Friday, October 26, 2012

Three Workshops Announced for Classroom Connections

Classroom Connections Inspires Educators (and Students) in Northeast Wisconsin! 

This school year, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and Appleton Area School District (AASD) are teaming up to offer Classroom Connections, a series of professional development workshops for educators.The Center and AASD were selected last spring for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Partners in Education program, joining about 100 collaborations across the country. 

Upcoming activities include three educator workshops open to all Wisconsin educators on a first-come, first-serve basis. These hands–on workshops will be presented by professional teaching artists and prepare educators to integrate the arts into their classrooms.

Evidence shows that arts infused classrooms benefit students across all subjects. In fact, research by the University of New Mexico concluded that, “Arts contributed to analytically deeper, experientially broader, and psychologically more rewarding learning. These developments could have significant positive effects on students' general cognitive growth over time, particularly if students experience arts-integrated learning in their classroom on a regular basis.”

Educators may learn more about Classroom Connections and register for workshops at


Character Interviews: A Dramatic Approach to Reading Comprehension 
Monday, November 5, 2012; 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Leader: Lenore Blank Kelner
For Educators of Grades 3-8
Fee: $20/AASD Staff or $25/Wisconsin Educators

Teaching reading comprehension takes on a whole new dimension as educators explore an effective and engaging technique for involving students in the examination of literature. Participants discover how to use an imaginary talk show format called “Books Alive” to engage students in the learning process. Students are interviewed as they reenact characters from a book, while teachers become the talk show host. Lenore Blank Kelner teaches how to pose appropriate questions that require the students to support their answers from the literature and make predictions and inferences about their characters, as well as analyze the text’s themes. Kelner serves as an education consultant to the Maryland State Department of Education as well as school systems and schools nationwide. She has trained thousands of teachers in how to integrate drama into everyday classroom instruction.

The Drama of Science
Tuesday, January 15, 2013; 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Leader: Karen Erickson
For Educators of Grades 1-6
Fee: $20/AASD Staff or $25/Wisconsin Educators

Integrating the concepts of both science and drama into the classroom, Karen Erickson, teaches educators how to transform science classes into active, student-centered explorations. Focusing on earth science, mechanical science and biology, educators will learn new techniques through expressive movement, drama and enacted story. Participants will also examine classroom management techniques and learn how to build group dynamics within their classrooms. Erickson, a theater educator from Chicago, will guide participants as they explore the common threads of science and art.

Writing the Heros Journey: Building Writing Skills Through Storytelling and Oral Language
Thursday, February 21, 2013; 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Leader: Stuart Stotts
For Educators of Grades 4-8
Fee: $20/AASD Staff or $25/Wisconsin Educators

Through this workshop, Wisconsin educators will discover how a focus on the artistic qualities of storytelling can open the literary world and introduce students to a style of writing beyond the page. Oral storytelling allows organization, descriptive language, voice and sentence fluency to come more easily for students as their creations become a living piece of work. Using the story form of a hero’s journey, Wisconsin native Stuart Stotts, will demonstrate prewriting methods and teach a process for helping students develop stories. His techniques will encourage students to draw on their creative thinking and oral communication abilities. Stotts is a Kennedy Center teaching artist as well as a nationally recognized, award winning songwriter, storyteller and author from Madison, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fox Cities P.A.C. Named A Top Stop of the Decade by Venues Today Magazine

Today, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center announced that it has been recognized on a list of Top Stops of the Decade” by Venues Today, an international industry publication for performing arts venues. The Fox Cities P.A.C. was named 10th among theaters with a capacity ranging from 2,001 - 5,000 seats, earning a position alongside theaters in major metropolitan areas such as Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando and the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center was one of three Wisconsin venues recognized by Top Stops of the Decade” and the only Broadway presenting organization in the state included in the list. Since opening in 2002, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has welcomed more than 1.8 million ticketed patrons. Performance highlights included 22 Wisconsin Broadway premieres such as Mamma Mia!, Disneys The Lion King, WICKED, Jersey Boys and War Horse, scheduled for June 2013. The Center also features a cultural performance series and welcomes popular touring acts such as Yanni, Willie Nelson, Straight No Chaser and comedian Bill Cosby. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tickets On Sale November 30 for Disney's The Lion King

Disney Theatrical Productions and the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center announced today that tickets for the long-awaited return engagement of Disney’s The Lion King will go on sale to the public on Friday, November 30 at 7:00 a.m.!

