BAY VIEW'S  ALCHEMIST THEATRE

A LIFE IN THE THEATRE

written by David Mamet

directed by Jill Anna Ponasik

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2016

THE DUMB WAITER

written by Harold Pinter
directed by Erin Eggers

APRIL 2016

RUSS BICKERSTAFF - SHEPHERD EXPRESS
"It's a very engrossing hour." 
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

MIKE FISCHER  - THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL - SENTINAL

"...both very funny and deeply sad..."

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

THE DARK NUT TRILOGY
written by Charles Sommers

directed by Charles Sommers


DECEMBER 2015

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW LIVE!
music, lyrics and book by Richard O'Brien
directed by erin hartman

OCTOBER  2015 

MIKE FISCHER - MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
"By tapping the same nostalgic feelings in us for the 1970s that the original "Rocky" engendered for the 1950s, this "Rocky" underscores — dare I say, even occasionally recaptures — a vital and often missing emotional undercurrent in this show."
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

MATTHEW REDDIN - WISCONSIN GAZETTE

"For years, Aaron Kopec has been terrifying audiences with haunting Halloween shows at the Alchemist theater — tales of paranormal horror, devilish dealings and general terror. That all ends this year. Kopec’s declared this fall’s Halloween show will be the theater’s last, and they’re going out with a bang."

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

JEFF GRYGNY -  MILWAUKEE THEATRE EXAMINER

"In any Alchemist show, but especially the Halloween spectaculars, production wizardry is a huge part of the mix; here, Technical Director Aaron Kopec and the theatrical lighting firm Antishadows have totally risen to the occasion, creating an integrated design with sweeping spotlights, striking red and blue contrasts, twirling green rays shot through clouds of swirling fog, and specials so cunningly coordinated with the action, it's like the lights are another instrument in the band. One of the show's highlights is a video montage for the opening number, flawlessly synchronizing (ahem, perfectly fair-use) clips of cheesy science fiction movies with the song's lyrics. It would be worth seeing the show a second time just for that. But forget about it—the entire run of the show is 'sold out.'"

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

MATTHEW REDDIN - WISCONSIN GAZETTE

"There’s nothing quite like a production of Rocky Horror. And the Alchemist has quite the production of it."

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

RUSS BICKERSTAFF - SHEPHERD EXPRESS

"Yes: the production is good. Yes: there are some really amazing performances. Yes: the set and lighting are very, very good and very, very immersive in a way that film cannot be."

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

THE SCENE YOU NEED
written and directed by Charles Sommers (as Neil Monk)


JUNE /  JULY 2015

RUSS BICKERSTAFF - CURTAINS

"Nettesheim shows considerable strength in a return to Rose--a character caught in slow-motion somewhere between moments not entirely unlike Eddie. Sapiro has some strikingly vivid moments of his own--particularly in interacting with April Paul, who returns to play Izzy. She’s a punk girl in transition. Paul is kind of intoxicating here."

"One of the best performances by Aumend I can ever remember. And there’s glitter."

"There’s some real poetry to Sommers’ script, particularly in the final monologue delivered by Eddie. Sapiro does a really good job of bringing it all together at the end in a remarkably sharp bit of text that Sommers should be proud of."

     READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

MIKE FISCHER - MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINAL

"When the lights come up, a Manhattan skyline as glitzy as the disco era being commemorated here makes way for a garishly lighted subway car. Eddie (David Sapiro), the wandering troubadour at the center of the trilogy's first installment, has a flashback to the scene in that first play during which he lost Rose (Shannon Nettesheim).  What Eddie remembers is having reminded Rose that times change, with the former selves that inhabited all our yesterdays evolving into the people we later become, looking back on the past and its loves from a safe and comforting distance."

"And this theme comes through in every scene involving a terrific April Paul's crackling Izzy — the funny, forlorn and street-smart embodiment of a grittier, older New York who struggles to learn the new rules, while she and the city she loves fade to black, making way for the Disneyfied theme park that New York would soon become. "

     READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

JEFF GRYGNY - MILWAUKEE THEATRE EXAMINER

"All three—the wounded poet, the punk girl (the play's best comic voice), and the femme fatale—are great characters, and we're happy to see them again. But something happened to them: instead of the bracing hyper-realism of Part One, this show reverts to what might be called the Alchemist Theatre house style: a frothy blend of Mamet grittiness and Sam Shepard lyricism. Monk's dialog aims for sparkling wit, and often as not hits the mark. Casually urbane and hip, it recalls the banter of the smart, unhappy people in one of Woody Allen's Manhattan-set films."

     READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

HANNAH KLAPPERICH-MUELLER   -  SHEPHERD EXPRESS

"The scenes remain focused on two-person conversations and while action is scarce, the language is lovely, particularly in the final monologue deftly delivered by David Sapiro as likely protagonist and wannabe writer, Eddie."

     READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

THE KING OF POP
written by Aaron Kopec (as Eddie Valentine)
directed by Aaron Kopec


MAY 2015

MIKE FISCHER of THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL:

"Before the extraordinary The King of Pop (written and directed by Aaron Kopec) gets underway at  The Alchemist Theatre, there's a warm-up act while we settle in: A montage featuring great art from Dürer to Dali — mashed together and periodically dissolving into images and artifacts of the post-World War II America that Andy Warhol would make his own.

This second installment of Alchemist's New York City Trilogy tells the story of how the frog-like Warhol dreamed of being a king and then became one, and it's simply breathtaking to see how much of Warhol's story — up through Valerie Solanas' 1968 attempt to kill him — has been squeezed within its 100-minute frame."    
           read the full review HERE

RUSS BICKERSTAFF of CURTAINS:

"Alchemist Theatre explores an interpretation of the life of Andy Warhol in The King of Pop. The comedic drama explores Warhol from the dawn of The Factory through to the end of its prominence in a remarkably tight, little presentation that includes a stylish intermission."
"Once again Alchemist draws together a truly unique and distinctly memorable theatrical experience."

        read the full review HERE

MAC WRITT of SHEPHERD EXPRESS:

"Anderson, Sapiro and Nettesheim here give excellent performances. Warhol is encapsulated perfectly by Anderson, who gives him the distant albeit sharp-tongued attributes most audiences have come to know of the late pop artist. Nettesheim as Edie is rather sublime. Charming, a tad ditzy, with a pair of spindly little legs, the actress seems to enchant the audience with her every move."      

read the full review HERE

LAMONT SANE of LOCAL TROLLEY:

"King of Pop steadily clips through scenes, a touch from Kopec that physically translates the short attention spans contained in the collective conscious of artists. The production benefits from even acting up and down the cast. Anderson and Sapiro deliver spot-on performances that mimic the manner and motive of two legendary figures, that provide a solid axis for the show to revolve."

       read the full review HERE

MAC WRITT of SHEPHERD EXPRESS:

"Anderson, Sapiro and Nettesheim here give excellent performances. Warhol is encapsulated perfectly by Anderson, who gives him the distant albeit sharp-tongued attributes most audiences have come to know of the late pop artist. Nettesheim as Edie is rather sublime. Charming, a tad ditzy, with a pair of spindly little legs, the actress seems to enchant the audience with her every move."      

read the full review HERE

ANOTHER TALE OF EDDIE
written by Aaron Kopec (as Adian Zix)
directed by Aaron Kopec


MARCH 2015

RUSS BICKERSTAFF - SHEPHERD EXPRESS
"David Sapiro and April Paul are charmingly reprehensible as Eddie and and Izzy. They’re a couple of grifters living in Manhattan in the early days of the CBGB. They act as a team lifting money from tourists they run into at the club. Shannon Nettesheim has a presence that sparkles like a constellation of chipping chrome in the rusted-over squalor of Eddie’s life. She’s entered Eddie’s filthy, decaying apartment as a possible victim. She could potentially leave it as something else altogether."
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.

MIKE FISCHER - MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
"Sapiro's Eddie is the man caught betwixt and between, in love and life. A playwright as well as a grifter, he periodically works on a comically bad script reflecting his overheated existential dilemma, as a warm and sensitive man living in an increasingly cold world. 

Sapiro's spot-on timing gives us a man both funny and sad — dreaming himself bigger than he is even as reality continually cuts him down to size, leaving him punch-drunk and reeling."
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.

LAMONT PROPER - LOCAL TROLLEY
"Enjoyable aspects of Another Tale of Eddie present themselves readily, starting with the scenic design. Small details go duly noted. Manufactured grime coats all of the furnishings, vintage beer cans line the sink and counter tops, a working Zenith tube-t.v. fires up occasionally (the pitch of the transistor jars any pre-milennial memory). In one scene, Eddie opens the cupboards and it’s filled with toasters, a nice reference for recent Alchemist regulars."
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.

