Mike Eserkaln, director of the upcoming production “The Foreigner”

Make ‘Em Laugh: A Director Spotlight

Drum roll please… ASPI is excited to introduce Mike Eserkaln, director of the upcoming production “The Foreigner”. You may have seen Mr. Eserkaln on the stage in ASPI’s production of “Oliver”, and most recently in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”.

Outside of the theater, Mike is an artist of various media: painting, digital, photography, improvisation, and writing. His work can be found at www.eserkaln.com or www.Patreon.com/Eserkaln.

Mike comes to ASPI with 38 years of theater experience, including improvisational comedy. While “The Foreigner” is his first experience directing a previously published play, he has directed countless original scripts. “The Foreigner” was actually the first show that got him involved in theater.

Mike describes the play as doing a wonderful job of building the absurdity to a crazy climax. He has been looking forward to watching this show over and over again in rehearsals as all the cast and crew’s faces hurt from laughing. He can’t wait for an audience to experience that too! Audiences can be assured that this comedy will leave you in stitches!

Speaking of cast, Mike shares that the cast fit their roles quite naturally, and you would never guess that the youngest cast member is only 15 years old!

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with most of the cast before, so I knew what I was going to get with them. This is the first time I’ve been directing most of them, and of course they are already exceeding my expectations,” shares Mike.

“The Foreigner” will be presented June 16-19 and 23-26. Buy your tickets NOW. Tickets are available online at www.abramstheater.com. Any questions? Contact the Box Office at (920) 826-5852.

the foreigner logo

The Foreigner

June 16, 17, 18, 19 and June 23, 24, 25 & 26

The Foreigner is a fun, two-act comedy by American playwright Larry Shue. The story takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Tilghman County, Georgia where two Englishmen arrive as guests.

When people at the lodge try to talk to Charlie, however, he remains silent and claims to not understand English. Taking the explanation that he’s a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge’s guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge, along with a few other hilarious escapades.

Postponed – My Fair Lady

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. has postponed the upcoming musical “My Fair Lady” and the Spotlight Wedding Show. Future dates for the shows are being reviewed.

The postponement is in support of the well-being of the theater-going public and those who work on the productions, subject to ongoing assessment by county and state health authorities. ASPI takes the health and safety of our patrons, staff and community seriously.

ASPI customers with tickets to “My Fair Lady” will be contacted via phone or email with further information. 

Please note that ASPI is a volunteer organization with many moving parts. Our volunteers spend countless hours rehearsing, working behind-the-scenes, and doing maintenance and groundskeeping. The community theater’s income is based upon ticket sales, advertising sponsorships, and donations.

Donations to the theater are appreciated, especially now with the postponement of the shows. ASPI will need to reinvest in its promotional materials and cover other unexpected costs. You can help out by clicking here.

We look forward to bringing the spotlight back to the community theater when the coronavirus is in check.

Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show is April 5

The Stadium View, JPS Nvitations and Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present the Abrams Spotlight Wedding Show at the Nancy 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, April 5, at the Nancy 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.

Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Adam and Eve

Show is cancelled due to COVID 19

This play is a light-hearted look at the world’s first love story through the eyes of America’s greatest humorist- Mark Twain.  Throughout this play, the Garden of Eden bursts with wit, laughter and the lyric poignance of the first love and the first loss.  Based upon Mark Twain’s book from the early 1900’s titled the same name, this play is sure to hit home with all audiences!

First produced for PBS “American Playhouse,” The Diaries… is a uniquely American theatre piece. Since that time, the show has enjoyed well over 200 productions, in both extended runs and touring engagements at regional theatres, college and university theatres, and performing arts centers on both coasts and across the country.

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.

The Newlywed Game: ASPI Edition. Play the couples game before you see ‘Barefoot in the Park’

Barefoot in the ParkLet’s meet the couples! First, we have Corie and Paul Bratter, of “Barefoot in the Park.” Still in the honeymoon phase and living on love. And we also have you, our audience! See how well you and the special person in your life know each other. Whether you have been married for one week or 50 years, how well do you really know your spouse? So, grab your partner and let’s play The Newlywed Game: ASPI Edition.