The Fox Cities’ most eagerly awaited return will once again leap onto the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s stage on Tuesday, April 9 for a limited engagement of four weeks through Sunday, May 5. The opening night is Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. The show’s six-week premiere engagement in 2007 played a sold-out run at the Fox Cities P.A.C. 
Beginning Friday, November 30, tickets will be available in-person only at the Centers ticket office from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The first 100 ticket buyers will receive a free gift with purchase, and parking will be available in the Washington Street Ramp for $2 (cash only). Tickets for The Lion King will be available online at and starting at 10:00 a.m. To charge tickets, call Ticketmaster at (866)870-2717. There is an eight ticket limit for all ticket buyers. Additional fees may apply. Additionally, VIP Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available. 
Did you know that groups of 15 or more can order tickets before the public on sale event? Orders for groups of fifteen or more may be placed now by calling (920)730-3786. If you have a group of friends or family, co-workers or a social group who you know would love Disney's The Lion King, consider going together and secure your seats today!
The performance schedule for The Lion King is Tuesday - Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. There will also be a special matinee performance on Thursday, May 2 at 2:00 p.m. The Fox Cities P.A.C. is located at 400 West College Avenue, Appleton, WI.

Please remember that Ticketmaster is the only official retail ticket outlet for all performances at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Tickets purchased from other ticket retailers such as secondary ticket agencies or brokers may be more expensive and may not be valid. For more information about the dangers of third party ticket purchases, visit

Savion Glover in Just Twelve Words

Tap sensation Savion Glover has perhaps the shortest bio in the industry. Here's a preview of the background information you'll find in the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center's Ovation for SoLe Sanctuary on Tuesday, October 23.

"SAVION GLOVER (hoofer, father, husband) Praise Almighty God. Please enjoy the evening."

An artist's bio is their place to say (almost) anything a they would like the audience to know about them as a person before the curtain rises. For an artist like Savion Glover, one line is all you need. The rest he'll show you onstage.

Glover's abbreviated bio is not for lack of projects, performances, accolades and stellar reviews. He's been tapping in a big way since he was a kid, christened by his teacher, the legendary Gregory Hines as, “the greatest tap dancer that ever lived.”

Glover is a Tony-winning choreographer and performer with numerous credits including the Broadway shows The Tap Dance KidBlack and Blue, Jelly's Last Jam, and Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. He's been in films such as "Tap" with Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr and "Bamboozled" by Spike Lee. He even won an Academy Award for his choreography of Mumbles, the tapping penguin in "Happy Feet Two." He has his own production company, founded a school for tap called The Hooferz Club in New Jersey, and even if you have never seen tap live, you might recognize him from special appearances on "Sesame Street" and "Dancing with the Stars."

When it comes to Savion Glover, we'll let his feet do the talking. Tickets for SoLe Sanctuary are $28 and great seats are still available for what promises to be a stellar performance. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Who Could Be Blue with Premium Season Tickets?

Premium Season Ticket Holders have been attending receptions prior to their Blue Man Group performances all week as an added benefit of their Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America - Season Ticket Package. Who could be blue with five great Broadway titles and extra perks like this!

Here's a sneak peek of the festivities in the Kimberly-Clark Theater.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Five By Design Stops at Local High Schools

On Thursday, October 4 Five By Design's Club Swing turned back the clocks to the Big Band Era at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. The group is known for their velvet vocals, singing songs that have stood the test of time like “Cocktails for Two,” “Mona Lisa” and “Sing, Sing, Sing." 

The performance was a hit Thursday night, but before the curtain even rose, Five By Design was out and about in the Fox Cities, visiting with students at Appleton East High School and Kaukauna High School.

At Appleton East High School the group members Lorie Carpenter-Niska, Catherine Scott, Kurt Niska, Michael Swedberg and Terrence Niska sang with the students and gave them great advice on pursuing a career in music. At Kaukauna High School the group introduced students to the music of the '30s and '40s and answered questions.

Five By Design's performance and local student workshops were supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, which is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contribution from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Living Legend in Tap, Savion Glover Dances His Way to the Fox Cities P.A.C.

On October 23, the famed Newark "hoofer" Savion Glover returns to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center with his latest work, SoLe Sanctuary.

Christened by the legendary Gregory Hines as, “the greatest tap dancer that has ever lived,” SoLe Sanctuary is Glover’s personal homage to the men and women who paved the way for tap – people like Hines, Jimmy Slyde and Sammy Davis Jr. Glover’s as much a composer as a choreographer, and his reverence for rhythm and the art of tap has cast him in many roles, from Broadway’s Bring  in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk to working behind the scenes, dancing the role of Mumble the penguin in “Happy Feet 2.” 

