ASPI Announces 2024 Community Theater Shows

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present two rollicking musicals and a
hilarious comedy in its 2024 season. Season tickets are now on sale for the three shows to be presented
at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.

First, the road to romance and the road to statehood converge in the spirited musical “Oklahoma!”
“Oklahoma!”, directed by Ali Carlson, will be staged March 14-17 and 21-24. This Rodgers and
Hammerstein musical tells the love story of Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a beautiful farm
girl. The show’s opening song, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” and title song “Oklahoma!” are brimming
with the optimism and hopefulness.

The summer show is a comedy filled with misadventures and mistaken identities. “Boeing, Boeing,”
directed by Wayne Strei, will be staged June 6-9 and June 13-16. This comedy tells the exploits of a
bachelor, Bernard, and three flight attendants from three different countries who all believe they’re
engaged to him. How will the lying lothario keep up this charade?

The final show of the season is perfect for the whole family. “Seussical the Musical,” directed by Debra
Jolly, will be staged Dec. 5-8 and 12-15. The musical takes the audience into the world of Dr. Seuss to
revisit beloved characters, including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy
Mayzie, and JoJo.

Season tickets are now on sale at or by calling the box office, 920-826-5852.
Purchasing season tickets has several advantages. Season ticket-holders are invited to Opening
Night Galas to meet the cast, crew, and director and enjoy complimentary food and drinks.
Additionally, season ticket-holders can secure seats before the general public for all shows and
can buy tickets at a discounted price, compared with purchasing individual tickets.

24-Hour Theater: A Memorable, Compact Experiment in Creativity

By L. Gail Irwin

An evil laboratory scientist, a support group for the Undead, and a guidance counselor obsessed with Subway sandwiches were among the characters created and staged at the first ever “24 Hour Theater” event organized by Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. in early October. 

In my busy schedule, 24 Hour Theater was perfect! The compact, mixed age experiment in creativity and improvisation felt like a grown-up play date with a bunch of friendly strangers. The fact that it was free and open to all ages made it accessible to anyone with the guts to try it, regardless of experience. Ten people decided to do just that.

Ranging in age from 15 to 65, we showed up at the Nancy Byng Community Theater on a Friday night to write, direct and stage six short plays under the quiet, accomplished direction of Mike Eserkaln, ASPI director and owner of ComedyCity De Pere. 

Participants volunteered to write, direct and/or act in short plays that had not been written yet.  After doling out writing assignments using prompts from random Wikipedia articles, the writers went home (or to Denny’s) to write our plays into the wee hours of the morning. 

Early on Saturday, we were back at the theater with plays in hand to cast roles, dig up costumes and props and block out our plays, all while sneaking in time to memorize lines.  By 7 p.m. we were ready to perform for a small but loyal audience of grandmas, spouses and children. 

Thanks to Mike Eserkaln and Brigette Finger of ASPI and my fellow actors and writers for creating this great memory! I hope to spend another exhilarating, yet exhausting, 24 hours with you again!

24 Hour theater

ASPI Purchases Property for Theater Campus

Abrams, WI Oct. 16, 2023: Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. expanded its footprint in Abrams with the purchase of the property to the West of the Nancy Byng Community Theater. ASPI closed on the transaction in the summer of 2023 through a special foreclosure program offered by Fannie Mae. ASPI is a nonprofit community theater organization located in the fully renovated, former St. Louis Catholic Church, 5852 Maple St. Abrams. ASPI presents three to four shows a year and also hosts weddings and events at its facility.

Bill Koehne, president of ASPI, said the additional real estate was available at an opportune time.

“When the property next door to the theater went on the market, we knew we had to take action. The additional space will allow us to grow the theater and solve some space and storage issues we were facing,” he said.

