Summer Success!

In Tandem’s inaugural Summer Theatre Conservatory is a wrap – and a huge success!

The students had fun, learned a ton about the theatre business, got to work in a professional venue and put on four fantastic performances of Into the Woods, JR. Three of them were open to the public and very well attended by family, friends and In Tandem patrons. Their “preview” performance played to a packed house of 99 kids and chaperones from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, who absolutely loved the show! Through grants and other support, we were able to bring the kids over for the show at no charge to them or the Boys & Girls Club. There was a lively talk back afterwards with the cast, which In Tandem’s Artistic Director, Chris Flieller, facilitated. The kids got to ask questions of the cast, who enjoyed talking about their experience with us over the past three weeks.

On we go to our 2015-16 season, but we look forward to next summer’s program!

Scenes from “Into the Woods, JR”

ITW-show9  ITW-show6ITW-show10ITW-show2

Into the Woods JR Kids’ Blog!

Hey everybody, this is Annika, Briana and Sophia. We are here to tell you about our production of Into the Woods Jr. directed by Dr. Shannon Sloan-Spice, and musically directed by Annie Denison. We are part of a summer theatre education program that is held at In Tandem Theatre from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Middle school and early high school kids participate in this three week experience.

We have many classes where we learn about the full theatre experience from acting to lighting to advertising, in which we learn about all the behind the scenes work as well as acting and singing. In addition to working with Shannon and Annie, so far we have had classes with In Tandem’s Production Manager, Colin Gawronski (lighting and set), In Tandem’s Managing Director, Jane Flieller (marketing and advertisement), and Laura Hughes (costumes).

In conclusion, this program has been a great learning experience and has helped us grow as actors/actresses. We are very grateful for this opportunity given to us and would like to thank everyone who made it possible. To give back to our community, we are providing a free show to 99 kids from The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.

We have three public performances coming up – for more information and to purchase tickets for the show just CLICK HERE! We really hope to see you there!

PS: Did you know there’s a cow in the show? Thank you Skylight Music Theatre for letting us borrow her!


In Tandem’s Summer Theatre Conservatory

BRAVO to everyone who helped us meet our American Family Insurance Foundation challenge grant goal for the Summer Conservatory! Thank you for your generosity!

In Tandem Theatre will host a three-week summer theatre immersion program for AGES 11-18 in which up to 50 students will participate.

Days begin with morning acting, voice, and movement classes. Through a hands-on approach, all students will participate in activities such as set-building, props, costumes, lights and sound design.

Additionally, all students will acquire administrative skill in marketing, publicity, and house management and box office. Opportunities for young visual artists to exhibit and curate their art in the theatre gallery are also available.

Directed by Shannon Sloan-Spice, Ph.D. with musical direction by Annie Denison, the program will culminate in live performances of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical, INTO THE WOODS, JR.

Founded on trust, integrity, inclusion and imagination, this unique, blended humanities approach to arts education will provide a deepened experience of the full artistic process

Tenth Street Theatre | 628 N. 10th Street | Milwaukee
Located right next the the Marquette University campus, Tenth Street Theatre resides in the lower level of the historic big red church. A safe and unique urban environment for all.

July 13 – August 2, 2015
Monday – Friday | 9:00 am – 5:00 pmIn Tandem Space 2015-27
Public performances of Into the Woods, JR:
Friday, July 31 | Saturday, August 1 | Sunday, August 2

$500 per student. Registration is due by June 1, 2015 and secured with non-refundable 20% deposit. Balance due on July 13, 2015. A limited number of scholarships may be available; please call 414-271-1371 for details and more information. The cost of tuition includes two free tickets to Into the Woods, JR. Complimentary tickets will be available to children served by the Boys and Girls Club of Milwaukee.


This program is sponsored in part by the generous support of American Family Insurance Foundation and the Bert L. & Patricia S. Steigleder Charitable Trust.

Telling Stories

We’re in the midst of our final show of the season, Little by Little, a full-out musical where all the communication between the performers and the audience is done with music. Which is where I live. As long as I can remember, I’ve been a musician.

When I was in the fifth grade, the junior high band instructor spoke with our class about learning to play a band instrument. Afterward, my friend Kathy pulled me aside and said excitedly, “Let’s take trumpet lessons!” I said, “But only boys play the trumpet.” (Yes…this was a long time ago.) Her response? “Exactly! All the girls will be sitting with each other in the boring flute section. We’ll get to sit with all the boys!” Thank you, Kathy. She quit after a year, but I played trumpet all the way through college – dating, becoming good friends, and making great music with some of the smartest, most fun and interesting guys I’ve ever known.

Following the trumpet came piano, guitar and then choir. I fell in love with singing and earned my BFA in Vocal Performance from Silver Lake College. Since moving to Milwaukee, I’ve performed with Music Under the Stars (now I’m REALLY dating myself!), Milwaukee Symphony, Bel Canto, Florentine Opera and others.

When I met Chris and Jane eight years ago, I knew very little about the theater, with the exception of singing in musicals. They’ve since opened my eyes to another world, where there exists a different kind of communication between performers and the audience than the one most familiar to me. But whether a singer or player uses music or an actor uses words, we all have the same goal: to tell a story or express an idea or emotion in a way that moves the listener or viewer to feel or think something that they may not have experienced before.

We enlighten, inspire, provoke and entertain.

-Cindy Thomas

Up Next: Little by Little

In Tandem is excited to present the delightful, contemporary musical, Little by Little, from May 1-24.

Fast-paced, witty and comical, Little by Little follows three best friends through adolescence, dating, college and careers. Along the way, a love triangle develops, threatening to break up the friendship. Can the trio find reconciliation or will they go their separate ways? You’ll just have to see it to find out!