How to Play: This game is intended for couples. The questions are separated into three rounds. For the first two rounds, the goal is for each spouse to correctly guess the other spouse’s responses. For round one, the wife will first answer the question, and then after, the husband will try and guess the correct answer. For round two, the husband will answer first, and then the wife will try and guess the husband’s response. For round three (the bonus round), both spouses will answer each question at the same time.

The more the answers that match up, the better you know your spouse. Good luck to each couple!

Round One (Wives answer first)
How many pairs of shoes does your wife own?
What color are your wife’s eyes (no cheating ?)?
What is your wife’s biggest pet peeve?
If you were cleaning out the closets, what is the one thing of your husband’s that you would throw away?
When it comes to replacing the toilet paper roll, should the paper go over or under?

Round Two (Husbands answer first)
What is the last movie you saw together?
What is your husband’s least favorite household chore?
Is your wife always late, always early, or always right on time?
If your wife is texting someone, who is she most likely texting?
What was your wife wearing on your first date with her?

Bonus round
Who do you trust more behind the wheel?
Who is the more romantic one in the relationship?
Who is the biggest procrastinator?
Who said “I love you” first?
When the two of you are in the car together, who controls the radio?

Need a unique date night idea? Come see Corie and Paul Bratter in ASPI’s production of “Barefoot in the Park,” which will be performed June 15-17 & 22-24. Tickets are on sale NOW! For more information on “Barefoot in the Park” or to order tickets, go to www.abramstheater.com or call the box office at 920-826-5852.

(Questions taken from: https://funattic.com/newlywed-game-questions/ & https://www.theknot.com/content/shoe-game-wedding-reception-game-questions)

The Odd Couple

Production Dates: August 12-14 & 19-21, 2016

This classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assembled for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean-freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together with hilarious results as The Odd Couple is born.

Director: Brandon Byng
Assistant Director: Leah Wons
Stage Manager: Tanya Brehmer

Cast:
Speed……………………………………………………………………………………..Jim Klein
Murray……………………………………………………………………………..James Sopata
Roy…………………………………………………………………………………..Mural Adams
Vinnie………………………………………………………………………………Brandon Byng
Oscar Madison………………………………………………………………………..Bill Wons
Felix Ungar…………………………………………………………………………..Bill Koehne
Gwendolyn Pigeon…………………………………………………………….Megan Sopata
Cecily Pigeon……………………………………………………………………..Janet Koehne


Book by Neil Simon

The Odd Couple is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays

The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays

Book by Ken Ludwig

The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Production Date: August 14-16 & 21-23, 2015
Location: The Byng Community Theater

Director: Brandon Byng
Assistant Director: Debra Jolly
Stage Manager: Tanya Brehmer

It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

Original Cast:
William Gillette (Sherlock Holmes)…………………………………………Brandon Byng
Martha Gillette………………………………………………………………Maureen Mannion
Felix Geisel (Moriarty)…………………………………………………………….Early Fuller
Madge Geisel (Marion)………………………………………………………….Karen Fuller
Simon Bright (Count Zerlinsky)…………………………………………………Bill Koehne
Aggie Wheeler (Alice)…………………………………………………………Megan Sopata
Daria Chase…………………………………………………………………….Linda Druckrey
Inspector Goring……………………………………………………………..Elizabeth Sopata

The Fox on the Fairway

The Fox on the Fairway

Written by, Ken Ludwig
Production Date: August 8-10 & 15-17, 2014
Location: The Byng Community Theater

Director: Brandon Byng
Assistant Director: Debra Jolly
Stage Manager: Tanya Brehmer

A tribute to the great English farces of the 1930’s and 1940’s, The Fox on the Fairway takes audiences on a hilarious romp which pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club. Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it’s a furiously paced comedy that recalls the Marx Brothers’ classics. A charmingly madcap adventure about love, life, and man’s eternal love affair with…golf.

Original Cast:
Justin………………………………………………………………………………….Brandon Byng
Louise…………………………………………………………………………………..Shado Rose
Bingham………………………………………………………………………………….Early Fuller
Pamela………………………………………………………………………………….Karen Fuller
Dickie……………………………………………………………………………………Bill Koehne
Muriel………………………………………………………………………………Linda Druckrey