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UWFox 75th Anniversary Musical Revue Celebrates 'Communiversity Theatre'

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Menasha, WI -- A rousing musical revue will be performed at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley on November 6, 7 and 8. The celebration of show tunes and theatrical blockbusters was conceived to honor the 75th anniversary of UWFox in 2008. According to Susan Rabideau, UWFox theatrical director, as well as associate professor of communication arts and theatre, the 90-minute revue will feature more than 70 performers and 20 numbers from shows performed at UWFox throughout the history of the campus. “There are so many different ages and levels of experience in this show. It’s amazing to see the veteran performers come back and see the young actors getting their first taste of the stage. We are truly bringing the past and the future together in one grand show.”

Originally established by Ken Anderson (now Emeritus associate professor of communication arts and theatre) in 1965 as a community theatre, the UWFox campus drama program has evolved into a highly respected communiversity theatre; that is, a theatre that invites both community members and university students to participate in its productions.  Anderson went on to produce and direct over 60 stage productions at the Menasha campus until he retired in 1997.

The huge cast of the 75th Anniversary Musical Revue is a 50/50 mix of community members and university students. It also includes 27 children, 12 soloists and 20 different segment introductions. Each actor is individually recognized with his or her own biography printed in the expanded theatre program. Lynda Zimmerman (UWFox associate professor of music) and Tony Garton (retired UWFox chorale director and lecturer in music) are the show’s accompanists.

Attendees of the UWFox 75th Anniversary Musical Revue will get a sneak peak of the significantly expanded and diversified 2009-2010 theatrical season at UWFox. The Revue will preview two shows that are part of the inaugural theatrical season of the Communication Arts Center at UWFox . Currently under construction, the 361-seat CAC is slated for completion in time for the fall semester 2009.

Show dates and times for the 75th Anniversary Musical Revue are November 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. and November 8 at 6 p.m. Tickets for November 6 and 7 are $9 regular, $7 students/seniors and $5 UWFox students.  The November 8 show includes an hors d’oeuvres reception after the show. Tickets for the show and reception for the November 8 date only are $12. Call the box office at (920)832-2646 to purchase tickets or email susan.rabideau@uwc.edu for more information.

Ken Anderson (center), Emeritus associate professor of communication arts and theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, poses during a rehearsal break with “Munchkins” Jessica Childress (left) and Mackenzie Beck in front of a ceramic relief recognizing his 32-year career at the Menasha campus. UWFox student artists Jeanne Fritz and Penelope Redlich-Stroik created the artwork in 1999, citing both Anderson’s  and his wife Ruth’s “dedication to theatre and the performing arts.” Anderson served as theatrical director at UWFox between 1965 and 1997, producing and directing over 60 performances during that time. The details in the artwork’s rendering reflect many of the productions staged in the Fine Arts Theatre under Anderson’s direction.  Anderson, Childress and Beck are taking part in UWFox’s “75th Anniversary Musical Revue” being performed at the campus on November 6, 7, and 8.

Posted 10/29/2007