Why go out to the theater? Well, its a well rounded and balanced cultural experience like none other. Its a blend of many art forms. Visual arts are employed for costumes, make up, sets, props, etc. Musical elements are often used with singing and instruments to enhance setting, mood and tone. Technical arts are engaged for lights, sounds, mimicry, and special effects. Literary arts are exhibited through some of the greatest writers from the world over. Historical themes are often visited, and time is bridged when tradition and technology combine. All of these elements culminate together in a organized and well produced piece of artistry for you to enjoy. Many different skill sets and talents from all walks of life come together as a team. Designers, producers directors, support people, performers, costuming, make-up, technical expertise, etc. Lots of behind the scenes work goes on to make it all flow and work. Performers often use accents, physical attributes, expressions and defy their own identities to bring you well done characterization. Farce, comedy, serious situations, irony, mystery, satire, tragedy, romance are all common themes from life's experiences. Different parts of the world are often visited and tolerance and empathy for all cultures is often achieved. So, get out from behind that t.v., movie or computer screen to do something different and enjoy some live acting and an interactive experience. There are no "cuts" or "editing" or "re-takes" with a live performance, actors are tasked and challenged to "get it right" the first and only time! Come see your classmates, friends and relatives like you've never seen them before as they challenge themselves with different roles. Who knows you may even impress your English teacher? Each performance is creative and unique in its own right. Plays also offer you a lesson or message for life. Many MLHS alum had such a great time being involved that they often return as directors, assistant directors, technical and crew help. I guarantee that going to a play or musical is like eating a potato chip, its hard to have just one! Plus its just plain fun and impressive. Don't cheat yourself out of the opportunities offered throughout the year.
Without a doubt, the actors, directors and crew are the most important part of any MLHS theatrical production. But there is also a host of people who work diligently behind the scenes to help make the production a success. Drama Friends are the parents and relatives of the kids involved in the production, of both cast and crew, that take on the important and much needed work surrounding the plays.
No experience is necessary to be part of Drama Friends! All of the tasks performed by Drama Friends have experienced parents to help coordinate and guide new comers through the process. There are many different jobs that require various skill levels. Whether you’ve been blessed with the gift of hospitality, creativity, organizational abilities, culinary skills or whatever your talents might be (Romans 12:6-8), your help is welcomed!
By being an active Drama Friends participant, you will get to know your fellow parents, the students, teachers and directors. Fun and fellowship is abundant when we all work together to help make the production a success!Please consider volunteering to be part of this fun group. Your help is greatly appreciated!
Tech Week Meals: Tech Week is the week just before the opening night of the performance. It is an important and exciting time when the production really comes together. Cast and Crew are expected to stay after school every night during Tech Week to practice and set the stage ensuring everything is ready for opening night. Drama Friends prepare and serve simple meals to the students each night at 5:00pm throughout Tech Week. Under the guidance of the Tech Week Meal Coordinator, duties include setting up a salad bar and fruit, heating up the entrée, setting out desserts, serving the food and cleaning up. Preparation for the meal starts at 4:30pm and is completed by 6:00pm. A team of about 3-4 people is needed each night. Helping serve a meal to hungry, energetic kids is always entertaining!
Drama Grams/Candy Grams: Drama/Candy Grams are notes and well wishes that parents, friends and relatives can send back stage to the actors before, during and after the performance - similar to a telegram. Drama Friends is responsible for collecting the purchased Drama/Candy Grams and distributing them back stage to the actors. Delivering happy thoughts to nervous kids…..it’s a great thing!
Concessions: Before, during and after the play, Drama Friends sells light refreshments at the concessions table (popcorn, rice krispy treats, candy bars, water, etc.). Each item is sold for $1.00 so you don’t have to worry about the math being complicated. Three to four people are generally needed to sell concessions at each performance.
Publicity: Getting the word out to churches, schools and other organizations about the latest MLHS production is key! Flyers and other informational materials need to be created and distributed to various contacts throughout the area. Creative people with attention to detail as well as those who are willing to disburse flyers and ticket order forms around town are always needed.
The Program: A play bill needs to be created for each production. Creative detail oriented people with word processing skills are appreciated to put together this lasting memory of the play.
Dessert Theater: The winter production is generally at the beginning of February and is presented as a dessert theater experience. Desserts are served to patrons in the school cafeteria before the Friday and Saturday performances. Drama Friends and National Honor Society students are needed to plate the desserts in the school kitchen. Decorators are also needed to help bring the plays theme to life in the dining hall.
Ticket Sales: Do you have the gift of hospitality? Drama Friends are always looking for a few smiling faces to greet guests and sell tickets at the entry table in the lobby approximately 45 minutes prior to each performance.
Bio Boards: Are you a scrapper? For each play, a Biography Board (poster board) is put together highlighting all of the students involved in the production. Pictures, names and short descriptions of the cast and crew are displayed on the Bio Board positioned near the entrance to the play.
Donations: Donations for concessions are needed for every play. Cases of water, pans of homemade rice krispy treats, popcorn, candy bars and fruit (during the spring musical only) are always needed. Dessert donations for Tech Week Meals are also needed.
Brad Alles teaches Senior Religion at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, and is also an adjunct instructor at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska with a Bachelor’s degree in education, majoring in art and theology, and received his Master's degree in Christian education from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. Brad has earned awards for educational excellence on various levels. He was awarded the Heartland Funds Teacher of Merit at Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 2000, the South Wisconsin District (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) Teacher of the Year in 2007, the State of Wisconsin Finalist for the Kohl Teacher Fellowship in 2008 & 2009, and the Concordia University Wisconsin James Juergensen Master Educator Award in 2012.
Known for his ability to breakdown Scripture so it is easily understood and applied, Brad is a frequent Bible study teacher at Milwaukee area churches. In addition, he has been a featured speaker in nineteen different states, talking at youth gatherings and church worker conferences. His passion for God’s Word comes through clearly in his teaching style.
Brad has written Teen Bible Study Training and Teens Answering Teens for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, as well as a chapter for the book Youth Ministry Basics. Brad’s book, Life’s Big Questions, God’s Big Answers, is available from Concordia Publishing House. The book is a student approach to defending the Christian faith, dealing with common questions all people have regarding the truthfulness of the Bible, Creation, the Flood, Jesus, the Resurrection, Post-Modernism, and Worldviews. His book, Starting at the End, also from CPH, focuses on the future according to various worldviews and what the Bible says about the end. He, his wife, and their daughters live in Germantown, Wisconsin.
Brad's new apologetic DVD, Big Questions, Biblical Answers, is a professionally produced video answering 10 common questions on the Bible, creation, evolution, ethics, and purpose. Each lesson is approximately 10-12 minutes long, using acrostics to help the viewer to remember the answer when defending the faith.
DISCLAIMER : We at Milwaukee Lutheran consider the content and intent of the plays we select very earnestly. Some are meant to simply entertain and to bring joy and laughter to the audience, some to send a message: most do both. We do not select our plays exclusively from the Christian canon. Some characters words and actions do not reflect the Christian World View that we espouse at MLHS. However, the same is true of some of the characters and even the heroes in the Bible. We look at these as foils that reflect the need for the good, the right and the holy. We hope the audience can view these characters words and actions not as offensive (we change them as much as our licensing agreement will allow) but as a reflection of our fallen world and would remain mindful of the overall message of the production.