Newsletter April 2017 Issue

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. Newsletter
April 2017 Issue

No pain, no gain. We all know this phrase. We hear it often in the sports world. Want that first-place trophy? Work for it. Olympic Gold Medal? Train. Superbowl ring? Team effort. In the theater, it’s no different. NO PAIN NO GAIN. This phrase was evoked during our recent production of Annie. Late rehearsal nights, long work days, endless production meetings resulted in one of the most successful productions ASPI has seen in its 14-year history.

The production of Annie started at the beginning of January with auditions, where 30 people came out prepared with a song to be a part of this musical. Men, women, and KIDS! So much talent came to the theater to audition, that it was difficult to pick the little girl that would embody the title character of Annie. 4 little girls were called back to vie for the spunky little red head, but in the end- only one was chosen.

As with past musicals, this production consisted of 3 months of music rehearsals, dance choreography, and blocking rehearsals. But the production doesn’t end here, there was also long hours of behind the scenes work- sets, costumes, and tech work! ASPI was blessed to have some of the highest volunteer numbers ever! A true team effort.

With all the long hours of practice, painting, cleaning, and memorizing- show time finally arrived! And it arrived with a BANG! Opening night of Annie resulted in a sold-out show- a first for ASPI history. This opening night crowd set the stage and the ball rolling, resulting in a positive momentum for the remaining shows. More sold out shows the first weekend, and 2 more sold out shows the final weekend (even a wait list) resulted in record attendance numbers. We are proud to announce that our total attendance for Annie was over 1300 patrons- and we owe all our success to YOU!

At the final cast party, as we put away the costumes, props, and set pieces, the cast and crew are tired, and perhaps a bit sad. Not because the pain wasn’t worth it- but because with all the rehearsals and hard work- we truly GAINED! Not just gaining in record attendance, but we all gained a family. Here at Abrams Spotlight Productions we pride ourselves on our family atmosphere and a place where community is at the heart of everything we do.

Are you looking to be a part of a community? Come join our theater family! There are always spots open- come to an audition, ask about helping backstage, or volunteer to usher for one of our shows. We would love to see you join our Community Theater. You truly will GAIN by volunteering, but we will gain a new family member.

Family Spotlight: The Finger Family

Finger Family

Picrured: Tim Finger (holding Elaina Finger), Brigette Finger, kids Ellie Finger , Betsy Finger, Elyse Finger

Tim, Brigette, and their daughters Ellie and Betsy

  • Roles
    • Ellie’s first play was Sound of Music, December 2013
    • Brigette then was in Once Upon a Mattress, December 2014
    • Ellie, Betsy and Brigette (Witch) were in Wizard of Oz, December 2015
    • Ellie and Betsy were in Shrek the Musical, Spring 2016
    • Brigette and Tim helped in building set pieces for Charlie Brown, December 2016
    • Now Betsy and Ellie are in Annie, and Brigette is a Board Advisory member and our ASPI volunteer coordinator
  • What got them started in ASPI?

They saw an ad in the paper for auditions for ASPI’s production of The Sound of Music. Both daughters, Ellie and Betsy auditioned and Ellie got the role of Brigitta.

  • What draws them to ASPI?

Brigette- “The fun people. Everybody is very welcoming!”

Dad- “Our girls like to sing and act.”

  • How does it feel to be involved in ASPI as a family?

Brigette- “You’re having to run the kids anyway, so it’s nice to be able to stay and spend more time with everyone. This is something that we can do together.”

  • What would they say to other families about getting involved in ASPI?

Brigette- “If they ever have the itch or want to see what is going on, this is a great place to start! The kids learn a lot. They [the theater] do a good job teaching.”

  • Favorite family activity outside of ASPI

The Finger family enjoys spending their time outdoors in the summer, whether it is gardening or visiting their grandpa and grandma’s farm. They also enjoy playing board games together.

  • Final thoughts from Brigette: “One of the things I love about this theater is how close knit the cast & crew become during each show. Maybe that happens at all theaters, I don’t know. There are tears shed when we say good bye (and sometimes even during the final bows!). We know at the end of the run, we’ll never ALL be together again. Some of us will, but not all. It’s bittersweet. I realize how blessed we are to have met new friends after each production.”

Catch the Finger family in ASPI’s production of ANNIE on March 31st, April 1st, April 2nd and April 7th, April 8th, April 9th. For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

Family Spotlight – The Klein Family

Klien Family

Pictured: Aaron Klein, Jim Klein, kids- Fisher Klein and Abby Klein (not pictured Kelly Klein with kids Annabelle Klein and River Klein)

The Klein Family

Three generations of Klein’s: Grandfather Jim, his son Aaron, and Aaron’s children Abby and Fisher

• What got them started at ASPI?
o Jim- “Getting back on stage and doing the Wizard of Oz was on my bucket list in 2015.”
o Fisher- “Then Grandpa got us three into it.”

• What draws them to ASPI?
o Jim- “It’s just like a big theater family.”
o Abby- “They’re friendly!”