Featured artist on "Dancing With the Stars"

Dancing alongside the legendary Gregory Hines


Tickets for SoLe Sanctuary are $28.
Reserve your seat today at!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In the Pit with Club Swing's Jeremy Boettcher

This week, we had the chance to ask Club Swing musician Jeremy Boettcher a few questions as he prepared for their Thursday, October 4 performance at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Read on to find out what Jeremy had to say about the great Big Band Era tunes featured in the show, and hear the hits they're known for in Five By Design's Club Swing!

What instrument do you play with Club Swing?
Double Bass or Upright Bass

What’s your favorite song in Club Swing?
I think my favorite song is “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road).” It’s a great arrangement. Frank Sinatra used to do it; it’s a beautiful tune.

How does your instrument contribute to that Big Band sound?
Several ways. It’s both a rhythmic and harmonic instrument, so I have to work with the drums and the piano and the rest of the band to maintain the pulse and framing. Many people say it’s the backbone of the ensemble, that it lays the foundation that everything is laid on. It’s a big responsibility. A lot of people don’t realize the bass is in control and really supplying the pulse. If it’s missing, or not up to par, it really hurts the ensemble. But it’s fun! I love doing it.

What’s the most exciting part about being on tour with Five By Design?
The most exciting part is being able to be in a new city almost every day. You don’t always have time to take in the sights, but it’s always fun to be in a new area and get away from normal life and the usual responsibilities. It’s fun to hang out with the people when you’re in the traveling from place to place. I also really enjoy playing in all the cool historic theaters. We were in Miami, Oklahoma a few years ago, and there’s a really great theater there that was built by a fellow that had inherited oil money or something. He used to go hang out in Hollywood and realized he wanted a place where people could go in Oklahoma, so he built one. Touring you get to go to these great historic theaters and explore these great buildings you wouldn’t otherwise see.

How long have you been playing with Five By Design?
I have been playing on and off with the group since 2001 or 2002, when I was a freshman or sophomore in college. Actually, one of the first shows I played with the group was at the Fox Cities P.A.C. in Appleton.

Where’d did you get your start with music?
When I was really young I took piano lessons and really enjoyed it, I think I was 5. I ended up quitting because I didn’t like practicing the things I was assigned. I liked to improvise and learn different pieces of music. I always felt bad going to the lessons under prepared, so I quit. I was in choir in middle school and really enjoyed that, but also ended up quitting. I decided I wasn’t going to pick up another instrument, but my friend in high school was starting a band. He had just got a drum set, and I was jealous of him because I wanted to be in a band. He convinced me to start playing bass. We were watching MTV and there was an Everclear concert on some live show. My friend said look, the bass player doesn’t really do anything, it’s really easy. So I convinced my parents to get me electric bass for Christmas when I was a freshman in high school. One afternoon I was hanging out with my friend at Family Video. We ran into a classmate that said they were looking for bass players for a jazz ensemble. At that point I couldn’t read music, but I went to the rehearsal and liked it and stuck with it. It all started because of my best friend convinced me to start playing because it looked easy. It’s not as easy as I thought, but I’m very thankful for him convincing me to get a bass.

Monday, October 1, 2012

There’s Still Time for Broadway Season Tickets!

Mamma Mia! was the official start to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s 10th Anniversary Season this past August, but believe it or not, the 2012/13 Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America – Fox Cities Season Ticket Package has yet to begin.

This season’s Broadway package includes tickets to Blue Man Group (October 9-14), Elf the Musical (November 13-18), Catch Me If You Can (December 18-23), The Addams Family (February 26-March 3) and War Horse (June 25-30). You can even add tickets to Disney’s The Lion King (April 9-May 5), all in one easy purchase!

Many of the Center’s Kimberly-Clark Broadway Across America– Season Ticket Holders upgrade their packages to Premium status with preferred seating locations and even more great benefits. The kick-off Premium Season Ticket Holder Party is a favorite. With show inspired décor, light hors d’oeuvres and complimentary drinks, it’s a great way to launch a season of Broadway’s best. 

Check out some photos from previous Premium Season Ticket Holder parties!

Parisian Fare before Les Misérables

Exploring the Island before South Pacific

Just imagine what we’ll dream up for the Blue Man Group
Premium Season Ticket Holder Party!

If you’re interested in becoming a Season Ticket Holder, visit or speak to a ticket agent today at (920) 730-3760.