ASPI currently stores set pieces in the garage on the property, but that’s just the start. The ASPI Board of Directors is excited about other possibilities for the property. The theater plans to create a theater arts campus in Abrams and complete the following capital improvement projects:

  • Build a wing onto the current stage. The wing will house a scenery construction shop and scenery storage space and will provide direct access to the stage for scenery changes. The current scene shop is located in the theater’s basement.
  • Build larger dressing rooms for performers, which is especially important for shows like “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” which has a 40-member youth cast.
  • Install a bathroom backstage for the convenience of performers who currently share the restroom with the public.
  • Use the additional green space for activities and celebrations to foster a sense of community and to host fundraisers to sustain the theater.

The real estate acquisition is the latest in a string of capital improvements the theater accomplished in 2023. ASPI also replaced the roof on the Nancy Byng Community Theater, thanks to contributions to the Raise the Roof fundraiser. Additionally, ASPI purchased a state-of-the-art sound system with a hearing loop for hearing impaired patrons, thanks to grants from the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Community Foundation.

Koehne said the latest upgrades and the real estate purchase contribute to the theater’s long-term sustainability. He expressed his appreciation to the ASPI donors and audience members.

“We thank our supporters and patrons. Their continued generosity and support ensure a bright future for ASPI, so we can continue to provide the Broadway musicals, comedies, and dramas that our audiences have come to expect,” he said.

EXTRA EXTRA! 24 hour theater!

Extra, Extra! : 24 Hour Theater is Sure to EXCITE and THRILL

Calling all writers, performers, & directors! What is more exciting than seeing a play go from a mere thought, to words on a page, and then step by step brought to life on stage? That would be writing and producing a performance in just 24 hours!!

Beginning the evening of October 6th, the participating writers, actors, and directors will have 24 to write, rehearse, and set the stage for a one of a kind performance at 7pm on Saturday October 7th. 

Absolutely no experience is necessary! This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with other artists to create a 60-90 minute performance within 24 hours. The production will consist of a series of short plays where the length and number of plays will be determined by the number of participants. 

What also makes this 24 hour theater event so unique is it requires artists with a variety of skills. If you have never written, acted, or directed before, you will have the opportunity to try something new, surrounded by a group of creative and inspiring individuals.

Here is a breakdown of the 24 hour event:

Friday, October 6th at 7pm: All writers, actors, and directors will report to the theater. Between 2 to 5 actors, along with a director, will be randomly assigned to a group of writers. The evening will include ice-breakers to kickstart the creative process! After these activities, the writers will begin crafting short plays. But the writers will only have until 7am! 

Saturday, October 7th from 7am – 7pm: It will be the day to hit the ground running! Production will be in full swing with rehearsing and memorizing lines, finding props and costumes, and managing technical aspects like lighting and sound cues.

Then, drum roll please….. 7pm Saturday evening the plays will be ready to perform for audiences!

What are you waiting for? Click this link to sign up NOW!

Tickets for viewing the final performance will be on sale SOON!


Grilling out tonight?  Need some corn?

Come on out to the Shell Station in Abrams to buy sweet corn!!  Every purchase will go towards our Raise the Roof campaign!

GO to 2516 W Frontier Rd, Abrams, WI 54101

Abrams Theater will be selling corn each week: Starting NOW!

August 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 and September 1, 2, 3, 4

We will also take pre-orders over the phone. Call us at the box office at 920-826-5852.

Thank you to The Konkel Family for the donation of corn for us to sell.

Pre-purchase Here


Audition Guide: Kids’ Edition

Whether you are completely new to the world of auditioning, or just wanting to brush up on your auditioning etiquette, this guide is for you!

The key to a successful audition is to PREPARE for your audition!

The very first question to ask yourself is, “Can I commit to the rehearsal schedule and dates of the performances?”.  Prior to the audition, please reach out to ask any questions! ASPI can be very accommodating, so it is best to be up front with any potential scheduling conflicts. Please contact the theater via email at or by calling 920-826-5852.

