Your Regional Guide To The Performing Arts

Don’t Be A Scrooge! Give Back To Your Favorite Performing Arts Groups This Holiday Season

Don’t Be A Scrooge! Give Back To Your Favorite Performing Arts Groups This Holiday Season
Photo Credit: Sarah Sallmann

The holiday season is traditionally a time for giving. We give to our friends and family, to those less fortunate than us, to organizations and causes we care about. We take pride in not being “Scrooges” or “Grinches” as we come together to spread joy.

The performing arts, especially here in the Greater Milwaukee Area, are always giving. They give us entertainment, memories, laughter, and inspiration. The performing arts are such a vital part of this community. Here at Footlights, we’re honored to work alongside so many of the incredibly talented artists and organizations that call this community home.

That’s why this holiday season, Footlights has decided to dedicate this issue to giving back to the amazing groups we work with. This is a call to action to all of you, the patrons reading this sitting in the house. Maybe the show is just about to begin, or maybe you are excitedly reading more about the artists you just saw during intermission. We challenge you to help us give back to the many performing arts organizations in our community.

We’ve asked the groups we work with to send us lists of items that would help them this holiday season. Some of the items are listed right here in this article! All throughout this holiday season, we’ll continue to add and update even more items and organization’s wishlists on - so make sure to keep checking back.

And if you don’t have the resources to give some of these items - that’s okay! David Cecsarini, Artistic Director of Next Act Theatre, reminds that there are many other ways to give to these wonderful organizations. “My wishlist only contains one item: audience,” says Cecsarini. “The best thing patrons can bring, send, and give to Next Act and all our performing groups is more audience.”

Here are “a few of our favorite things” that performing arts groups shared with us from their wishlists. Make sure to check out for more items and more organizations! Interested in helping check some of these items off of their lists? Reach out to Footlights Editor Ryan Albrechtson at 262-439-5750 or and he’ll get you in touch!

Milwaukee Opera Theatre
1. A home printer/copier/scanner for our Company Manager (so he doesn't always have to run to DigiCopy!)
2. Nico Castel's word-by-word translations of Gluck and Monteverdi operas (so we can commission new English translations of rarely-performed Baroque gems!) ---> Available here.
3.Two hours of space rental in a venue with a piano (so we can host an additional Voice Lab!)
4. A year of PO Box rental (so we can keep getting mail!)
5.A bag (or three) of gourmet coffee (Even we need a touch of class here and there!)

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
1. Dinner supplies, like paper plates, bowls, and napkins; plastic cups and cutlery
2.Coffee (ground for drip)
3.Spike tape
4.Life magazines from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s
5.Loon décor

Waukesha Civic Theatre
1. Vacuum Cleaners (multiple). We have several spaces in our theatre that require vacuuming, and our machines have broken down over time. We would like at least three new vacuums to leave around the building in areas of high use.
2. Curtains for the mirrors in the Studio. Our mirrored wall is great for dance classes and choreography rehearsal, but can be distracting for kids in other classes and audiences during performances. Long curtains would allow us to use the space to its fullest potential.
3. An ipad and box office setup: This will allow us to set up a second point of sale in the lobby for when the lines at the box office get too long.
4. Clear plastic containers with lids (64 quarts) for props or costume storage.

Sunset Playhouse
1. Body Mics - to better hear our wonderful performers
2. Home Depot Gift Cards - for set-building supplies
3. Amazon Gift Cards - for costume and prop needs
4. Office Depot Gift Cards - for office supplies

Cardinal Stritch University
1. Versatile, durable, antique furniture is something that our department really needs to improve its’ stock of! This settee would give us a lot of options and be useful in a wide variety of plays!
2. We are very much in need of replacing an old and increasingly dangerous radial arm saw in our shop with a versatile new tool like this compound mitre saw. Its’ zero rear clearance would allow us to integrate it into our current dust collection system with ease, and most importantly keep our student carpenters safe!
2.Twice a season we offer performances in our 60-seat Blackbox Theater. We have a small inventory of lighting equipment for the space, but we could benefit greatly from starting to build an inventory of these 50-degree Source Four Jr. lighting instruments!

Chant Claire Chamber Choir
1. Funds for purchasing sheet music—each season we need to purchase new scores.
2. New folders—as our choir grows we need more!
3. CD recording and production—we have yet to produce CDs from last Spring’s concert.
4. Updated website for a better patron experience—ours could use improvement and better functionality for sharing music, communicating with our patrons, and ticketing.

Feast of Crispian
1. Weighted blankets (1 or 2)
2. A large electric tea kettle
3. Printer ink/paper (HP 63 XL) We go through a lot because of printing scene work!
4. An office chair (used is fine!)
5. Any costume pieces that could be used for Elizabethan period - not picky about this - think Ren Faire items! (tending toward larger sizes)

Concordia University
1. Donated Costumes from various periods (Elizabethan, Ancient Greek, 1700s-1950s)
2. Newer lighting instruments
3. 10 more headset microphones
4. New couches/chairs for our Green Room
5. New chair sets to use as props (from periods 1850s-1950s)

Skylight Music Theatre
1. 1 Bernina sewing machine – model # 335 1299.00 suggested retail price
2. Two high quality/high volume blue tooth speakers
3. A set of 24 new matching, hard plastic chairs
4. 1 Timber Ridge Folding Camping Collapsible Sturdy Steel Frame Garden/Beach Wagon/Cart Heavy Duty, Blue-Side Bag, $129.99 suggested retail price
5.Heavy Duty Tripod, Oman Professional Video Tripod Aluminum 72 inch with 360 degree Fluid Head for Canon Nikon Dslr Camcorder cameras. $136.98

SummerStage of Delafield
1. Ryobi 18V circular saw (tool + battery + charger) and impact driver - We have long relied on borrowing tools, and we have slowly been building our own stock of tools that use the Ryobi 18V battery system.
2. Ryobi 18V weed eater - The maintenance of our outdoor space requires a lot of effort and a new weed eater will help keep things trimmed!
3. Paper shredder - We are desperately in need of a paper shredder for our office.
4. Heavy duty 10x10 pop-up canopy tent (with side walls) - This would be used as a dressing tent for our actors.
5. Commerical grade, countertop popcorn machine - Popcorn is our most popular concession item and our current machine is barely keeping up with demand. We'd like to replace it with a larger machine that can better handle our patrons love of popcorn!

Falls Patio Players
1. A man’s wool top hat, or $75 to purchase one. (For our upcoming production of Christmas Carol!)
2.$80 for 6 yards of silk for costuming a scene in "Christmas Carol"
3. A new mic pack (monetary donation)
4. A second mic pack (monetary donation)

Milwaukee Repertory Theater
1. A projector (For use in the Quadracci Powerhouse!)

Outskirts Theatre
1. 2 pop up closets (with cloth covers!)
2. Banker's Boxes for storage.
3. Paint, carpet, and other supplies for our new space.
4. Stamps!

Harwood Place - Superblock
Hilldale Mall - Superblock
Greenway Station