One of the talented cast of three singers is Rachael Zientek, a UW-Milwaukee grad with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Rachael was cast in First Stage productions and attended Greendale High School before going on to UWM to study musical theatre. Her sister Sara, also a First Stage alum and later a Milwaukee Rep intern, recently appeared in In Tandem’s critically acclaimed production of Neil Haven’s Come Back. A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article featured the two sisters.

Read the press release for Little by Little and purchase tickets for the show.

World’s Best Intern Says Goodbye

March, 2015

Have you ever read the children’s book “Caps for Sale”? In it a hat salesman with few resources makes the best of his situation by wearing his entire stock of caps on his head, literally ‘wearing many hats’ in order to run his business.

This is what it’s like for EVERYONE at In Tandem.

Everyone answers the phone, everyone takes orders, everyone writes, everyone proofreads and everyone wears many, many caps. And I loved every minute of it.

In interning for In Tandem, I found the entirety of my training as an arts administrator called upon at one time or another. In a given day I might find myself going business to business with flyers for our next show in the morning and preparing marketing materials in the office in the afternoon. The scope of the responsibilities I was given really showed me, in a tangible way, just how much goes on behind the scenes in order to make sure that the lights are on, the seats are filled, and the audience is happy when they sit down to watch the show.

Working with Chris, Jane and Cindy has been a wonderful experience as well. All three have been respected members of the Milwaukee arts community for many years, and were always willing to share their experiences with me. Having their collective backlog of knowledge has been an invaluable part of my learning experience, and has served to further hone my knowledge of how to run a small theatre company in the practical sense. That kind of knowledge can’t be gained in the classroom.

Now that my time at In Tandem has come to a close, I feel like I can look back at my experience with satisfaction. Running at arts organization is never a one cap job and I feel lucky that I chose In Tandem to show me their balancing act.

Nate Butchart

From the Director’s Chair

February 20, 2015

I am delighted to be directing the world premiere of local playwright Neil Haven’s new play, Come Back. I was drawn to this piece because while the subject matter is as serious as it gets – death – it tackles this subject with a great sense of humor. The play is about one woman’s journey through the process of grief. Sky is devastated by the loss of her best friend, Erin, and finds herself in the depths of sorrow. Erin, however, knowing Sky will have a difficult time, leaves detailed instructions that Sky travel across the country to visit several cremation shops in order to determine the most fitting place for her ashes. The hilarious places Sky visits help temper the emotional ride she must take. Along the way, Sky learns about herself and about her friend. She comes through the journey wiser and more in control of her life and future.

Having faced the loss of loved ones over the years, the one constant that helped me through was humor. Some of the most memorable funerals and memorials I have attended were due to the laughter that accompanied the tears. Come Back is a quirky comedy that lifts you up under the saddest of conditions with a healthy balance of humor and pathos. Sky and other characters in the play all take a journey to get through what we all must, at one time or another, endure. My hope is that this play gets people talking — about death, grief, final wishes, legal rights — all those things that should be talked about because death truly is for the living.


Happy New Year!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hello All!

It’s January, it’s MLK Day, and I’m coming out of post-Cudahy Caroler hibernation to introduce our newly improved In Tandem website. It promises to be even more charming and easy to navigate then the previous version. It also has more features, like this one; about every month or so, one of us “Tandemites” will be blogging about something or other, and there will be more frequent updates with newsy stuff that concerns our organization and our venue. I’m looking forward to deepening our connection with you through our website, and hope that you will be a regular visitor. Let’s face it, though, nothing beats face to face conversation, so I also look forward to seeing you at our great shows!

So I was reflecting on 2014 over a hot toddy and ginger snaps, and a line from a song on The Decemberists’ new album struck me (didn’t know this old guy was that hip, did you?) The line is “What a terrible world; what a beautiful world”, and man, I don’t know about you, but that just about sums up 2014 for me. It seems that 2014 was really a year of extremes, starting with the weather! Just try to do anything, much less produce a play, at the end of February when it’s 2 below and the wind is howling and the snow is up to your butt! Even I wanted to be home in bed! But each day brought a little more warmth to my icy heinie, and a little more hope to my frozen soul. And when gas hit $3 a gallon, I could see smiles breaking out across chapped lips, and when it hit $2 a gallon my heart soared. And when the mercury hit 40 degrees in December and our seats were filled with happy holiday revelers, I had to dance a little jig!

And I know that as crazy and terrible and beautiful as the world gets, the best thing that I can do for you is tell stories about it, because telling stories is the best way we humans have of making sense of all the crazy stuff that happens all the time. So let’s stay together, stay connected, and pray for good weather. I want to be part of your story, and I want you to be part of mine.

Hey, did you know that I’m going to be taking my first ever leave of absence from In Tandem Theatre? Next week I’ll be traveling to Delaware to do a show with my alma mater, the Professional Theater Training Program. A long time age they moved the program from UWM to UDEL, and I’m really looking forward to treading the boards with some of my old classmates, a couple of whom I haven’t seen in thirty years! I’m sad to be missing our next show, “Come Back”, so all of you better see it and tell me how it goes!

That’s about all for now; my next entry will be from out East. Be good, keep calm and give Jane some company while I’m gone. Cheers!


Right Now @ In Tandem

Rehearsals start soon for In Tandem’s next exciting production, the world premier of Neil Haven’s smart new comedy, Come Back.  Our production team is hard at work bringing designer Rick Rasmussen’s innovative set to life for the show. Thank you super volunteers Brad McHendry and Bruce Miller, and Production Manager Colin Gawronski. Check back for upcoming insights on Come Back.