Director Tim Rutten-Kempees

Numbers by Day, Director by Night

ASPI is proud to present “Escanaba in da Moonlight” as the “After Dark” Production for the 2019 season.

Ever have a disappointing hunting season where nothing seems to be going your way? In Jeff Daniels’ play “Escanaba in da Moonlight”, that’s exactly what huntsman Reuben Soady feels like. Except his unlucky streak will make him the oldest Soady in history to not shoot a buck.

Director Tim Rutten-Kempees
Director Tim Rutten-Kempees

Meet the Director who will bring the Yooper hunting experience to life, Mr. Tim Rutten-Kempees!

Accountant by day, director by night, Tim comes to ASPI with years of experience wearing multiple theater hats. On top of having a bachelor’s degree in theater, Tim has acted in over 20 shows. “Escanaba in da Moonlight” will be the seventh show he has directed and the second second he has directed with ASPI, his first being “Barefoot in the Park”. Tim also played Warren in ASPI’s production of “Meet Me in St. Louis”.

The cast of “Escanaba in da Moonlight” is what Tim believes will really draw the audience to the show.  The production is early in the rehearsal process, but it has already been filled with lots of laughs and a lot of fun!

Did we mention that the play takes place in Upper Michigan? So, this production is sure to hit close to home to many in the audience! Get ready for some slang and references only a true “Yooper” would know.

Will Reuben Soady go down in history as the oldest Soady to not shoot a buck by the end of hunting season? Buy your tickets now to find out! Performances will be September 12-15 and September 19-22.


Elf The Musical JR. is based on the 2003 New Line Cinema hit and features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin On BroadwayThe Wedding Singer), a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (AnnieThe ProducersHairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).

The musical tells the story of a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is given the name Buddy and raised by elves in the North Pole.  Buddy lives happily unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth.

With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list, and his stepbrother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of the holidays.

Elf The Musical JR. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684


Dates & Times: Tuesday & Wednesday, Sept 17 & 18 @ 6 – 8 pm
(possible callbacks Thursday, Sept 19 @ 6 – 8 pm) 

Location: The Nancy Byng Community Theater: 5852 Maple St. Abrams, WI 54101

Get a head start by filling out our audition form onlinehere!

Elizabeth Jolly, Director here! Santa (I know him) wrote me several months ago asking for extra help spreading holiday spirit this year. Naturally, I a) always do what Santa asks b) immediately thought of Abrams Spotlight Productions. Obviously, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear, so ASPI and I decided to present Elf: The Musical Jr. We’re looking for kids ages 8-17 to help us help Santa. No previous experience in performing is required. Auditions will consist of sight-singing a song from the show, a cold reading (not rehearsed) from the script, and a short choreographed dance. All materials will be provided. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes in which you can move.

Rehearsals will most likely be held Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays starting Oct 1 – Dec 6 (opening night). Not all cast will be called for every rehearsal. With advance notice, we can work around schedule conflicts but every cast & crew member must be available every day the week of Sun, Dec 1 – Thursday, Dec 5, and all show dates.

Want to help out but feeling a little shy? We also need lots of extremely important behind-the-scenes elves! 
Contact for more information.