JEFF GRYGNY - MILWAUKEE THEATRE EXAMINER
"If genius is the capacity for details, Zix is a genius: every minute rings true, with not just the style and ephemera of the Seventies, but the rhythms and textures, in rapid-fire dialog that glistens with cynical wit like broken glass on the barroom floor. Alternately bleak, funny, sexy, heartbreaking, and even poetic, it unfolds with moment-to-moment psychological verity that playwrights dream of: it’s like a chatty version of a Jarmusch film, or a play by a young Mamet, but only half as bitter."
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.

TRUE WEST
written by Sam Shepard
directed by Erin Eggers


JANUARY 2015

MIKE FISCHER   -  MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
Cast, director deliver smart 'True West' at Alchemist Theatre
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.

RUSS BICKERSTAFF  -  SHEPHERD EXPRESS
The dramatic heart of Sam Shepard's True West comes vividly to life on the intimate stage of the Alchemist Theatre this winter.
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.

JEFF GRYGNY - MILWAUKEE THEATRE EXAMINER
Under the direction of Erin Nicole Eggers, the play speeds along with each dramatic moment crisply defined.
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

LAMONT PROPER - LOCAL TROLLEY
A rare production that builds momentum, Eggers’ rendition of True West gathers your attention with each passing scene, rolling out humor, irony, conflict and degeneracy contained in Shepard’s story all the way to the curtain.
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

SUICIDE SLEEP
written by Aaron Kopec
directed by Charles Sommers

OCTOBER 2014


MIKE FISCHER of THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL "Alchemist Theatre's 'Suicide Sleep' a taut nightmare of a drama" 
 click
HERE to read the complete review


JEFF GRYGNY of ENTERTAINMENT ARTS EXAMINER"Suicide Sleep betrays an eclectic array of influences, from Sam Shepherd to Sam Beckett via Steven King through the Twilight Zone."             

click HERE to read the complete review


RUSS BICKERSTAFF of the SHEPHERD EXPRESS"Alchemist Theatre stages a fresh, new psychological thriller."  ""Suicide Sleep becomes a delirious, existential funhouse of a story."
 click
HERE to read the complete review

LAMONT PROPER of LOCAL TROLLEY"Suicide Sleeps’ Director Charles Sommers and writer/producer Aaron Kopec, tucked this mentally stimulating live drama into a 40-minute pocket that clipped along fluidly, without a beat wasted...  In spite of the short run time, you still feel your admission is well spent."

click HERE to read the complete review

DESTINY, DEVILTRY & DENTISTRY
Written by Jason Powell & Doug Jarecki
Directed by Katie Cummings


SEPTEMBER 2014


"Mayhem devolves into delirium so all-encompassing that even the cast's decorum dissolved; Powell and Boeche couldn't stop laughing as Jarecki chewed the carpet. The laughter only died at Thursday night's opening after we were dismissed, learning to our despairing and distraught dismay that one D had disappeared, having detoured before the Packers deplaned in drizzly Seattle."

   MILWAUKEE JOURNAL / MIKE FISCHER


" ...about 90 minutes of some of the funniest original stuff I’ve seen in Milwaukee in a long, long time."

   ONMILWAUKEE / DAVE BEGEL


"Powell and Jarecki—who also perform, under Katie Cummings’ direction—open the show with an amusing co-musing about their own curtain speech. After a lot of “I said, then you said” patter, they burst into “Destiny, Deviltry & Dentistry”—the catchy title ditty, which audiences will internalize by show’s end. The line “Surrender to the idiocy!” stands out as an apt instruction. The comedy on view here is pure, well-executed silliness."

   SHEPHERD EXPRES / RUSS BICKERSTAFF

OLEANNA
Written by David Mamet
Directed by Erin Eggers

JUNE 2014

"<Mamet> has claimed it's not really about sexual harassment, but rather a tragedy about language and power. In her promising directorial debut, Erin Eggers gets that and then some, resulting in a gripping production of Oleanna."
"Eggers made the daring decision to cast a man — Ben Parman — as a transgendered version of Carol. Mamet's script provides support for this; Carol refers to herself at one point as "of some doubtful sexuality" and as having overcome sexual 'prejudices' and 'humiliations.'"

