Author Archives: packerland

Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show is March 31

The Stadium View, JPS Nvitations and Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present the Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show at the Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple Street, Abrams. Brides, grooms, their families and friends are invited to attend the show, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 31, at the theater. The Byng Community Theater, formerly a quaint country church, has been newly renovated and is now open for weddings and funerals.

Guests at the Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show will have the opportunity to speak directly to a variety of wedding vendors from Northeast Wisconsin. Vendors will provide information about their products and services, including wedding cakes, music, photography, invitations, make-up, and more.

Drawings for prizes will be held throughout the event.

Tickets are $10; however, fees will be waived for the first 200 registrants. Call the Abrams theater box office to reserve your tickets, 920-826-5852.

Wedding vendors interested in exhibiting at the show are encouraged to call the box office for prices and availability, 920-826-5852.

Click Here to print out your free ticket!

The Many Faces of Oliver

Name that character: “Please, sir, I want some more.”

Yep, that’s Oliver Twist. The sweet, young orphan who must navigate the world’s cruelties from workhouses to foul caregivers and thieving pickpockets.

Productions and actors come and go, but the sweet and innocent spirit of Oliver Twist stays the same. Let’s meet the many faces who played the beloved orphan over the years…

 The Original London Production (1960)

The very first Oliver, leading the way for future child actors, was none other than Keith Hamshere, who was 14 at the time of the production. The Original London Production ran for 2,618 performances! Fun facts: Keith Hamshere left acting to pursue a career as a Hollywood still photographer. His work includes films such as James Bond and Star Wars.

Original Broadway Production (1963)

The original Broadway production, starring young Bruce Prochnik in the role of Oliver, ran from 1963 to 1964 with a total of 774 performances! Not only was the musical a success with audiences, but it was also a winner of 3 Tony Awards: Best Original Score (Lionel Bart), Best Conductor and Musical Director (Don Pippin), and Best Scenic Design (Sean Kenny)!

Fun Fact: In 1962, Bruce Prochnik played Oliver Twist in a UK TV miniseries.

Bonus: Georgia Brown and Barry Humphries from the Original London Production reprised their roles as Nancy and Mr. Sowerberry in the Original Broadway Production.

Oliver! The Film (1968)

The film Oliver! features young Mark Lester and it is based on the stage musical, using the same music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. Though the film does eliminate some song numbers such as “I Shall Scream” and “That’s Your Funeral”, the film was a smashing success! It was a winner of six Academy Awards and two Golden Globes!

Fun Fact: Oliver’s songs were actually dubbed by actress and singer Kathe Green.

Come and see our very own Sadie Smith in the role of Oliver Twist for ASPI’s production of Oliver! Get your tickets NOW for a show that will have you begging for more! To order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.


What Christmas Means to Me

Picture this… You are lying in your bed and your eyes begin to flutter open. You look at your window and see that the sun is barely peeking through. It’s too early to wake up, so you begin to drift off. But wait! It’s Christmas morning!

SantaYou shoot out of bed and rush to your door. You go to wake up your parents, but there’s no time! You have to check under the tree! After months and months of asking and multiple letters to Santa because I have obviously been [fingers crossed] very good this year, your Christmas dream is about to come true. That’s right, the present you have been waiting all year is before you. Look at that perfectly wrapped box. You can almost taste your anticipation. You open the box… But what is this????? This isn’t what I asked for?!

Have you ever been there? Well Ralphie Parker knows the feeling. He so desperately wanted a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. The mother of all presents! If you don’t know how the story goes, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will say this:

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

But if we are being honest, looking back on Christmases past, what do we remember most? Is it the presents? Or is it making cut out cookies with your grandmother. Picking out a Christmas tree. Going sledding. Singing carols. Snowball fights. Building a snowman. Sitting with your family as you all enjoy Christmas dinner. All that and more are the priceless moments that will last for a lifetime. Those are the cherished moments and traditions you will look back on in years to come with nostalgia. Now that is what Christmas is all about.

How will you use this holiday season to make a memory that will last a lifetime?

Need some holiday cheer? No bah humbugs allowed here! Tickets are going fast for ASPI’s production of A Christmas Story: The Musical. For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

Words from the Cabaret Director: Cate Kopkey

From the company that brought you the laugh out loud hit “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, After Dark Productions is pleased to present its daring and seductive performance of Cabaret. The American musical will be ASPI’s second After Dark Production and is directed by none other than Cate Kopkey.

So, sit back and get an insider look into this tantalizing production straight from the director herself.

How did you choose the production Cabaret?
This was somewhat of a fluke! The committee that chooses our productions was struggling to fill the After Dark slot and mentioned that Cabaret was available. I JUMPED at the chance! This was a bucket list show for me to direct because of its sometimes unnoticed depth.

