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Thank you for unwrapping Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s

holiday gift to our community: SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM MCT

 

We couldn’t be happier to share with you this deeply personal collection of artistic riffs on the holiday traditions of a handful of beloved local artists—all conceived, created, and recorded by the artists themselves from the safety and comfort of their homes.  All you need is an internet-connected device and access to MCT’s website to watch and share this unique holiday program completely free of charge (and as often as you like!), beginning at 7pm on December 7th, 2020 through January 3rd, 2021. 

 

Because even when we need to celebrate separately, we can still find ways to be together.

Happy Holidays!

Select a video below, or see the full lineup here.

SEASON'S GREETINGS closed January 3rd, 2021

Thank you to all who joined us!

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“Steve’s Seasonal Singalong Spectacular” 

Conceived, arranged, performed, recorded, and edited by Steve Watts* 

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

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Steve Watts is a native of Missouri, where he developed a deep love of music, comfort food, and vinyl records, not necessarily in that order.  After leaving his home state, he spent 10 years based in New York City as a journeyman actor/musician.  As well as giving him the opportunity to perform in everything from honky tonks to musicals to Shakespeare, those journeys also brought him to Wisconsin on many occasions, and, well, now Milwaukee is home (a longer story which he’s happy to share some other time).  Seeking out the purest Laverne and Shirley experience possible, he actually lives in a basement apartment, which many people have peeked into via the Weekly Watts shows every Friday night.  He’s both delighted by and grateful for the company, and looks forward to visiting with everyone in real time one day soon... though maybe not in the basement apartment, because it’s not quite big enough for that.

Sing along with Steve Watts from the comfort of your home with these holiday classics that are sure to warm the heart.

 

Run Time: 55 minutes
 

“When Home Calls” 

Conceived, written, and performed by Malkia Stampley-Johnson*

Filmed and edited by Chiké Johnson

Music composed and recorded by Kwasi Stampley 

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Malkia Stampley, Chiké Johnson, and Kwasi Stampley explore what it means to come home for the holidays in an original short film riffing on Hallmark Holiday movies that celebrates Kwanzaa and community here in Milwaukee.

Run Time: 30 minutes

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Malkia Stampley is an actor, director, and producer born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Malkia made her Chamber Theatre debut in DOUBT. She received her training at Marquette University, Skylight Music Theater and Milwaukee Rep. She has worked and traveled worldwide as a performer and in 2013 she co-founded Bronzeville Arts Ensemble in Milwaukee where she served as Artistic Director for three years. Malkia has worked as a performer in Chicago, New York, and all over Wisconsin. Favorite productions include TWO TRAINS RUNNING (Milwaukee Rep./Cincy Playhouse), TALENTED TENTH (Congo Square), GOOD PEOPLE (Forward Theater), FLYING WEST (Bronzeville Arts Ensemble), A MIDNIGHT CRY (First Stage) among many others. Malkia began directing in 2016, Black Arts MKE and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts' annual production, BLACK NATIVITY. She most recently directed a workshop of the world premier SUNFLOWERED at Northern Sky Theatre and previously directed NUNSENSE at Milwaukee Rep. As a tv and film actor, Malkia has appeared on Showtime (Work in Progress, Shameless, The Chi), NBC (Chicago Med, Chicago PD), HBO (Native Son), Fox (Empire), Netflix (Beats) and a host of independent short and feature films. She is also an emerging film director and producer, having most recently directed the short film trilogy "The Pandemic." Malkia enjoys being a voiceover artist, yoga instructor and hosts her own channel, "Malkia Talks" on YouTube. 