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL / MIKE FISCHER

 

"Carol might come across as being dim-witted. Thanks to Parman’s careful performance, she’s not. She’s come to the university to learn and one of those she’s learning from is questioning the value of a university education. She’s upset. Things get ugly. Thanks to the work of Parman and Sapiro under the direction of Erin Nicole Eggers, it’s a fascinating kind of ugly."
SHEPHERD EXPRESS / RUSS BICKERSTAFF

 

"This <Carol is both male and bigger than the accused> occurred to me only as I left the theater, not while the play was in progress. Parman, a very good actor, sold the physical scenes very well. And legal sticking points aside, the gender confusion his presence brings to the role lines up surprisingly well with Mamet's text, which Eggers did not alter."

TOM STRINI WRITES / TOM STRINI


THE CHAIRS
Written by Eugene Ionesco
Directed by Leda Hoffmann

 

FEBRUARY 2014


Alchemist Theatre fills Ionesco's 'The Chairs' with life.
MIKE FISCHER      MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
 

"The play takes place in its own artistic dimension, like abstract painting or music: it is what it is. And it could hardly ask for a finer, more respectful presentation than given by the Alchemist Theater. Under the direction of Leda Hoffman, with help from dramaturge Emily Penick (who also both worked on the Alchemist’s excellent King Lear), and especially with rich, detailed performances by Tim Linn and Kelly Doherty, the challenging script takes form as an extended verbal opera; Linn’s deep soulful cello playing counterpoint to Doherty’s insistent viola."   JEFF GRYGNEY    THEATRE EXAMINER

 

"Kelly Doherty is a Milwaukee theatre treasure. She's only starting to get the kind of stage space she deserves. Here she's playing someone decades older than she is with poise and subtlety. Her comic instincts keep the role working even in slight movements and intonations." 

" Linn does a really good job of making something that was written half a century ago feel like it could change in some way on this night for this character and this play."   RUSS BICKERSTAFF      EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

 


 

KICK IN THE DICKENS 2

Written & improvised by Jason Powell, Andrea Moser, Anna Figlesthaler, Matthew Huebsch, Lee Rowley & Doug Jarecki

 

DECEMBER 2013

CLOSING NIGHT
Written by Aaron Kopec
Directed by Aaron Kopec

 

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2013


"Kopec cautions in promotional materials that it's impossible to witness and explore everything in Closing Night, and he isn't kidding. Clues are hidden in plain view, but there are scores of them; throw in simultaneous performances by cast members in various rooms and one has a seemingly infinite selection of variables."     MIKE FISCHER     MILWAUKEE JOURNAL

 

"BAM! we’re set loose, utterly befuddled, to explore the premises, puzzle over cryptic visual and verbal messages and bits of decor to uncover the building’s secrets.  And what a lot of secrets it has! It would be criminal to reveal any details, but suffice to say that Team Alchemist have outdone themselves.  It's diabolically clever."      JEFF GRYGNEY     THEATRE ARTS EXAMINER

 

" A cerebral crime story, Closing Night challenges its cast to lead the audience out of their seats on a fluid and nerve turning journey through the depths of the Alchemist Theatre space, to learn the dark secrets of its murky past "     LOCAL TROLLY

THE BURDEN OF BEING
Written by Robby McGhee
Directed by Jared Stepp

 

AUGUST  2013 

 

"The Burden of Being is a musical. With puppets. It's comic. It's serious. And it's a musical. And it's probably one of the most intriguing main stage things to make onto a local stage this summer."

RUSS BICKERSTAFF    SHEPHERD EXPRESS

 

"...we see the promise of a writer who combines a wonderfully offbeat sense of humor with a heartfelt awareness of what such humor often hides or deflects, in a world where a brave smile is often our only defense against the burden of being."
MIKE FISCHER     MILWAUKEE JOURNAL

KING LEAR
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Leda Hoffmann

 

JULY 2013


"The Alchemist’s King Lear  is a crowning achievement."
MATTHEW REDDIN    THIRD COAST DAILY

 

"Alchemist’s Lear sets the bar higher for Shakespeare in Milwaukee."
JEFF GRYGNEY      THEATRE ARTS EXAMINER

 

