocal range: Tenor

Deb

In her mid twenties, Deb is a cynical and defensive grad student who is struggling to find focus in her life. She meets struggling artist Warren when he finds her thesis notes in the street.

Required vocal range: Mezzo

Warren

The cheerful and sometimes annoyingly optimistic Warren sees beauty in the simple things in life, delivering the musical’s message and final number (“Beautiful”).

Required vocal range: Tenor

Contact us at allin.mke@gmail.com if you have any questions about auditions or the show.

We’re a Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee finalist!

We received some really cool news recently — All In Productions has been named a Top 4 finalist in the “Best Theater Company” category of the Shepherd Express’s “Best of Milwaukee” awards! The other three finalists are First Stage, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Kohl’s Wild Theater. That’s some pretty outstanding company.

To be nominated for such an award after just our first season alongside such established, respected companies is truly an honor. There were more than 60,000 votes cast in the first round, and there are certain to be even more cast now in the finals. The Shepherd Express is in its 25th year of running this award program, and it is a big deal for the arts community in Milwaukee, as well as local businesses, restaurants and more.

In other exciting news, two AIP board members have also been nominated for Best of Milwaukee awards. Co-founder Robby McGhee is nominated for Best Milwaukee Actor, and Amber Smith is nominated for Best Milwaukee Actress. We are very lucky to have such talented people behind our organization.

Voting is underway now, and we would deeply appreciate it if you took just a few minutes to cast your vote for us. You can do so at the Best of Milwaukee page at the Shepherd Express website. Click here to vote in our category!

 

New year, new website!

As we march forward into 2015, we at All In Productions are focused on taking the next steps forward as a theater company as well. We recently wrapped up our first ever show, The Last Five Years, and can’t wait to get started on our next one: Little Shop of Horrors. 

Part of expanding our presence in the Milwaukee theater community is enhancing our presence online as well. To that end, we’ve put together a brand new website that will be a great hub for information for interested auditionees and audience members alike.

If you have any questions, please feel free to fill out a contact form on our website or reach out to us on Facebook!