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Chiké Johnson most recently appeared as Dr. John Prentice in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, a co-production between Indiana Rep. and Geva Theatre. Other recent productions: Ghost of Christmas Present in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Milwaukee Rep. and Crooks in OF MICE AND MEN another co-production between Milwaukee Rep. and Arizona Theatre Company. Chiké was last seen at American Players Theatre in 2014 where he played Othello, Winston and Pistol. His New York credits include, Broadway; A TIME TO KILL and Manhattan Theatre Club’s WIT. Off Broadway; LOST IN THE STARS New York City Center’s ENCORES! and RUINED co-produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club and The Goodman Theatre. Chicago credits include; The Goodman’s MEET VERA STARK, SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD at Court Theatre. He was also in Steppenwolf’s productions of THE CRUCIBLE, The UNMENTIONABLES and HUCK FINN. Other Regional credits include a revival of THE UNMENTIONABLES at Yale Repertory Theatre; Lincoln in TOPDOG/UNDERDOG at Renaissance Theaterworks; Duke of Cornwall in KING LEAR at Milwaukee Rep.; Cephus Miles in HOME at In Tandem Theatre; Willie in MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre; and Martin Luther King, Jr. in SMOLDERING FIRES at First Stage Children’s Theater.

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Based out of NYC, Milwaukee, & Canada, K-STAMP (Kwasi Stampley) is an artist whose music blends jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, & Soul. K-STAMP, according to the Shepard Express, is a “cross between John McLaughlin, Digable Planets, and Swae Lee.” Being a multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist K-STAMP's spirit of collaboration led him to begin studying at Berklee College of Music. K-STAMP is a songwriter, producer, instrumentalist, and composer while mostly recognized for his musicianship and original music K-STAMP is beginning to expand his creative vision even beyond music.

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“Eight Pandemic Nights (A Hanukkah Home Video, 2020 ed.)” 

Conceived, recorded, and edited by Elyse Edelman

Supplemental Editing by Patrick Schley

Featuring Elyse Edelman*, Sebastian Guice-Mendel,

Sinclair Guice-Mendel, and Jessica Mendel 

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

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Elyse Edelman is very excited to welcome MCT kids and families into her home for Hanukkah this year! Wisconsin theater credits as an actor include productions with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Forward Theater Company, Door Shakespeare, Renaissance Theaterworks, First Stage, In Tandem Theatre, American Players Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Some other regional acting credits include The Guthrie, Park Square Theatre, People’s Centre Theatre (Minneapolis/St. Paul), Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City), Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Accidents (Chicago), Riverside Theatre in the Park (Iowa City). Elyse is also a teaching artist and develops curriculum for a number of professional theaters in the state. She is a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor’s Training Program. Website: www.elyseedelman.com

Elyse Edelman and her family invite you into their home to share Hanukkah traditions that will brighten the holidays for all ages.

Run Time: 16 minutes

“A Christmas Carol” 

Conceived, recorded, and performed by James Pickering*

Edited by Colin Gawronski 

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

James Pickering delivers and audio reading of the original novella of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. 

This piece is presented in four parts

Stave One

Stave Two

Stave Three

Stave Four and Five

Total Run Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

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James Pickering has been an actor, director, and voice talent in Milwaukee for forty-five years. Thirty-eight of those years were spent as a member of the Resident Acting Company at Milwaukee Rep. In addition to The Rep he has performed with virtually every theatre company in Wisconsin, notably Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, American Players Theatre, Next Act Theatre, Renaissance TheaterWorks, Forward Theatre, Door Shakespeare, In Tandem Theatre, Alchemist Theatre, Shakespeare in the Park, and Theatre X. He studied at Phillips Academy, Wesleyan University, and Penn State University, where he earned his M.F.A. in acting. His voice-over career has featured contributions to both Milwaukee NPR and Milwaukee PBS, for whom he has narrated many documentaries, most notably the Emmy Award winning Making of Milwaukee. He lives in Bay View with his wife, actress Tami Workentin, and their two dogs, Joxer and Frankie. It is his great pleasure to contribute the reading of perhaps his favorite work of literature in the English language, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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Rána Roman is a Milwaukee native and a proud graduate of Milwaukee H.S. of the Arts. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre credits include VANYA AND SONYA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Cassandra) and LEND ME A TENOR (Maria). She was also seen at Skylight Music Theatre in KISS ME KATE (Lilli/Kate), HOT MIKADO (Yum-Yum) and IN THE HEIGHTS (Nina). Most recently, Rána was seen at Milwaukee Rep, in A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Mrs. Cratchit), at First Stage, in ON THE WINGS OF A MARIPOSA (Mámi), and at Forward Theater of Madison, in LIFE SUCKS (Ella). She is also a member of the Advisory Company at Forward. What a joy it was to make the Roman Family Kitchen for you! Buen Provecho!