"A Brilliant Ensemble for Lear - Alchemist Theatre's first Shakespeare is really, really good."
"The fourth show by Shakespeare that I'd seen in 8 days, the Alchemist Theatre's staging of King Lear ended up being my favorite to open all month. "
                                                                                          RUSS BICKERSTAFF    SHEPHERD EXPRESS
"The opportunity to watch Hoffmann paint on such a big canvas — and with a cast as strong as the one that Alchemist has assembled — makes this Lear one of the this summer's must-see events."
             MIKE FISCHER     MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
 
" Alchemist Theatre has done the Bard proud..."
     HARRY CHERKINIAN   SHEPHERD EXPRESS
 
 

HOUSE OF HORRORS
A CHRONICLE OF H.H. HOLMES

Written by Aaron Kopec
Directed by Aaron Kopec & Erica Case

 

APRIL - MAY 2013 (the year of fear)


"Every one of the many fraught, overcharged passage in Horrors recalls late Victorian stage melodramas - themselves reflective of a world in which old-fashioned realism simply can't keep up with the devil on the loose, out there and housed inside each of us."
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL / MIKE FISCHER


"It's a really interesting play on traditional stereotypes--the adult man is the innocent that is being corrupted by the aggressive, bloodthirsty infant within... an Id with teeth, claws and piercing eyes."
                                                                                                     SHEPHERD EXPRESS / RUSS BICKERSTAFF

 

" Kopec generates suspense nicely. While Holmes chats amiably with his victims to be, we have the feeling of watching a happy swimmer while knowing a shark prowls below."       THIRD COAST DAILY / JEFF GRYGNY

 

DRACULA
Story/Characters by Bram Stoker
Written by Aaron Kopec
Directed by Aaron Kopec

 

FEBRUARY  - MARCH 2013 (the year of fear)

 

"Even as he acknowledges his debt to Bram Stoker, Kopec is making clear he won't always play
by the book."
"For all the fun in Kopec's Dracula, the final twist reinforces its serious, underlying message: In literature and in life, women need not accept type-casting requiring that they once again play the role of helpless victim."    
 MIKE FISCHER    MILWAUKEE JOURNAL



"Blood, screaming, knives, ropes, stakes and sex. Alchemist Theatre’s Dracula has it all, and it’s awesome."
       DANIELLE MCCLUNE   THIRD COAST DIGEST

"From the script on out, Kopec's Dracula is balanced. And it's a really good balance. It's balanced by virtue of the fact that he knows exactly what he's working with. He knows what audiences want from a Dracula production. He knows what his intimate studio space is capable of. And he knows the cast with which he is working. As such, he is able to construct a production of near-perfect balance."
     RUSS BICKERSTAFF    SHEPHERD EXPRESS

"Kopec gives us a feminist Django Unchained: both exploitive and empowering."
       JEFF GRYGNEY     PERFORMING ARTS EXAMINER

THE CANONICAL FIVE
OF JACK THE RIPPER

Written by Aaron Kopec
Directed by Aaron Kopec

 

JANUARY - FEBRUARY  2013 (the year of fear)

“In its best moments - many of them involving Amato, who is exceptional - Kopec does for the Ripper's
victims what Roberto Bolaño did in "2666" for the murdered women in Ciudad Juárez. He compels us to see these women as individuals. He gives them a name. Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols. Annie Chapman. Elizabeth Stride. Catherine Eddowes. Mary Kelly.”
       MIKE FISCHER    MILWAUKEE JOURNAL

 

"It doesn’t matter how many women scream before the curtain comes down, or how dark the fog around the lamplight seems – any show that can pull off moments like that with as much grace and power as The Canonical Five is not an ordinary horror play – it’s a terribly astonishing one."
       MATTHEW REDDIN     THIRD COAST DIGEST 

A KICK IN THE DICKENS

Improvised by Jason Powell, Matt Koester, Anna Figlesthaler, Andrea Moser, Lee Rowley

 

DECEMBER 2012

 

 

THE ALCHEMIST EYE
Written by Aaron Kopec
Directed by Aaron Kopec

 

OCTOBER 2012


“You know you're perfectly safe, but you have to let the creepiness fill your heart and give in to it.
Sometimes this is easier than others . . . and The Alchemist Eye manages to reach out into the hearts of the audience on more than one occasion.”    
              RUSS BICKERSTAFF       EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

HELP WANTED
Written by Aaron Kopec
Directed by Aaron Kopec

 

JUNE 2012

"HELP WANTED continues to be buzz-worthy even a couple of weeks into its run."
LOCAL TROLLY / LAMONT PROPER