What makes Cabaret different from other past shows at ASPI?
Cabaret requires a little bit of everything, and that makes it different (and difficult). Dancing, singing, acting, all three are a must! The show also involves the audience in a new way. The audience is actually part of the Cabaret, and we blur the lines between so many scenes in the show that it causes the audiences to really be fully involved.

What has been the most fun part about working on this production?
This cast is incredible. They were running scenes off book at the first rehearsal. They dig into everything 100% from choreography, music, to all of the nitty gritty dramatic scenes and that makes my job easy and a TON of fun. I can push them and they just go with it! It’s such a supportive creative environment that everyone is free to try things without fear or judgement.

What has been the biggest challenge in making this show a reality?
Making sure that everything is time appropriate has been a challenge. The Kit Kat Klub is a seedy place, stuck in the 1920s. That’s a hard atmosphere to achieve and with that comes old mannerisms, posture, and styles. As if the cast didn’t have enough on their plate!

Why should someone come out and see the show?
This show will keep your attention from start to finish! It is always a quick transition from song and dance to sad and serious and right back.

Bonus Round:

Describe the show in three words:
Progressive Emotional Powerful

Favorite Number?

Favorite quote?
“Fraulein Schneider, don’t settle for the lowest apple on the tree, the one easiest to reach. Climb up a little way. It is worth it. Up there the apples are much more delicious.” – Herr Shultz

Which character do you relate to most? And why?
Oh gosh. That’s a tough question! Probably Fraulein Schneider. She is steady and consequently nervous about change.

This is sure to be one swanky number that you won’t want to miss! Sally Bowles, says it best, “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret!”

Tickets are on sale now for showings on September 13-16 and 20-23. For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum

When you think of a cabaret, what comes to mind?

Do you think of a night club? Slinky clad women dazzling audiences with singing and dancing? An extravagant and dramatic performance?

You may be surprised to find out that that the first cabarets looked very different from what we see today.

The first cabarets were of European origin and began in France in the 16th century. Instead of a theater or night club, a 16th century French cabaret was more of a meeting place where people could come for wine and food, much like modern restaurants.

Today when you think of a cabaret, it may conjure images of a burlesque. You may even think of the musical Cabaret and the feature film it inspired.

The original Broadway musical Cabaret premiered in 1966 featuring Jill Haworth as Sally. The musical is based on the play I Am A Camera (1951) by John Van Druten and Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939). The original Broadway production was a winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Direction of a Musical.

The musical was later adapted into the 1972 film, Cabaret, starring Liza Minnelli and Michael York. The director, Bob Fosse, was an Academy Award winner, Tony Award Winner, and Primetime Emmy Award winner.

The film was not without controversy. The film met with criticism, even censorship, for its themes of sexual innuendo, homosexuality, Nazism, and club life. But controversy did not keep the film down! It went on to be a winner of eight academy awards, including Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Liza Minnelli), and Best Cinematography.

Feeling a little risqué? Come and see ASPI’s daring production of Cabaret on September 13-16 and 20-23. Tickets are on sale NOW! For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.


Lights, Camera, Technology

ASPI loginThe Abrams theater has come a long way since its first show in the Abrams Town Hall. You may have noticed changes in our sets and cast, but what you may not see is all the technology behind the scenes that make our productions possible.
So, what new technologies have come to the theater?

For one there is our website. Not only is it a great tool for buying, reserving, and printing tickets, it is also an important asset to the cast. Cast members use the website to share information and to access videos of the choreography, along with plunk tracks which help cast members learn their music.
There is also a phone app called MT Pit, which the theater purchases so that cast members can practice their music at home.

As you can see, the theater also has a social media presence on Facebook. With the popularity of Facebook, it has been a great way to reach out so that our audiences and viewers are up to date on all the goings on at the theater. You can also get updates through our blog and newsletter. You will never miss a blog post or show time again!

You also might have seen the new screen projector in action during the most recent production of Singin’ in the Rain. The new screen is a unique addition to the theater that can be used during a production to advertise upcoming show times or to incorporate in the set.

When it comes to a production, there are many hands and technology that can take a show from being good to great. As Bill Koehne, ASPI Board President says, “A good show doesn’t happen by accident.”

Still looking for a gift for the special mother in your life? Tickets are on sale for ASPI’s upcoming production of Barefoot in the Park. Upcoming shows will be on June 15-17 & 22-24. For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

Theater Volunteers Honored at WPS Awards Breakfast

Volunteers boardThe 30th Annual WPS Volunteer Awards breakfast on April 19 honored the meaningful work of over 1,000 volunteers in the community. Ten representatives from ASPI attended the breakfast served at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. Gathered in the ballroom was a diverse group of volunteers with one thing in common: a commitment to community service.