• How does it feel to be involved in ASPI as a family?
o Aaron- “It’s a very rewarding experience to be here with my kids. Fisher has helped me run the sound, the audio, the video. It’s rewarding for me to be able to see him see the benefits of that. It’s cool for the younger siblings to be able to see grandpa, dad, and two siblings up on stage.”
o Jim- “It’s pretty cool! This is probably the only time it’s ever going to happen that we can all be in the same production at the same time. It takes a lot of support from the home front. My wife (Kim), she’s all behind this 100 percent. She helps out here too sometimes.”

• Favorite family activity outside of ASPI
o The Klein family enjoys tubing on the Oconto River, canoeing, fishing, and having campfires.
Catch the Klein family in ASPI’s production of ANNIE on March 31st, April 1st, April 2nd and April 7th, April 8th, April 9th. For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

Community is at the Heart of ASPI

ASPI AudienceFor Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc., community drives every aspect of the organization. It is what makes ASPI a true community theater.

Board Advisory Member and “Annie” Technical Director, David Jolly says it best, “This really is a community owned theater. We want to encourage people to take ownership… and feel like they are a part of it.” This feeling of when you walk through the door you can say “this is my theater” and know that you contributed to its success.

ASPI would not be possible without support from the community, with volunteers contributing their time, resources, and many talents. With so many talents within the community, there is a job for anyone and every talent is valuable to the theater. From acting and singing to woodworking, sewing, being tech savvy, greeting, and so much more, everyone is important in making a production come to life.

ASPI is also very fortunate to have a community that is so willing to not only share their talents, but also their resources. Contributions from cast members and community members, by lending set pieces such as furniture diminishes costs that would otherwise take away from the theater’s budget. This generosity helps our small-town theater deliver high quality productions.

Through the productions, ASPI seeks to support educational opportunities for the community. There is so much to learn from theater and opportunities for growth. The theater seeks to not only educate its members on theater terminology, but also to teach about what it means to perform and to give each person the opportunity to grow in confidence.

While it is ASPI’s mission to serve the greater community, the theater community itself is like one giant family. Many of the families involved in ASPI comment on the friendships that are developed through their involvement in the theater. There is a friendliness and a welcoming environment that keeps families and volunteers involved and coming back for more.

Want to learn more about ASPI or want more information about how you can volunteer your time and talents, contact the box office at (920) 826-5852.

Setting the Stage with a Bang… or a BOOM

How is it possible for a production to transform their stage into the hills of Austria, a bachelor’s apartment, or an ogre’s swamp?

For past productions, ASPI would have to build walls for each play or musical because the dimensions for one production may not work for the next. The walls are called scenery flats which are thin framed panels covered in a thin cloth like muslin and then painted.

With the innovation of Board Advisory Member and “Annie” Technical Director, Mr. David Jolly, the ASPI stage now has a set-up that will offer more flexibility when it comes to wing space and set creation. The newly installed structures are being called modular set booms. They are unique to ASPI because they are not typical in other theaters. Mr. Jolly came up with the concept of the booms and brought the idea to Quality Welding out of Suamico who made recommendations for the size and structure and helped with the welding. The booms are composed of light-weight aluminum and supported by metal posts affixed in place by brackets. All the parts will be painted a flat black so that it will fade into the background of the stage.

The modular set booms can be swung in and out to create wing space. Previously there was no wing space, or space on the sides of the stage, so there was a lack of storage for props that needed to come on and off stage. Now there will be more room for props and pathways for the actors to enter and exit the stage. The booms will also bring more flexibility to future productions because sets and flats will be able to be reconfigured for future shows. Also, the sets will no longer be restricted to a flat service because fixtures and curtains can be attached or swung from the bolts.

The booms will be completed and used in the ASPI spring production of “Annie”. Come see the booms in action and catch Mr. David Jolly as Daddy Warbucks on March 31st, April 1st, April 2nd and April 7th, April 8th, April 9th. Be sure to reserve your tickets today, as this will be a popular show. For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

Outstanding Annie Auditions and Upcoming Open House

Leapin’ Lizards! Twenty-seven people turned out for the open auditions of our upcoming production of Annie. With so much talent, we had to have callbacks to find the one little girl who would be our spunky, red-headed Annie.
We are excited to announce the cast for the 2017 spring production:

Annie- Breanna Duncan
Oliver Warbucks– David Jolly
Grace Farrell- Lindsey Laux
Miss Hannigan– Elizabeth Jolly
Rooster Hannigan– Preston Pelegrin
Lily St. Regis- Abby Frank
Molly– Anna Burd
July– Betsy Finger
Tessie- Olivia Shelly
Kate– Sydney Surber
Duffy– Audryn Just
Pepper– Brooke LeMense
Abby Klein
Reese Kryger
Myah Jayne Mlnarik
President Roosevelt– Jim Klein
Bert Healy- Aaron Klein
Drake– Bill Wons
Mrs. Greer– Suzie Wons
Ronnie Boylan– Eleanor Finger
Bonnie Boylan– Victoria Athey
Connie Boylan- McKenna Seidl
Hooverville Residents-
Eleanor Finger
Abby Klein
Jim Klein
Victoria Athey
Fisher Klein
Bill Wons
Suzie Wons
Reese Kryger
Nick Blaser
McKenna Coffey
Abby Frank
Apple Seller- Sophia Wons

Rehearsals began Sunday, January 8th and the crew is busy working to transform the set into the 1930’s world of N.Y.C.