 

"Aaron Kopec's new original play is his most successful yet.  It's just naughty enough to ticket our media-trained sensibilities without being overly offensive... and seems to appeal equally to men and women - not an easy feat.
PERFORMING ARTS EXAMINER / JEFF GRYGNY

 

"I saw HELP WANTED last night.  It was opening night.  The theatre was absolutely packed.
Having seen other shows written by Kopec, I'd expected to like the show.  I didn't expect to LOVE it, though.  And I did."
SHEPHERD EXPRESS / RUSS BICKERSTAFF

 

"Scenes featuring Hamburg and Figlesthaler - funny and steamily sexy, at the same time - are the straw that stirs this fizzy drink.
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL / MIKE FISCHER 

 

IN LOVE... YET AGAIN

Composed by Jason Powell
Written by Jason Powell
Directed by Mallory Metoxen

 

APRIL - MAY  2012

 

OUTLIERS

Written by Grace DeWolff
Directed by Grace DeWolff

APRIL 2012

 

 

FREE 2 B  U & ME

Composed by various artists
Written by Christy Hall Watson & Craig Watson
Directed by Christy Hall Watson & Erica Case

 

MARCH 2012

 

“The usual measure of good children's fare is whether or not it also appeals to adults. This retro show works that concept in reverse: It appeals to nostalgic adults first, who help spread the fun to the kids who accompany them.”       

    RUSS BICKERSTAFF    EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

1984

Written by George Orwell     Adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan
Directed by David Kaye

 

MARCH 2012

 The Alchemist always seems to have such a fun time of bringing the atmosphere of the show into the bar and letting it breathe. A voice announces slogans amidst a Brian Eno soundscape rolling through the background. Slogans rapidly shoot across a video screen at the far end of the bar. There's a surveillance camera on the bar that occasionally pans around, it's friendly little tally light letting you know it's there and it's watching. Subtle little reminders of the show you're about to see. Yes, you're ordering a beer or a drink or whatever, but you know what you're about to see onstage next door is NOT going to be pretty.

Sit down with your drink and the Alchemist has its usual blend of theatrical creative types in the audience, but the shadow of the show is kind of colors the atmosphere around all the edges. Someone comes to the bar asking for something for Michael Keily. Look in the program and there he is listed as only "The Voice." You'll hear him before you ever see him. And when you see him it's too late for the protagonist . . . a guy played by Christpoher Elst. This is a really good cast that's been put to good use . . . long live Big Brother, right? Take another sip of your drink and wait for them to open the house. That's what you're here for, right? You're here to see a show, right? It's only theatre...relax and say hello to the camera...”

                                                              RUSS BICKERSTAFF        EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

WHO KILLED THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST?

Written by Michael Timm
Directed by Michael Timm

 

DECEMBER 2011

 

 “Timm's engaging script and game design, involving audiences getting information from characters by helping them out, draw audiences into the work of some very talented actors.”
      RUSS BICKERSTAFF      EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

FAUST:
AN EVENING AT THE MEPHISTO THEATRE

Written by Aaron Kopec
Directed by Aaron Kopec

 

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER - NOVEMBER  2011

 

“The show must have been a nightmare to stage-manage; Kopec'’s scenic genius supplies one wonderfully believable pocket environment after another: lights and sound are run by several different tech crews and the actors are on nonstop, while the audience tromps up and down stairs, through narrow tunnels, hidden doors, and curtains, following them to the next scene.”
   JEFF GRYGNY     THEATRE EXAMINER 


“Aaron Kopec has blown my mind again.”
    TOM CHRISTY     PERFORMING ARTS EXAMINER


“DeWolff is really enjoyable in the role of a man of heroic levels of artistic integrity. It’s a fun mutation of the heroically epic man vs. evil premise. Playwright Aaron Kopec could’ve hung the drama’s entire substance on the immersive, multi-stage gimmick. That there’ is substance at all beyond the format of the drama is a huge accomplishment considering the fact that everyone's distinct experience of the story is going to be different. Creating a cohesive thematic narrative that works through all of the different possible scene combinations must have been a tremendous challenge.”
                                                                                                  RUSS BICKERSTAFF      EXPRESS MILWAUKEE  

 

FOOL FOR LOVE

Written by Sam Shepard
Directed by Bo Johnson

 

JUNE 2011

 

"In the hands of director Johnson, the  pacing keeps us engaged, and, after a short hour, you can leave satisfied, having seen a great American play-- with plenty of time after to contemplate the mysteries over a drink.”
                       JEFF GRYGNY         ART EXAMINER

MURDER CASTLE:
THE CHRONICLE OF H.H.HOLMES

 

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2010

 

"Murder Castle is an extravaganza. The show is highly engaging and
cleverly executed. The entertainment has multiple layers of appeal. The sheer volume of effort and talent that went into this production is apparent.