Among this year’s nominees were four volunteers from Abrams Spotlight Production Inc.: Ali Carlson, Debra Jolly, David Jolly, and Bill Koehne. They were nominated for the Aon Arts & Culture Award by Brigette Finger, ASPI volunteer coordinator. The foursome have contributed to the success of the theater in a variety of ways including set construction, costumes, concessions, marketing, choreography, acting, and directing. As members of the board of directors, Debra, Ali, and Bill have helped to guide, govern, and grow the theater.

Run exclusively by volunteers, ASPI presents four shows a year at the Byng Community. Each production requires the commitment of dedicated volunteers working on stage and behind the scenes. As volunteer coordinator, Brigette encouraged new recruits to get involved in community theater.

“It’s a way to volunteer as a family,” she said. “The theater itself is a family. You come to know everyone and grow close to everyone.”

ASPI is now rehearsing for its summer production, “Barefoot in the Park,” a story about newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter. The romantic comedy by Neil Simon which will be presented June 15-17 and 22-24. To volunteer your time and talent, contact us today.

WPS Volunteer Award Winners
Large Group: Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Small Group: Warren and Julie Schultz
Arts & Culture: Untitled Town Board
Adult Volunteer: Steve Lapacz
Youth Volunteer: Lia Haile
Volunteer in Education: Arrow Guetschow
Volunteer Leadership: Mary Miller
Lifetime Achievement: Lori Cuene

Love is in the Air

52336340 – origami made hot air balloon in a heart shape.

On a day that is all about love and romance, let us share with you our top 5 Broadway couples that are sure to make you swoon.

  1. Captain Von Trapp and Maria (The Sound of Music)
    You have a man, a woman, and seven singing children on the mountains of Austria. You can only butt heads for so long before you realize that the person loves you, stubbornness and all. I guess they must have done “something good”.
  2. Rapunzel and her Prince (Into the Woods)
    Boy sees girl. Boy fall in love with girl. Boy must climb up girl’s long blonde hair? All I can say is that waiting to be together must have been “agony”.
  3. Esther Smith and John Truitt (Meet Me in St. Louis)
    Is there anything sweeter than “the boy next door”?
  4. Cosette, Eponine, and Marius (Les Mis)

This list would not be complete without a love triangle! Is there nothing more dramatic than unrequited love?

So, who is our mystery couple number 5? None other than the silent film star and the aspiring stage actress, Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden of Singin’ in the Rain. You will have to see the show and find out how this love story ends!

So, grab your sweetheart and come to the Abrams theater for their production of Singin’ in the Rain. Tickets are on sale NOW! For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

New Year and the Stage Still Stands

2018 Happy New Year

“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” – William Dafoe

From our theater family to yours, we want to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you for your support in 2017, and we cannot wait to share with you what 2018 is going to bring.

So, what do you need to know about ASPI in 2018?

We are going to be having FOUR new productions! Mark your calendars for the following unforgettable performances:

  • Singin’ in the Rain — March 16-18 & 23-25
  • Barefoot in the Park — June 15-17 & 22-24
  • Cabaret — Sept. 13-16 & 20-23
  • A Christmas Story: The Musical — Dec. 7-9 & 14-16

When you visit the theater in the new year, you may notice something is different. There is going to be new seating! Out with the church pews and in with cushioned chairs. As the recipient of a grant from the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation, the theater will be able to replace their church pews with 200 cushioned chairs. Just in time for the first performance of “Singing in the Rain.”

While a new year for ASPI brings new shows, it also brings new hopes, dreams, and opportunities. Let’s hear from some of our cast and crew about what they hope the new year will bring for the theater.

Brigette Finger, volunteer coordinator:
“I am looking forward to the fantastic shows that we’re going to produce in 2018! I am also excited to see the reaction of our patrons when they try out our new seating in March (no more hard church pews)!”

Pam Loberger, most recently seen in her role as Clairee in “Steel Magnolias”:
“2018 is going to be a banner year for the theater with the Bond Foundation’s generous donation enabling the theatre’s uncomfortable pews to be replaced with comfortable chairs, which will add to the enjoyment of all productions… My dream is to have many familiar faces, joined by new talent to grow the ASPI family with talent both on the stage and behind the scenes. Wishing the entire ASPI family a wonderful 2018. Hope to see you all soon.”

David Jolly, most recently seen in his role as Daddy Warbucks in “Annie”:
“I hope the next year will see us continue to gain in volunteer support. This is a group owned operation and each person who contributes in any way is a stakeholder. One of our volunteers recently commented that he understands what we are trying to do and the impact that ASPI has had on his family and the community. He pledged that he is a “volunteer for life”.

Thank you all for your support in 2017 and let us make 2018 the best year yet!