Once you have identified if you can commit to the rehearsal schedule and performance dates, you will need to decide which auditioning date you will be attending. The next step will be to fill out the necessary paperwork via a Google Form. If you fill it out ahead of time, you skip the line on the day of auditions. The Google Form link is provided via social media posts and email about 3 weeks prior to auditions.  If you would like to get on our email list, call or email the contact information listed above. 

Prior to the audition, it is very important to pick out the right auditioning outfit (including shoes!). Your clothes should be comfortable, something you can dance in! Think tennis shoes. Items to avoid include: skirts, dresses, sandals, heels, dress shoes.

Now that you’ve picked out the right outfit, next up is to choose the right audition song based upon the style of the musical. The day of the audition you will be asked to sing 16-32 bars of a song (about 1 minute).  

Tips for choosing the right audition song:  

  • Consult the Spotify playlist (shared via social media posts and email 3 weeks prior to auditions)
  • Don’t sing a song from the musical you are auditioning for
  • Don’t sing a pop song
  • Do choose a song that fits your voice type
  • Find a karaoke track to sing along with

Leading up to your audition, be sure to research the show you are auditioning for. This includes what the show is about and the character(s) you are interested in. 

The preparation for your audition doesn’t end there! PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

Practice the monologue provided (if you are auditioning for a speaking role) and understand what the monologue means. Your research will help you channel the character! And while you are practicing, ask yourself, “What will make me stand out?”. 

You’ve spent the time preparing, researching, and practicing for your audition. Now you’ve reached the day of the audition! As an auditionee you want to exude professionalism, confidence, and courtesy

Your professionalism will show through in how you behave before, during, and after the audition. A good example of this is being aware of your surroundings and conversations in the lobby. While waiting in the lobby for your turn to audition, please be quiet and respectful of those auditioning before and after you. 

Did you know that we make our first impressions within the first 3 seconds of seeing someone? So walk into the audition with CONFIDENCE! It’s totally ok to be nervous (it’s a good thing)! Casting directors want to love you! So take your time, have fun, and turn that nervous energy into positive energy. 

At the start of the audition, introduce yourself and state what role you are auditioning for (if applicable) and what song you will be singing (name the song and the musical it is from).

And at the end of the audition, be sure to say THANK YOU to the audition panel. 

Phew! Your audition is done, now what?? ASPI would like to share a few words of wisdom to consider while you are waiting to hear back.

When choosing a cast, it’s not about talent, it’s about preference. What do we mean by that? The director is choosing an ENTIRE cast. You can be the best singer, the best dancer, the best actor- however not be a good fit for the role. For example, you may not be the right look for the role, the wrong gender, or the wrong age.  You may also not be a good fit with the other counterpart you will be on stage with (ex: a husband and wife need to be somewhat the same age, or kids need to be the age specific).  

Waiting is hard and rejection is difficult, and it is important to acknowledge that not every audition will go the way we think it will. But success will come with practice and training!

ASPI looks forward to welcoming all the young actors and actresses, singers, and entertainers! For any upcoming auditions, please contact the theater with any questions. Email:

Box Office Phone #: 920-826-5852.

“Think of every audition as a chance to perform and you will have fun doing it.” 