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David Roman is a local choreographer and educator. He’s had the extreme privilege to travel the world with Royal Caribbean as a dancer and install team member for the past 20 years. Some of his local performances include IN THE HEIGHTS and PIPPIN at Skylight Music Theatre. You may also have been entertained by his choreography in NEWSIES and THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE. David is also a faculty member of the Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy where he teaches jazz styles.

“Roman Family Kitchen” 

Conceived by and featuring David Roman and Rána Roman* Recorded and edited by David Roman 

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Choreographer David Roman tries to teach kitchen newcomer and actor Rána Roman to make Puerto Rican holiday treat pasteles (and how to use sharp knives!), as they argue about memories of family gatherings and the best way to cut a bell pepper.

Run Time: 27 minutes

“Go Tell It! Christmas Songs from the African American Tradition”

Created and Performed by The Bronzeville Divas

Cynthia Cobb, Raven Dockery, and Sheri Williams Pannell

 

Recorded and edited by Don Pannell

Lighting Design by Colin Gawronski

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Raven Monique Dockery is an adjunct faculty member of music theatre at Carthage, where she teaches a variety of subjects related to music theatre performance and style. She has an active performance career and has been seen in leading roles at Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Paramount Theatre, First Stage Theatre, Black Arts MKE, Optimist Theatre, and Kalliope Vocal Arts, among others. She is an award-winning music director, earning multiple Milwaukee Jerry Awards for music directing at Shorewood High School. 

The Bronzeville Divas gather fireside to share Christmas songs and spirituals from the African American Tradition.

Run Time: 22 minutes

Cynthia Cobb – Cynthia is delighted to be a part of this wonderful festival.  Credits include PORGY AND BESS, GERSHWIN AND FRIENDS, AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' (Charlaine and Armelia), SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ (B.J.), TINTYPES (Susannah), BLUES IN THE NIGHT (the Lady), and THE ALL NIGHT STRUT (woman 2), all at Skylight Music Theatre. Other favorites:  CAROUSEL (Carrie) at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, DO BLACK PATENT LEATHER SHOES REALLY REFLECT UP (Mary) at Drury Lane Theatre, ELMER GANTRY (Epatha) at Marriott Theatre at Lincolnshire, COWGIRLS (Lee) at Northlight Theatre, and SHOWBOAT (Queenie) at Gateway Playhouse. Cynthia has also traveled the world as a featured singer with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

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Sheri Williams Pannell is honored to be a founder of the Milwaukee Black Theatre Festival.  Sheri has performed, directed or written for a number of Milwaukee’s theater and arts entities including Bronzeville Arts Ensemble, First Stage, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Chamber Theater, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Arts Museum, Renaissance Theatreworks and Skylight Music Theatre.  Beyond Milwaukee, Sheri has worked at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Utah’s Old Lyric Theatre, University Opera and University Theater at UW Madison, and the Children’s Theater of Madison. Sheri was honored to direct a production at the United Nations Conference on Genocide, hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A founding member and artistic director at Bronzeville Arts Ensemble, Sheri is also a director/teaching artist at Black Arts MKE and co-director of the drama ministry at Calvary Baptist Church.  In 2018, Pannell was appointed to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Peck School of the Arts as an Assistant Professor in Theatre and Area Head for the Musical Theatre Program. Pannell is a graduate of Spelman College and holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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