Can’t wait until the Annie performance? Come to the first ever ASPI Open House!

What: Open House
Who: All are welcome!
Where: Byng Community Theater
When: Wednesday, January 11th from 6pm-8pm
Why: It is an opportunity for the community to check out the theater, tour the building, and learn more about ASPI and what it is about. Plus there will be refreshments available!
The ASPI board members will also be present, so come with any questions you may have about the theater.
Come check us out! Have any questions or want more information, call the box office at 920-826-5852.

Become a Spotlight Sponsor!

Are you a Theatre Lover? Here is a way that you too can make a difference in your community and support our organization and bring even more to our stage!

Choose the Spotlight Sponsor level that fits you, every dollar goes a long way for us to continue bringing affordable entertainment to you and the communities that we serve.

Each Sponsorship Level below can be set-up as a one-time contribution, or separated into monthly or quarterly contributions. To get started call us at (920) 826-5852, or Sign-up online at today!

Bronze Level Spotlight Sponsor ($25.00 or More)
For a minimum donation of $25.00, you will become a 1 year member as a SPOTLIGHT SPONSOR! You’ll receive acknowledgement in our programs and on our website.

Silver Level Spotlight Sponsor ($75.00 or More)
For a minimum donation of $75.00, you will become a 1 year member as a SPOTLIGHT SPONSOR! You’ll receive acknowledgement in our program and on our website; AND receive a 25% discount on your ticket purchases for the year (Note: Discount is limited to 5 tickets per household, per show).

Gold Level Spotlight Sponsor ($125.00 or More)
For a minimum donation of $125.00, you will become a 1 year member as a SPOTLIGHT SPONSOR! You’ll receive acknowledgement in our program and on our website; AND receive a 50% discount on your ticket purchases for the year (Note: Discount is limited to 5 tickets per household, per show).

Platinum Level Spotlight Sponsor ($500.00 or More)
For a minimum donation of $500.00, you will become a 1 year member as a SPOTLIGHT SPONSOR! You’ll receive acknowledgement in our program and on our website; AND receive 5 Free Tickets to each of our shows for the year (Note: Limited to 5 Free Tickets per household, per

Open House- January 11th 6pm-8pm

Abrams Spotlight Productions, Inc. is a non-profit community theatre organization founded in January 2003 by the late Nancy Byng and Brandon Byng. Since 2007 we have been presenting three shows per year in our home, The Byng Community Theater. Our mission is to produce and perform professional, affordable, family-friendly theatrical productions. We strive to build confidence and character in the children and adults involved in our organization, igniting a passion that brings a new appreciation for the arts and a memorable experience to the communities we serve.

Have you have ever wanted to be in a play? How about build or decorate a set? Ever want to work backstage making costumes, providing props, applying make-up, meet new people, or just get out of the house for a few hours? If so, Abrams Spotlight Productions invites you to become an active participant in its many fun-filled activities. There’s always a need for people to perform the dozens of tasks required for a successful production. If you are interested, or know of someone who might be interested, contact us at the box office via email or phone.



This word invokes so many emotions and meaning to each person. Here at Abrams Spotlight Productions, this word has a special meaning for us heading into our 2017 season. Coming off a successful 2016 season, we have renewed optimism that our upcoming season will be a success, not just for us, but for our community. Abrams Spotlight Productions has always been proud of our local community, and the support we receive, and we always have them in mind with every song we put on stage, every dance move that is taught, every light that is focused. With optimism in mind, we are excited to announce our spring 2017 production, Annie! We wanted to choose a show that invoked this optimistic attitude, while bringing back the kids of our community to give them renewed opportunities and optimism heading into spring.

Annie is a family favorite and winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The score was written by Charles Strouse and Martin Charmin, and includes the smash hit “Tomorrow”. With the perfect combination of street smarts and optimism, Annie warms the audience as we witness her rise from “next to nothing” in New York City. She is determined to find her parents who left her at the orphanage years ago. Though things don’t quite work out the way she has planned, she does manage to thwart the plans of the evil Miss Hannigan and find a new family with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his secretary Grace Farrell, and her lovable pooch Sandy.

Abrams Spotlight Productions is looking forward to another successful show, and we hope you will choose to be a part of this, either on the stage or in the audience! As 2017 starts, we will be choosing the remainder of our 2017 season, so please like us on Facebook, sign up for our newsletter, or check our website for more announcements to come. Optimism is here!!

Open House- January 11th 6pm-8pm

Open House- January 11th 6pm-8pm
The Byng Community Theater
5852 Maple St
Abrams, WI
ASPI will be holding an Open House for our community. This is an opportunity for anyone in the community to come see our theater outside of a show. Come tour the facility, talk with our board, and enjoy refreshments on us! Have questions about our shows? Thought about helping out or auditioning, but just aren’t sure if it’s right for you? This is your opportunity to come see what it is all about. Please contact the theater box office at 920-826-5852 if you have questions. Hope to see you there!