– Erica Schroeder

2 Foundations Award $20K in Grants for Sound System

With nearly $20,000 in grants from two local foundations, Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. has the
necessary funds to purchase a state-of-the-art theater sound system. The Greater Green Bay
Community Foundation contributed $10,000, and the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation
awarded the remaining $9,900 of the theater’s Can You Hear Me Now? project. The sound system will
enhance the theater experience of the cast, crew, and audience, including older adults and individuals
with hearing impairments.
According to Bond Foundation executive director Jennifer Hanna, the project was selected for funding
because of the theater’s significance in the community.
“The foundation’s board of directors recognized Abrams Spotlight Productions as a great creative outlet
for the local community as well as an entertainment venue for people of all ages,” she said. “The board
was also impressed with the dedication and hard work of the many volunteers who are responsible for
the success of Abrams Spotlight Productions. The board felt that the sound system will also allow
Abrams Spotlight Productions to better serve the community.”
The grants cover the purchase of a sound board, amplifier, speakers and microphones. Additionally, ASPI
will install a hearing assisted sound loop system that works wirelessly with people’s hearing aids.
Bill Koehne, president of Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc., said the community theater was grateful to
be selected for the grants, because the current sound system is past its useful life.
“When the sound board failed during ‘White Christmas’ rehearsals in 2022, we scrambled to find a
solution. Luckily, we could borrow a sound board from another theater. But that wasn’t a long-term
solution,” he said. “When a speaker failed this year during rehearsals for ‘Gypsy,’ it was just another
indication that our theater needed a new sound system.”
Volunteers will provide the labor to install the sound system, saving the theater an estimated $3,000.
Carpenters, electricians, and ASPI volunteers will pull wire, groove the hardwood floor for the sound
loop, and install and connect the system.
“A new sound system will really make a big difference,” Koehne said. “When performers’ voices are too
quiet or overpowered by music, it’s hard for the audience to follow the storyline. The new sound system
and hearing loop enables everyone to fully enjoy a show.”

Weddings & Events Galore! : Rentals at the Theater

♪♬♫Oh, they say when you marry in June,

You’re a bride all your life.

But the June bride hears the song

Of the spring that lasts all summer long.

For they say when you marry in June,

You will always, always, always, be a bride.♪♬♫

A visit to the theater is a full immersive experience! You sit in a seat and are transported by actors and musical numbers. Did you know that not only can you see local talent at ASPI, but you can also rent the theater for your own weddings and events?!

Three different wedding packages are available! Something to meet every need:

  • Ceremony Package
  • Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Package
  • Reception Package

See more details below! Other specialized packages available and inquiries can be made at the box office.

AND renting the theater for non-wedding events has also become quite popular! Need a space for a business gathering, a baby shower,  a birthday party? The rental includes use of the sounds and lights (with a volunteer to run them), and the concession stand, with all proceeds going to the theater. There is an hourly rate, so please call the Box Office to inquire!

We invite you to Be Our Guest and put our service to the test! Please call the Box Office at (920) 826-5854 with any questions.

Wedding Package Guide: 

  • Ceremony Package – $500
    • Rental Time: Two (2) hour rehearsal, Four (4) hours day-of ceremony
    • Capacity: 10-160 guests
    • Includes:
      • One (1) hour consultation with one of our private event coordinators
      • One (1) attendant during your rehearsal, three (3) attendants during the ceremony
      • Chair set-up and take-down in any configuration you wish
      • Use of sound system – compatible with phones, tablets, or computers
      • Specialized lighting designed to fit your color theme – or to make your entrance more theatrical!
      • “Ceremony Manager” – who will cue/operate any music and/or lights
      • Use of our facility and grounds for your photos (must be done within your rental time)
      • Bridal suite area backstage for bridal party to get ready (groomsmen area also available)
  • Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Package – $700
    • Rental Time: Two (2) hour rehearsal, six (6) hours day of ceremony*
    • Capacity: 10 – 160 guests
    • Includes:
      • Everything from Ceremony Package
      • Two (2) hours post ceremony for a pre-reception cocktail hour
      • Wine, Beer, Wine Coolers & snacks sold by our concession stand in the back of the auditorium (please see our Concession Menu for our full offering)
  • Reception Package – $900
    • Rental Time: 4pm – Midnight*
    • Capacity: up to 150 (seated)
    • Includes:
      • One (1) hour consultation with one of our private event coordinators
      • Three (3) attendants during the ceremony
      • Use of sound system – compatible with phones, tablets, or computers
      • Specialized lighting designed to fit your color theme, or to make your entrance more theatrical!
      • “Ceremony Manager” – who will cue/operate any music and/or lights
      • Use of our facility and grounds for your photos (must be done within your rental time)
      • Wine, beer, wine coolers, and snacks sold by our concession stand in the back of the auditorium (please see our Concession Menu for our full offering)
      • Ability to add on a Ceremony outside for $250 – please ask your coordinator for more details

*All decoration and clean up must be done within your rental time, additional rental time is available for $50/hour for the first two (2) hours and $100/hour after that.

