Theatre Guild History

In the spring of 1995, Dennis Brei was asked by Mike Ascher (the President of the Shawano County Arts Council at that time) to direct the summer musical at the Mielke Theater (now known as the Mielke Art Center). Dennis agreed to direct “Camelot,” which was to open in July 1995. This would be Dennis’ directing debut. He found that he signed on not only as director, but had to assume the job of producer as well. This additional responsibility included advertising, tickets, programs, and much more. In addition, one of the male cast members dropped out, so Dennis had to step into the role. Talk about getting your feet wet! When “Camelot” ended its successful run, Dennis thought about his experience as first time director, and knew in the future, directors should have more help and support. Dennis mailed an invitation to those involved with “Camelot,” and from that cast, Box In The Wood Theatre Guild was formed. Some of the founding members are still active with the Guild today. There has always been a core of very dedicated people investing in the future of Box In The Wood Theatre Guild.

The Guild’s name was derived from the song “Box In The Wood,” which was composed by Dorothy Zerbe, who played Guenevere in “Camelot”. The song was performed by Dorothy and Rusty Mitchell at the closing of this show. This song has become the Guild’s anthem and is performed as an encore at the end of every summer musical. The title refers to the “box” in the wood because the Mielke Arts Center was conceived as a “black box” theater. This allows for the movement of the stage and seating to accommodate a variety of approaches to presenting theatrical productions. Performances can be done in the round or set on a conventional stage, using whichever wall location is best suited for the production.

Today, Box In The Wood Theatre Guild has not only survived, it has thrived. The Guild has presented musical classics like “The Music Man,” “Into The Woods” and “Anything Goes,” to newer musical fare like “Grease,” “Aida,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Seussical The Musical.” Traditional straight play comedies like “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Blythe Spirit,” “Harvey,” and “Rumors,” that have also delighted audiences.

Casts for all shows are found through open auditions. The Guild welcomes and needs new talent, not only on stage, but also behind the scenes. The public is welcome to our meetings. Join us to find out what the theatre experience is all about.

As we enter the beginning of another theatrical season, we express thanks to our patrons, donors, the Shawano County Arts Council, Shawano County and the Mielke Foundation for making Box In The Wood Theatre Guild a continuing adventure in community theatre here in the greater Shawano area.

 

 

“BOX IN THE WOOD”
Lyrics & Music by Dorothy Zerbe

You’re a piece in the puzzle, a color in the picture on the stage
You give breath to the portrait, and life to the words on the page

And the reason I know it is you, is because you’re my friend when
the curtain goes down, just like I knew they could, our paths lead
to the Box In The Wood

You are there when I’m crying, you are there in my craziest of days
You have helped me to grow, you’re unashamed of my emotional ways

And the reason I know it is you, is because you’re my friend when
the curtain goes down, just like I knew they could, our paths lead
to the Box In The Wood

You are the artist that I came to see, I am the artist you taught me to be

When the last show is over, don’t be afraid of letting go
Let the light that is in you illumine each way that you go

And I always will know it is you, ‘cuz you’ll still be my friend when
the curtain goes down, just like I knew they could, our paths lead
to the Box In The Wood

Mielke Art Center & Mielke Park

N5649 North Airport Road, Shawano Wisconsin

715.526.2525

© 2019 Shawano County Arts Council