The Halloween show at the Alchemist is definitely the event of the season.”
               TOM CHRISTY      ARTS EXAMINER

CLOSET LAND

Written by Radha Bharadwaj
Directed by Beth Lewinski

 

JUNE - JULY   2010

 

“I didn’t sleep well last night.
It’s not often that a play can do that for me.”  
         RUSS BICKERSTAFF      EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

DRACULA THE UNDEAD

Written by Bram Stoker
Adapted by Dale Gutzman
Re-imagined for The Alchemist stage by Aaron Kopec

Directed by Aaron Kopec

 

OCTOBER 2009

 

“The Alchemist Theatre’s production of
Dracula: The Undead is hugely entertaining!” 
      RUSS BICKERSTAFF       EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

INVADER?  I HARDLY KNOW HER!

Written by Jason Powell
Composed by Jason Powell
Directed by Jason Powell

 

SEPTEMBER 2009

 

“If every scene doesn’t evoke at least one
laugh, you’re either gagged or dead.”

   MATTHEW KONKEL     THIRD COAST DIGEST

SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO

Written by David Mamet

Directed by Mike Weber

 

JULY 2009

 

 “The true standout of the cast is Beth Lewinski (Deb).
Lewinski’s simple and honest approach to her role is
completely lacking in self-consciousness. She comes
across as natural as falling leaves.”
    MATTHEW KONKEL      THIRD COAST DIGEST

 

WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

Written by Edward Albee

Directed by Kirk Thomsen

 

MARCH - APRIL 2009

 

“Sharon Nieman-Koebert plays Martha. There’s a real faded charm to her performance, particularly in the monologues.
Nieman-Koebert powerfully brings across the feeling of someone trapped in a situation that has come to define her life. Very impressive.”

    RUSS BICKERSTAFF       EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

 

Wisconsin Hybrid Theatre
OLD TIMEY RADIO SHOWS

 

Written by Charles Sommers
Directed by Charles Sommers & Ron Scott-Fry

 

2009

 

“The show is a pleasure from beginning to end, as the
comic theater company transports audiences to the
era of live radio.” 

RUSS BICKERSTAFF    EXPRESS MILWAUKEE

RUDOLPH THE PISSED-OFF REINDEER

 

Written by Patrick Schmitz
Directed by Patrick Schmitz

 

DECEMBER 2008  2009  2010

 

"Nostalgia with a bite."
    UWM POST`

 

"Excellent comedic chemistry"
    SHEPHERD EXPRESS

 

"An amazing spin on the classic Claymation movie"
    ALT MAGAZINE

RIPPER

Written by Jackie Benka
Directed by Jackie Benka

SEPTEMBER 2008

 

"The production is fantastic for anyone looking for an affordable, entertaining evening of pop theatre in an intimate venue."
RUSS BICKERSTAFF  -  THIRD COAST DIGEST

31

Written by Kirk Thomsen & Aaron Kopec
Directed by Kirk Thomsen & Aaron Kopec

 

APRIL - MAY 2008

"In Alchemist’s psychological thriller 31 – set along US Highway 31 – Kirk Thomsen plays a reluctant forensic pathologist investigating a string of murders with Aaron Kopec as the womanizing police investigator working alongside him. Kopec also designed the set, which is impressively detailed for such a small space. Liz Shipe picks up dual roles as the forensic pathologist’s wife and a waitress at the diner where the two investigators meet. The plot is derivative of Hollywood crime dramas and draws quite close to Christopher Nolan’s indie classic Memento, but the ensemble manages to deliver interesting, clever performances. Shipe and Kopec’s moments together as Investigator and Waitress are some of the most novel in the play. Thomsen’s believable performance tempers the pathologist’s uneasiness with an understated professional detachment."
 RUSS BICKERSTAFF  -  THIRD COAST DIGEST