(Please note that the above mentioned rates are current as of June 2023)

April Showers bring May Flowers... Singin' in the Rain look back!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

After singin’ our way through the month of April, ASPI is welcoming in the month of May!

In the meantime, while April showers bring May flowers, it is also a perfect opportunity for

“Singin’ in the Rain!”! ☂️ Let’s look back at ASPI’s 2018 production of this enduring musical


The 2018 cast featured Preston Pelegrin as Don Lockwood, Hayden Blau as Cosmo Brown,

Elizabeth Jolly as Kathy Selden, and director and choreographer Debra Jolly.

Warren Gerds, Critic at Large, described the show as having “zip” and overflowing with “can-do


With eight performances, the theater welcomed and entertained a total of 786 patrons! From the

comedic and high energy performance of Blau in “Make ‘Em Laugh” to the couch topplin’ “Good

Morning”, and everything in between, audiences were transported to 1920s Hollywood!

And who could forget Don Lockwood’s show stopping song and dance number with onstage

rain?! A dazzling ASPI first!

ASPI is sure to also delight audiences with their upcoming comedic farce! The cast and crew

are hard at work preparing the stage for this June’s production of Lustful Youth: A Comedy, a

play written by Mike Eserkaln! Showtimes are June 8-10 & 15-17 at 7pm and June 11 and 18 at


Tickets are on sale NOW! Purchase yours for one of the eight performances at Please call the Box Office at (920) 826-5852 with any


Hitting the Heights: A Director Spotlight

🎶You’ll be swell, you’ll be great.
Gonna have the whole world on the plate.
Starting here, starting now,
Honey, everything’s coming up roses.🎵

Director – Ali Carlson

To kick off the theater’s 20th season, ASPI proudly presents Gypsy: A Musical Fable, with seasoned ASPI actor Ali Carlson making her directorial debut!

Being raised in a theater family, Ali got her start at the young age of 5. Her father was a Technical Director by profession and her mother was a director. Ali looks forward to following in her mother’s footsteps, which she knows are big shoes to fill!

Ali’s first involvement with ASPI was in 2011 for Seussical the Musical and her most recent role was as Judy in the 2022 production of White Christmas. When she’s not enchanting audiences, Ali is a Care Management Supervisor for Lakeland Care Inc.

While Gypsy will be Ali’s directing debut, she did try her hand at directing back in 2020. Well, we all know what happened then, COVID. The desire to direct deepened despite the challenging times! Ali is very much looking forward to seeing her vision come to life!

She is also enjoying the opportunity to bring her expertise, both in acting AND choreography, to the cast! For this production there are technically “two” casts, one being the young kids in the beginning and the second being their adult counterparts. So Ali is working with the best of both worlds! She shares that the talent in this production is incredible and everyone is so dedicated. There is also a camaraderie between the cast and everyone involved that it is truly so welcoming.

Straight from the director herself, there is much for the audience to look forward to! The musical is inspired by the American burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose and her mother, “the ultimate show business mother.” While the musical will introduce audiences to the entertainment of vaudeville and burlesque, the musical is a comedy! With its humor and recognizable songs, Gypsy is sure to delight and entertain you!

🎵Curtain up. Light the lights. We got nothing to hit but the heights.

🎶Gypsy: A Musical Fable will be on the ASPI stage March 16-18 & 23-25 at 7pm and March 19 & 26 at 1pm. Buy your tickets now! Tickets can be purchased at Please call the Box Office at (920) 826-5852 with any questions.